Harold “Hal” Harper, 89, of Hiawassee, Georgia, passed away in the early morning hours of January 31, 2023 at home surrounded by his family. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 30, 1933 to Ira and Millie Shaffer Harper. He attended Miles Township High School, where he met his wife, Nancy Bell, in the 10th grade. They married in 1953 and spent 69 wonderful years together.
Hal studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois. After graduation, he served in the Army 3rd Infantry Division for two years. After the Army, he worked for Pratt & Whitney in the division of United Technologies Corporation specializing in jet engine systems analysis in Palm Beach, Florida. Hal and Nancy retired to Hiawassee, Georgia which is where they lived out their remaining lives.
Hal was an avid runner and cyclist. He rode thousands of miles on his bike, sharing his passion with his children. We tried to match his endurance but never quite could. When he was 50 he rode 278 miles in a 24 hour marathon!
He was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan. He watched his Cubbies year after year, game after game. When he was 12 years old, the Cubs were in the World Series he skipped school with another friend, and rode the bus to Chicago to watch them play. They went on to win that game, and although they did not win the World Series that year, Hal was able to watch them win in 2016 bringing a lifelong dream to fruition. His greatest experience in recent years was to attend a Cubs game in Atlanta with his son Bill.
He knew and loved God since he was a child. His faith was evident by his actions and faithfulness to his family, neighbors, and church. Dad truly lived the Great Commission. He was a Bible scholar, studying the Word all his life. He was a member of McConnell Baptist Church.
His love for his family was matchless; especially for his wife. He was willing and did all he could physically, spiritually, and financially for his family. After the death of their father, he filled the Dad role for Ashley and Amanda, giving them the stability and love of a father.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 69 years Nancy Bell Harper, and survived by his children Judy Brotherton, Debra Harper, and Bill Harper; grandchildren: Ashley Canup, Amanda Roberson, Rachel Dorsey, and Aaron Robinson as well as 7 great grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be given to McConnell Baptist Church, Freeing the Future.