Joseph Harper Jr.

Obituary
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Mr. Joseph Harper Jr., 66, former sheriff of Petersburg, passed away on Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, at Southside Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Harper was the first African-American to be appointed as sheriff of Petersburg City. Sheriff Harper will be greatly missed by the City of Petersburg and many, many friends and loved ones. He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, James Harper and Moses Harper. Mr. Harper was a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Petersburg, for over 45 years.

Joseph Harper was born July 10, 1942, to the late Joseph and Emmaline Harper. He attended Peabody High School, the University of Richmond and Virginia State University. Mr. Harper served as bailiff in the Richmond City Courts, Special Police with the Petersburg Police Department, Statewide Detective Agency, Virginia State Penitentiary, Pinkerton's Detective Agency, and in 1985, was elected sheriff of the City of Petersburg. He was re-elected in 1989 and 1993; he later retired as sheriff after 16 years of dedicated service. Mr. Harper's associations include the Virginia State Sheriff's Association since 1976, Board of Directors, Richard Bland Training Academy, Board of Directors, YMCA of Petersburg, past vice president, Petersburg Rotary Club, past member Budget Committee, United Way of Petersburg, and Fraternal Order of Police, Petersburg. Along with his many accomplishments, Sheriff Harper has given lectures to many churches throughout the City of Petersburg, to Petersburg High School, Virginia State University Political Science Club, Virginia State University Criminal Justice Interns, America Business Women Association, 12th Masonic District Lodge Bingo Organization and ALPHA Omega Zeta Chapter. One of Joseph Harper's ambitions was theater and movies. He has played roles in the movies "Lincoln," "Tad," "Kennedy," "The Vernon Johns Story" and "The Day of the Jackel." He also had two local experiences with Playmakers, LTD of Petersburg, which were singing roles in Amen Corner and Resolutions. He was a member of the singing group The Christian Modernaires.

He leaves to cherish his memories a loving wife of 47 years, Paige M. Harper; one son, David Wayne Harper; three daughters, Marquis Yvette McCain of Petersburg, Loretta Harper-Brown (Johnathan) of Newark, Del., and Jennifer Regina LaCue (Robin) of Chester; one brother, Ronald Harper; two sisters, the Rev. Charlotte Mayes-Simms (William) of Richmond and Evelyn M. Jones (Melvin) of Petersburg; six grandchildren, Sherell Williams and Erica McCain of Petersburg, Omeari LaCue and Ashanti LaCue of Chester, Destiny Harper of Richmond and Joshua Brown of Newark, Del.; one brother-in-law, Leander Jones; two special cousins, Bert Parham and Raymond Farley; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, among them are special friends, Richard Harry (Lillian), Shirley Irvin (James), and Mabel McCain and family.

A funeral service will be held at noon Saturday, Oct. 18, at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 800 Augusta Ave. Petersburg, with the Rev. Dr. Wesley K. McLaughlin, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in the Blandford Cemetery. Family and friends are asked to assemble at the residence, 853 Augusta Ave. at 11 a.m. the day of the service. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, in the chapel of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, 137 Harrison St. Petersburg, Va.

Services have been entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home., www.blandenterprisesinc.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, 2008
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