Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Obituaries

October 7, 2013

Rudy Harper

CROSSVILLE — Oct. 3, 2013

Rudy Ervin Harper, 70, died Oct. 3, 2013 while fishing near his home in Fairfield Glade. A celebration of life was held at the home in Fairfield Glade Oct. 6.

A native of Knoxville, Harper was the son of Robert Paul and Trixie Harper. He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Rebecca “Becky” Merritt; and a sister-in-law, Janet Cutshaw Martin.

Harper graduated from Rule High School, where he played football and baseball. He then attended Tennessee Military Institute near Sweetwater for a year before transferring to East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and ROTC. Harper graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science and later earned a master’s in library science, plus 45 additional hours, from University of South Florida, Tampa.

After graduating from ETSU, he married Marsha Jayne Cutshaw in August 1966, and soon afterward, moved to Ft. McClellan in Anniston, AL, to serve in the Army, where he rose to the rank of captain.

In 1972, Harper moved to Sarasota, FL, where he taught science and coached football at Brookside Junior High. Before retiring from 27 years as an educator, in 2000, he taught environmental science at Sarasota High, and during his time in Sarasota, he also taught golf lessons and driver’s education.

Harper loved his post-retirement job at Home Depot, where he was known as “The Light Bulb Man.”

After his wife retired from her position in education in Sarasota, the couple moved to Crossville in 2003 to live at Fairfield Glade, where Harper enjoyed his favorite lifelong pastimes of fishing, hunting and golfing.

Until his death, the outdoorsman loved to work on his boat and discover new coves in which to fish – when he wasn’t watching University of Tennessee football or chatting and joking with his friends at the Food City, Weigels or Dollar General.

Although he was not a member of a church in Fairfield Glade, Harper was a born-again Christian and that gave him great comfort and happiness.

As well as being a lover of people, good jokes and conversation, Harper had a special place in his heart for dogs, especially Misha, their labrador of recent years.

He was survived by his wife, Jayne of the home; a son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Christie Harper of Smryna, GA; a daughter, Paige Harper of Atlanta; one sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Bobby Compton of Knoxville; a brother-in-law, Phil Merritt of Fairfield Glade; two beloved grandchildren, Payton and Wyatt Harper of Smyrna, GA; a sister-in-law, Lisa Cutshaw of Johnson City; nieces and nephews, Darrel and Lori Compton, Lorie and David Rheinecker, Amanda Merritt, Jay Martin and Joel Blake; cousins, Judy Humphreys and Laura Denney and their spouses, Joe and Mike; and several great-nieces and -nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.

Crossville Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. was in charge of the arrangements.

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