PRESQUE ISLE - Wayne Frank Harper, 80, passed away Friday September 4th, 2015 at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle due to complications arising from a long-lasting heart condition.
He leaves behind his loving wife Sylvia (Quinn of Glenburn) of 58 years and his children and their spouses: Randall and Joyce Harper of Presque Isle; Terrence and Crystal Harper of Fort Fairfield; Ellen Schneider of Houlton; and David and Seoyun Harper of West Point, NY. He also leaves a multitude of loving grandchildren, nephews, nieces as well as many lifelong friends.
Born to Elaine Peluso and Frank W. Harper and raised in Parkhurst Siding, Wayne is survived by his sister Irene Defont (Easton) and brother Brian Harper (Caribou). Wayne graduated from the University of Maine where he met his future wife and entered upon a lifelong career as an educator. His interest in education propelled him to be a teacher, principal, and director of adult and of alternative education in both Washburn and Presque Isle from 1957 to 1997. During his time as a school administrator, you would find him in the hallways, on the playground, and in the classrooms...not in an office.
He was proud to serve in the National Guard for 15 years with A Battery, 152nd Field Artillery Battalion where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant, serving as Chief of Section and making lasting friends and creating treasured stories.
Wayne led by example, learned for fun, and made as many memories as could be experienced. Always researching and preparing for the next big adventure, Wayne enjoyed camping locally and traveling the world. His passion for history would often surface on these trips as he became an impromptu tour guide for family and strangers alike.
Wayne left behind some personal notes, including a "thank you" to the teams of doctors and caregivers who not only treated him with compassion in these final weeks, but allowed him to live a full life after his first heart attack over 20 years ago. In those notes, he characterized his wife and family as the "joy of [his] life," and wrote that could he do it again, he "wouldn't change a thing."
An extraordinary man throughout his life, he will be missed throughout ours.
A family graveside ceremony will be held Friday, September 11th, 2015 at 12:30pm at Fairmount Cemetery. Friends wishing to pay their respects are invited to attend a memorial service and reception at Duncan-Graves Funeral Home in Presque Isle at 2:00pm. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to The Friends Of Aroostook State Park/Twin Peak Ski Association in care of James Park, 58 Echo Lake Road Presque Isle, Maine 04769. Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com