Born Oct. 2, 1916, Marie Harper completed her walk in this life on March 12, 2012. A life-long Montana resident, she passed away peacefully in the night at Highgate Senior Living where she had been a resident for the past year-and-a-half.
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She was known to many in the communities of both, Livingston, where she was born, and Bozeman, where she lived since 1950. She was ever busy as wife and mother bringing four children into this world and assisting her husband, Willard, in ranch life south of Livingston. Together they shared 71 years of active and contributory living making many friends along the way.
Marie's musical talents were widely heralded. As a young teen, she became the church organist at Livingston's Redeemer Lutheran Church, a position she held for many years until moving to the Gallatin Valley. Once again, she and her husband pursued ranching and raising a family along Sourdough Creek for several years before eventually moving into Bozeman in 1954. The move from Livingston brought her to the Hope Lutheran Church where her musical talents continued to flourish. Not only was she very active in playing for church services and other functions at Hope Lutheran Church, but she also lent her talents to countless weddings and funerals elsewhere in the Bozeman and Livingston areas.
Her music also was an important part of her active involvement with Eastern Star and White Shrine. For many years, she assisted her husband with Bozeman's Winter Fair, and the two were also very actively involved with the Bozeman Senior Center. Her baking talents were widely heralded, particularly her fantastic brownies, oatmeal cookies, and German chocolate cake. These offerings were often an integral part of her bridge parties. She actively played bridge until the last few years when the onset of macular degeneration dimmed her eyesight.
She loved people and found great delight in their company, her mind keeping strong until the very end. She will be greatly missed by many. Her immediate survivors include her daughter, Louise (Harper) Favor and husband, Charles of Bozeman and La Jolla, Calif.; son, Ed Harper and his wife, Susan Scott, of Carmichael, Calif.; and her youngest child, Linda (Harper) Muench and husband, Bill, of Las Vegas, Nev. Surviving brothers and sisters include Harry Carlson and May Dunlap, both of Livingston, and Helen Petroff, of Missoula. In addition, she leaves four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, all residing in California.
Her eldest child, Louis W. Harper, preceded her in death in November 2001 and her husband, Willard, in February 2005.
Following cremation, final interment will be Saturday, March 17, in Livingston's Mountain View Cemetery, to be attended by family. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel at 113 South Willson Ave. in Bozeman. A reception will follow at Grand Avenue Christian Church at 110 South Grand Ave.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 16, 2012