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Obituary: Harper, Donald Mitchell


Passed away June22, 2012 in Spokane, WA, age 88. Don was born May 8, 1924, in Winnipeg, Manitoba to George and Eva (Hall) Harper. Don spent his early life in Winnipeg, graduating high school there in 1942. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving from 1942-46. After completing military service, he enrolled at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1949 with a degree in Agriculture and Cereal Chemistry.
In 1950, Don married Joyce, his wife of 62 years. Don and Joyce moved to Los Angeles, where their three children were born. In Los Angeles, Don began a 36 year career in quality assurance manage- ment with the General Mills Corporation. Don’s job eventually took the family to eight cities across the West and Midwest and finally to Buffalo, NY.
Upon Don’s retirement, he and Joyce settled in Liberty Lake, WA. They have made many friends in the area and traveled widely throughout the world in the years since coming to live here in Spokane County.
Don was an athlete in his youth, a fine football player as well as a hockey player and skier. He was a lifelong golfer, probably his favorite sport. He built model railroads for many years and was an accomplished baker, producing bread and pastries with professional equipment in his basement kitchen. Don was very active in the Manito Lions club.
Don is survived by his wife Joyce (Cherniak) Harper; their children and spouses Deborah Harper and Robert Gilles; Scott Harper and Mary Jordan; Abigail Harper and Mark Flanegan; grandchildren Forrest, Frank, Jack Gilles, and Stella Gilles) Kent and Gwen Harper-Flanegan; and great grandaughter Auriana Kent.
Don’s family would like to thank everyone at Horizon Hospice and also the staff of Merrill Gardens at the Academy for their hard work and the excellent care they provided for him. The entire medical community of Spokane is to be commended and thanked, including his primary care physician Dr. Doering.
Memorial donations may be made to the Manito Lions club of Spokane, Attention Sight and Hearing Fund, P.O. Box 8748, Spokane, WA 99203, or a charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, August 9 at the funeral home chapel. Please visit Don’s on-line memorial at Arrangements entrusted to: