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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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HARPER – Jack Duncan, P. Eng.

November 19, 1925 – January 30, 2011

After a long, happy and fulfilling life, Jack, beloved husband of Marie, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday morning, January 30 at age 85.

Born and raised in Calgary, Jack was the eldest of five children born to John and Marion Harper. Jack was proud of and loved his native Calgary. After graduating from Western Canada High School he enlisted in the Navy. Following WW II he completed a degree in chemical engineering at U of A. Jack became a passionate innovator and thinker in the field of petroleum engineering. He undertook early trials in carbon dioxide flooding and his pioneering work in radioactive tracing took him to many parts of the world. Jack valued a sense of community and volunteered his time with the Lions Club, Shriners and as past president of the Brittania Community Association. He enjoyed his membership in the King George Lodge and the Scottish Rite. One of Jack’s most challenging and rewarding hobbies was his one-man cattle ranch and farming operation in Priddis. While Jack and Marie (with the support of his obliging sons-in-law) toiled with haying, calving, and tractor maintenance; the grandchildren created their own adventures fishing in the pond and frolicking in Marie’s vegetable garden. While he was still in uniform, “Sailor Jack” met the love of his life, Marie, at Penley’s Dance Hall. They loved to dance and, after 63 years of marriage, they still enjoyed kicking up their heals at every opportunity. Family life sustained Jack. He was devoted to supporting and encouraging his grandchildren to pursue their educational and personal dreams.

He will be sorely missed by his wife Marie, son Stuart (Louise), daughters Heather (Michael) Giuffre, Cheryl (Dan) Spelliscy, and Jill Barnes; grandchildren Tannis and Colin Harper, Martin, Christina, Adrianna, Anthony, and Stephen Giuffre, Kelly (Martin), Travis and Nicole, and their father Kevin Peckham, Megan, Ross and Claire, and their father Alan Barnes, and great grandson Liam; and sisters and brothers Joyce (George), Don (MaryAnn), Millie (Frank), and Stan (Bev) and his many cousins, nieces and nephews. Jack was predeceased by his second son John in 1976 and by his son-in-law Simon Potts in 1984.

A Celebration of Jack’s Life will be held at Living Spirit United Church (629 – 49th Avenue S.W.) on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Jack Harper, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200

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Condolence Messages

  1. Kathy and Daryl Broen :

    Aunt Marie, Stuart, Heather, Cheryl, Jill and families,
    We were so sorry to hear of Uncle Jack’s passing. Weather permitting, we will see you on Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Love Kathy and Daryl

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  2. Michael Harper :

    Marie, both you and Jack were always very kind to me and for that I am grateful. I was very glad to have had the opportunity to sit and talk with Jack on his 85th birthday as our long talks were much rarer since I moved away from Mom and Dad’s home. The eagerness with which Jack seemed to want to speak with me always made me feel good about myself. I will miss him. Both Loretta and I send our love and our thoughts are with you.

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  3. To Marie and family on Jack’s passing:

    Living across the street from the Harpers, and often hanging out at their house with Stuart and John, I saw a lot of Jack while growing up. I remember that he always seemed to have a smile on his face, remarkable in light of the chaos that reigned around him, thanks to his five kids and their ever-present pals. I think Jack’s smile came from his having made the discovery that living in the eye of a hurricane–being father to a bunch of rowdy kids, in other words–was the one true path to happiness.
    I was surprised to learn that Jack had been in the Navy. I recall that he built a sailboat in his garage, and he once took a bunch of us kids sailing on Glenmore reservoir. None of us drowned, and the boat was seaworthy, so Jack obviously knew what he was doing.
    I remember too a camping trip the Harpers took us on, all of us jammed into the back of the family (grey, Pontiac?) station wagon. Jack seemed unflappable as he drove this
    rabble down the highway, and he maintained this unearthly calm–mostly–during the next couple of days at the campground.
    Thanks for the memories, Jack, and I really hope I can meet up with Marie and the kids again some day soon.
    Love,
    Ron Starr

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  4. Darlene Switzer-Foster :

    Dear Heather and family,
    How sorry I was to hear of your Dad’s passing. I am so sorry not to be able to be with you to express this personally. May his memory be as a blessing to you.
    Fondly
    Darlene and all the Switzer family

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  5. John W.C. McKenzie :

    To Marie and family:
    My thoughts are with you all with the passing of your beloved husband and father. There are many happy memories I am sure.

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  6. BETTY & BOB PAGE :

    OUR CONDOLENCES TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
    ON SUCH A GREAT LOSS. OUR PRAYERS ARE
    WITH YOU DURING THIS VERY SAD TIME.

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  7. Ken and Julie Kummer :

    Aunty Marie and family;
    Warm and caring wishes are with you always.
    Our sincere sympathy,
    Ken and Julie

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  8. Aunt Marie and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Uncle Jack’s passing. My love and thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.

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  9. Donna and Rick Garvin, sons John and Michael Anderson :

    Dear Aunt Marie and family

    So sorry for your loss. All my memories of Jack and your family are wonderful ones. Uncle Jack will be remembered by all of us with love and gratitude – he gave so much just by being Jack,

    Love to you all. My thoughts are with you as you go through this difficult time. Donna

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  10. Peggy Breckenridge :

    Marie, Stuart, Heather, Cheryl, Jill and families

    I am sorry for your loss and will be thinking about you. I have such great memories of our childhood times together, especially the trip to Expo 67.

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  11. Rev. Roland & Anna Hutchinson :

    Dear Jill, Megan, Ross & Claire,
    In this time of loss of father and grandfather, may it help to know that you, and all Jack’s family, are being thought of and upheld in prayer.

    As well, the congregation of Trinity United Church, Shediac, extend their condolences with these and we will be including prayers for you in the Service tomorrow.

    May God provide guidance, strength, comfort and journeying mercies to you all.
    Blessings,
    Roland & Anna

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  12. Neil & Jean Johnston :

    Dear Auntie Marie, Stuart, Heather, Cheryl, Jill and families,

    We were very sorry to hear of Uncle Jack’s passing and we had planned to come to Calgary for the funeral today and bring Bill and Mary and Peggy. The roads up here were getting bad and we chickened out. Please know that we are all thinking of you and we have special memories of our times together. We were hoping to show our support for your family as you have always done for us. Our deepest sympathies and love…
    Neil & Jean

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