Harper, Robert L.; 93; of Rochester Hills; passed away Sunday, June 15, 2014 following a brief illness. Robert (Uncle Bob) led a full and eventful life. A true W.W.II hero, he was a Navy flier whose bomber was shot down in the midst of a Japanese task force. A Pontiac Daily Press front page article dated Monday, April 30, 1945 recalled Ensign Harper piloting a patrol Bomber, the “No Name Yet” being shot down while on a night flight. The plane crashed into the sea in the middle of the Japanese fleet. Remarkably, only one man was injured and the crew washed up on an island 2 days later. Robert survived a 27 day odyssey among Philippine islanders before being rescued by the Navy. He was presented with several honors and served our country well. Upon returning home he continued his education and earned a M.A. and an Education Specialist in 1970 from Michigan State University. He retired from Waterford School District in 1983 after 25 years. His last responsibility was as a Distributive Education Co-Op teacher in high school but he also taught several years at the elementary and junior high levels. Robert is survived by nieces and nephews, Robin Harper (Pat) Bobek, David M. Harper, Scott T. Harper, Don (Karen) Harper, Daniel (Janet) Harper, Diane (Steve) Griggs, Chris Harper, Niki Harper, Roberta (Bill) Bonkoski; sister-in-law, Isabel Harper; and many great nieces and nephews. He also had many wonderful friends including Robert Gaylor and Sally Bolle; and honorary granddaughters, Meghan Wilcox and Molly Guzman. Preceded in death by beloved niece and nephews, Karen L. Harper, Dominique (Joan) Fortino and Anthony Harper; brothers, Carroll and Donald Harper; and sister, Nora Cooper. Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. at Great Lakes National Cemetery, 4200 Belford Rd., Holly, MI 48442. A Luncheon hosted by Sally Bolle will immediately follow. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to SPARKS-GRIFFIN FUNERAL HOME, Lake Orion. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society
(800-227-2345) with acknowledgements to Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home, Lake Orion. Reflections may be shared with the family by visiting www.sparksgriffin.com
Published by The Oakland Press from Jun. 20 to Jun. 22, 2014.