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Mr. James Willard Harper

Obituary for Mr. James Willard Harper

June 28, 1919 - July 26, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 101


James Willard Harper, 101, passed away peacefully on July 26, 2020. Jim was born in San Antonio, the son of Frederick Harper and Lisette Bruns Harper. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in 1941 and was stationed in Ireland, England and Germany during the war. In England, he met and married his beloved wife of 61 years, Marjorie Michaelis, an American serving in the Red Cross. He remained in the active Air Force Reserve until his retirement as a Lt. Colonel in 1966. They returned to Texas after the war where he completed his degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas. He began work at the Magnolia Petroleum Company in Beaumont. The refinery was purchased by Mobil Oil Corporation, with whom he was employed for 35 years. The job took the family to Connecticut, Canada and back to Texas where they made many new friends over the years. After Marjorie's passing, Jim reacquainted with and married his Junior College friend, Amsie Somers, who passed away in 2010. Jim could fix anything and was a talented builder of beautiful furniture. In his free time, he could be found working on home projects or playing bridge. Above all, Jim was a consummate gentleman with a deep, abiding faith in God. He and Marjorie were the loving parents of Julie Ziccardi (Robert), Anne Gribbon (Patrick) and Gregory Harper (Hilary). He is survived by his 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wives, his sister, Dorothy Warner, and his wonderful friend, Barbara Hayes.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the San Antonio Parks Foundation, 400 N. St. Marys, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78205;

Services were held on Monday, August 10 2020 at 9:00am. To view the recording of the services please view this link:

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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