Delbert “Dean” Harper, 82, of Maryville, passed away on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Born May 16, 1933, in McLeansboro, Dean was the only son of Ernest and Viola Harper. He was a simple and humble man that loved God, family, friends and sports. He was a faithful member of Monte Vista Baptist Church for 50 years. Dean's happiest days were spent with his family together, which he was able to enjoy tremendously the last month of his life. Dean grew up playing sports and hunting in Southern Illinois. He continued his baseball career into college and played semi-professional baseball. He was an avid sport and hunting enthusiast, especially enjoying watching all of his children and grandchildren participate in various sports. He attended college and received his bachelor's degree at Southern Illinois University and continued his education at the University of Tennessee earning his master's degree in geology. With loyalty and enthusiasm, he worked for one employer (Asarco) for over 50 years. He served in the Army from 1954 to 1955, receiving the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal before being honorably discharged in 1962. Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Viola Harper and his granddaughter, Abbie Jane Harper. He is survived by his wife of over 57 years, Lawana Echols Harper; their children and their spouses, Deana and Steve Kyle, Kenny and Leyanne Harper and Joni and Steve Cook. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his brother-in-law and wife, John and Diane Echols. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Abbie Jane Harper Memorial Scholarship at the East Tennessee Foundation, 520 West Summit Hill Drive, Suite 1101, Knoxville, TN, 37902. A celebration of Dean's life was held Friday, June 12, at 5 p.m. at Monte Vista Baptist Church with a reception immediately following. McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home, Inc. in Maryville, Tenn. is in charge of the arrangements.
Published on  June 15, 2015