OBITUARY: Francis J. (Joe) Harper

Francis J. (Joe) Harper, Jr., 87, died Sunday, February 4, 2024. He was born to Francis and Mildred (Wilson) Harper on February 5, 1936. He was a lifelong resident of the Sedgwick community.

He married Donna L Stewart on July 9, 1961, in Neosho, Missouri and they have resided in the Sedgwick area their entire married life. He was a lifetime member of the Sedgwick United Methodist Church (now Grace Fellowship) having active role in its men’s ministry. He also served in the US Army Reserves

Joe developed a love for agriculture early in life which led him to his lifetime passion for farming and ranching. He loved raising crops and cattle as well as an occasional patch of sweet potatoes and pumpkins. He also enjoyed poultry and spent many years taking a variety of birds and breeds to the Kansas State Fair. Joe most often had something in the incubator, anxiously waiting for the upcoming hatch.

   Joe was creative from a very young age and shared his talents with many of his friends with his expressions of appreciation for them. He loved a challenge, to create something unique or restore something to its original form. He collected and restored many pieces of antique agriculture equipment over the years and had a passion for antique windmills, having one of the most unique collections in the country. Joe and Donna hosted two International Windmiller’s Trade Fair tours at their farm north of Sedgwick.

Joe is survived by his wife, Donna, and children Janelle (Don) Dolen and Frank (Mary) Harper, both of rural Sedgwick. Other family members include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 Friends may call from 2:00-8:00 pm, and visitation will be 6:30-8:00 pm, Thursday, February 8, 2024, at Kaufman Funeral Home, Halstead.

 Funeral services will be 11:00, Friday, February 9, 2024, at Grace Fellowship Church, 600 N Commercial in Sedgwick.

 A private family committal will be at Hillside Cemetery, Sedgwick.

 Memorials may be made to Grace Fellowship Church or the Sedgwick Historical Society in care of Kaufman Funeral Home.

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