January 7, 2021
A funeral for Catherine Harper will be held at 10 a.m., Jan. 8, 2020, at Family Life Church. Catherine (Cathy) Larene Burge Harper, 80, while listening to her husband quietly singing, took the hand of Jesus and strolled with Him into the presence of her Heavenly Father at 5:15 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, following a 10-day battle with COVID-19.
Cathy was born on May 29, 1940, to Leland and Crystal (Edson) Burge in Superior. She attended grade school, junior high and high school in Superior, graduating from Superior High School with the Class of '58. Cathy earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education at Sioux Falls College (now the University of Sioux Falls) graduating in 1964. While in college she met and fell in love with Gordon Harper with whom she lovingly spent the next 59 years of her life. Cathy and Gordon married Dec. 22, 1961, and had three children, Bruce, Melanie and Duston. From these three came five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Cathy was a gifted teacher, strict but loving, and her students everywhere loved her. Her first teaching experience was during a year off from college in a rural two-room, eight-grade, school near her hometown with one other teacher. Her next contract was at a one-room, rural school outside North Platte, yes, with the pot-bellied stove and outdoor privy. She had other teaching assignments in Nebraska and Wyoming. Her last, and favorite years as a professional educator were at Heritage Christian School in Gillette, Wyo. Though gifted as a teacher, her greater assignment was as a partner in Christian Ministry with her husband, Gordon. Together, they pastored in churches in North Platte, Wisner and Superior Neb; Worland and Gillette, Wyo. Cathy enjoyed music and though never a soloist, liked singing alto in a women's trio, choirs and in a quartet with her husband and two of her children for a short time. She also sang with the worship team every Sunday for 20 years.
Cathy was not an 'up front' leader but in her own way brought a strength of character and wisdom to organizations and individuals wherever she was. Many have described her as a 'mother
to all.' She was invaluable to, and with, her husband in loving and caring for the people God placed in their care. Her other great love and hobby was gardening, especially flowers. She would care for hours for each flower bed she created. Her husband said there was never a weed she wasn't compelled to stop and pull. While not a master gardener, she was able to coax beautiful flowers out of stubborn soil and often uncooperative weather in Wyoming.
Cathy enjoyed the traveling that was afforded through church conferences and her husband's membership in two professional chaplain organizations. These conferences meant traveling all over the United States and Canada. She recently determined the only state she hadn't been in was Vermont. She further had opportunity to have been in Mexico, Germany, Austria and Ecuador.
Cathy enjoyed volunteering at Campbell County Hospital. She put on her vest and ID badge every Thursday morning to work at the welcome desk guiding people to various parts of the building. And, when necessary, transporting folks by wheelchair to their appointment locations. Cathy Harper will be remembered for her deep love of Jesus and confidence in her Heavenly Father. She was innocent of much of the world's ways and thinking and wise in the truths of her faith and God's Holy Word. She cherished her quiet time each morning, reading her Bible and talking to God. She prayed daily over a full list of people for whom she was concerned.
Cathy Harper is survived by her husband, Gordon; son, Bruce (Lori) Harper of Gillette, Wyo .; daughter, Melanie (Brett) Eble of Cambridge, Minn; and son, Duston (Karen) Harper of Gilbert, Ariz., as well as five grands, Nicole (Mike) Clemson of Blaine, Minn .; Jaclyn (Cody) McKinney of Gillette, Wyo .; Rachel Harper of Gillette, Wyo .; Jordan Harper and Natalie Harper of Gilbert, Ariz .; and six great-grands, Amelie, Rory, Aniya, Aerilee, Avyn and Maddox.
Cathy was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, her only sibling. In lieu of flowers the family requested memorials be made in Cathy's name to further the ministries of Roadway Alliance Church. Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, Wyo. 82716.
Condolences may also be expressed at http://www.gillettememorialchapel.com