Paul C. Harper Jr.
Robinson, Wright & Weymer
34 Main St
Centerbrook, CT
Lyme - Paul C. Harper Jr., former chairman of Needham Harper Worldwide advertising agency, died on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, of complications from pneumonia. He was 92 years old.

Mr. Harper was born in Coblenz, Germany, on Dec. 16, 1920, where his father and mother, Paul C. Harper and Anne-Lindsay White, were stationed in the American Occupation Forces. Upon completion of his service, his father moved the family to Evanston, Ill., where Mr. Harper was raised. He graduated with Yale University's class of 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Saipan and Iwo Jima as an artillery captain. He was awarded the Bronze Star and was later promoted to major.

Over the course of his life, Mr. Harper developed a passion for the arts. While serving as chairman for Needham Harper Worldwide, he also served on the board of The Vermont Studio, The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The New School, and later he served as chairman of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. He and his wife, Eleanor, established fellowships at both the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and The Vermont Studio to encourage aspiring artists. Upon his retirement to Lyme, he pursued his lifelong passion of painting. His landscapes reflected his deep love of nature. He was an avid hiker and canoeist and often disappeared into the woods for hours at a time with his easel and paints.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eleanor Emery Harper; his six children, Diana, Jessica, William, Lindsay, Charles, and Sam; 14 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Harper's name to The Vermont Studio, PO Box 613, Johnson, VT 05656.

To share a memory of Mr. Harper or send a condolence to his family, please visit

Arrangements by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.
Published by The Day on Dec. 11, 2013.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Robinson, Wright & Weymer
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

8 Entries
I see that Paul passed seven years ago. I was going through my archive and found the most wonderful letter from Paul...and photographs of his remarkable drawings. I shall always treasure much talent and so much heart. Paul and Eleanor have one of my works, I believe, and they visited my husband, Phillip, and me when we lived on the Hopi Reservation. Such special people..
Judy Tuwaletstiwa
October 4, 2020
I still think of your Dad often. I am forever grateful I was able to have known such an amazing man.
Linda Pimienta
December 7, 2018
How saddened I was to learn only today of Paul's passing. Paul took a few landscape painting workshops with me, and I greatly enjoyed our conversations, which were resumed at subsequent lunches and in his studio. What a dear man, intelligent, thoughtful and always interested in learning more about art. We planned to paint together this past year, but circumstances didn't allow. I'm left with the most pleasent memories of an exceptional man. Lorre and I send our love and condolences to his family.
Jerry Weiss
December 26, 2013
I was so dreadfully sorry to hear of the death of Paul Harper. My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Harper and the family at this very sad time. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Linda Fisher
December 13, 2013
My heart goes out to all the Harpers. What an incredible loss. What an incredible man. When I think of all he accomplished in his life- it's just amazing. A uniquely talented man. I know how much his and Cooie's friendship meant to my folks. I feel fortunate to have reconnected with him last year when my father died. As Rachel mentioned, truly The Greatest Generation. We will always cherish the stunning beaver dam drawing that takes up one wall in the living room at the farm. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Nancy Vedder
December 12, 2013
I am so sad to hear of Mr. Harper's death. He was a dear friend of my dad's (Brad Burnham) for more than 65 years -- and he did a fabulous job as a speaker at our dad's memorial service in June of 2012. Dad had never shared very much at all about his experience in the Marines in WWII -- and Mr. Harper did a wonderful job painting a picture of that era in our father's life ... I will always remember him with great fondness. The Greatest Generation is passing on -- so sad! I will be thinking about your family during this difficult time.

Rachel Burnham Van Voorhis
Rachel Burnham Van Voorhis
December 11, 2013
I met Paul only two or three times, at lunch or at an event at Lyme Academy College, and from the start was profoundly moved by his generosity of spirit, his erudition, wit, business savvy, love of art. In a world of so much self-promotional conversation, Paul listened, cared about people and ideas and, in his soft-spoken manner, enriched the conversation and made you feel that what you had to say was worthwhile. A class-act gentleman.
Fritz Jellinghaus, Vice President of Development, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
December 11, 2013
Mr. Harper was a joy in my life. I will miss his great since of humor, hearing his laugh. Listening to all his stories
about his life, the love he had for his wife and children. Just being around him was a highlight of my day. He will always be in my heart, and i will miss him ! Much love to all the family.
Josie Tuttle
December 10, 2013
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results