Gerald D. 'Jerry' Harp

Gerald D. “Jerry” Harp, retired mortician and past owner of Thompson-Harp Funeral Home in Marion, Kan., passed away Nov. 30, 2012, at the age of 88.

Born in Penalosa, Kan., on April 29, 1924, he was the son of Ralph and Myrtle (Hurty) Harp. He spent most of his youth living in Wichita with his parents and brother Ronald and sister Joanne. He was a 1942 graduate of Wichita North High School. He attended Kansas State University and then the University of Kansas.

While at Lawrence, he began working at Schubert Funeral Home as a helper and really liked the job. This led him to change his course in life and he entered St. Louis College of Mortuary Science. After graduating, he returned to Lawrence to work. He then took a position with Downing Mortuary in Wichita. He would remain with Downing Mortuary for the next 24 years.

Across the alley from the mortuary was a YMCA dormitory; there he would meet Dorothy Moffett. They were united in marriage Nov. 30, 1947, at Fairplay Church, rural Peabody. Their marriage was blessed with one son and one daughter, Greg and Pam. The family lived in Wichita until they purchased the funeral home in Marion in 1969. Together Gerald and Dorothy operated the Thompson-Harp Funeral Home until they sold the business in 1987 due to Dorothy’s poor health. Jerry was a tireless and selfless caregiver to Dorothy; she died Nov. 13, 1987, after a three-year illness.

Jerry was patient, compassionate, caring, and a perfectionist in both his professional and personal life. He was always a giver of his time and energy. He was always glad to see a familiar face. Wherever he lived, he took great pride in his yard and loved to work in it. He had been active in many organizations: Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge and Past Master, he ran the Marion ambulance for several years, and was a faithful member of Eastmoor United Methodist Church. He enjoyed bowling and loved to golf. He enjoyed watching any sporting event. With such an active life, one would not guess that he had overcome an attack of polio when he was just 8 years old.

Jerry married Luella Ferguson on Dec. 17, 1988. After that they moved to Newton and lived in retirement. Joining their family with their marriage was Sally and husband Roger Hannaford and their children: Mike, Scott, and Jill; Max and wife Gail Ferguson and their children, Dan and Ali; and Teresa Ferguson. Luella died Oct. 3, 2009.

Jerry is survived by his son, Greg and wife Linda of Honolulu, Hawaii, and their sons, Chris and Tom; a daughter, Pam and husband Don Bredemeier and their son, Jake; and brothers-in-law, Webster Quinius and Robert and wife Arleen Moffett; and several nieces and nephews.

Services were held on Dec. 3, 2012, at Eastmoor United Methodist Church. Interment was in the Marion Cemetery. A memorial has been established with Eastmoor United Methodist Church.

 

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