If you are reading this, the Lord has called his wild and crazy child home. I, Laura Lee (Ford) Harper, was born to John Charles Ford and Lois Elizabeth (Betsy) Ford, on Jan. 5, 1958, in Northumberland, Pa.
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During my childhood, we traveled extensively to several states east of the the Mississippi, where I developed my love for riding horses and attending 13 different schools, which molded my personality that I have shared with many through my 55 years.
As an adult (18 year old), I moved to Gatlinburg, Tenn., where I met and married Allen D. Tweed. Allen joined the U.S. Air Force and off we went to Valdosta, Ga. Jessica was born into our family in 1982. We moved to Alaska in 1983, and John was born in 1985, at Bassett Army Community Hospital. Allen relocated to Idaho; the children and I started our journey in North Pole.
I met Mickey Harper in 1992, and we married in 1998.
My professional career began at Club 11. I have been blessed to work for many fine restaurants and have had the honor of meeting and serving a majority of North Pole and Fairbanks residents as you dined. My most recent work adventures at the Pagoda provided some amazing memories and most recently at the Silver Gulch Brewery. I hope you all will remember the laughs and crazy times we spent together.
Now on to the fun parts of my life away from work. I love working with stained and fused glass. Give me a challenge and I will meet it head on. I have spent many hours doing needlepoint, cross stitch, sewing and carpentry. As I sit here writing to you, I am working on my latest project, which is an afghan of the colors of cancer awareness. I also enjoy riding my motorcycle and the annual Talkeetna king salmon run.
Another passion of mine is helping others. "No" is not in my vocabulary. I have had soldiers over for the holidays, opened my home to anyone in need, especially my many adopted children. You know who you are! I loved working with the Shriner organizations that my husband and I have been passionately involved with throughout the years.
I have fought hard for the past eight months, determined not to allow this disese called cancer to take over my life. I have had many wonderful times with my children, family and friends. Although I found a need for the bucket list, I also found that life is your bucket list. I would have never thought my life would only be 55 years, but it was a fun loving 55 years. My spirit will be with you all for many years to come. When you come across a wild woman like me, think of Laura Harper!
Join my family at 2 p.m. today, April 24, 2013, at Northern Lights Free Will Baptist Church for my memorial, and my celebration of life at 4:30 p.m. at the Badger Den. Bring your favorite dish to share with family and friends, my husband, Mickey; daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law, Damian Naquin; son, John, and daughter-in-law, Amanda Tweed; grandson, Lucas; mother and father, Betsy and Jack Ford; sister, Leota Ford; brother-in-law, Marty; and niece, Morrall Garcia; sister, Joane, and brother-in-law, Matthew Johnson; and nephews, Carter Hippensteel and Mason Wentz.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and their many wonderful medical employees for their support and kindness during my cancer treatments. I'm watching over and when you feel dust in the wind, you'll know I'm there for you.
"Learn from yesterday, Live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Apr. 24, 2013