Mary L. Harper, age 86, passed away Friday, Oct. 27, 2006, at Spring River Christian Village, Joplin, Mo. She was born in Bourbon County, Kan., Aug. 1, 1920, the daughter of Rufus Ezra and Lola Mary Carson Pellett. She graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1937 and married Charles E. Harper at the Girard, Kan., courthouse on Feb. 7, 1938.
Mrs. Harper was employed at Master Printers in 1943 as a bookkeeper. In 1960, Master Printers was incorporated with the majority of stock going to three department heads, one of which was Mrs. Harper. She became sole owner of Master Printers, Inc. in 1987. Mrs. Harper semi-retired in 1999 and moved to Joplin, but kept her apartment over the store and continued to work part time until her retirement in 2001.
Mrs. Harper was a member of First United Methodist Church, Fort Scott, Kan., and a dual member of Olive Chapter No. 13 O.E.S., Fort Scott, and Ruth Chapter No. 177 O.E.S., Joplin. She held many offices in O.E.S. and served the Grand Chapter of Kansas as Grand Marshal in 1980-'81.
She is survived by son-in-law, David Shaffer, Joplin; daughter, Peggy Finley and husband, Carroll, Joplin; son, Joseph E. Harper, and wife, Gertrude of Fort Scott; eight grandchildren: Ruth Ann Feldman and husband Paul, Littleton, Colo., Steven Shaffer, and wife, Renee, Joplin, Debra Riley and husband Steve, Asbury, Mo., Cherie' Weible and husband John, Champaign, Ill., Mark E. Finley, Peoria, Ariz., Ssgt. Michael E. Finley, San Diego, Calif., (currently serving in Iraq), Mary Jo Harper and Richard F. Harper, Fort Scott; 10 great-grandchildren, Emily Smith and husband Brian, Lakewood, Colo., Brian Stepp, Littleton; Robert (Briana) Davis and Tyler Shaffer of Joplin, John Riley and Justin Riley of Asbury, Jeremy Riley and wife Tiffany of Pittsburg, Kan., Kelsey Finley of Twentynine Palms, Calif., Shannon and Ian Weible of Champaign; two great-great-grandsons, Richard and R. J. Davis of Joplin; one sister, Nola Graham, of Pleasanton, Kan.; and one brother, W.E. Pellett of Glendale, Ariz. She was preceded in death by her husband and a daughter, Mrs. Karen Shaffer, Joplin, Mo.
The Rev. R.B. Shoemaker will conduct graveside services at 2 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30, at Memory Gardens Cemetery. Eastern Star services will be conducted at the cemetery. No formal visitation is planned, but friends may gather at the funeral home prior to leaving for the cemetery on Monday. Music will be by Mary Jo Harper at the graveside, and casketbearers are Joseph E. Harper, Richard F. Harper, Steven Shaffer, Mark Finley, Wade Pellett and Max Krull.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the charity of your choice and may be sent to Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, Kansas 66701.
Condolences may be emailed to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.