Obituary: Olean Harper


Our dear mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Olean Harper, was called home to glory on May 7, 2023, and she will be sorely missed. Olean was well-loved and respected by her large family, many friends, and those in the community. She was a hard worker, a good friend, and a Godly example. She worked for 26 years at Fairview High School, and she affected many lives with her sweet and gentle spirit. No one could cook like Olean, and she could grow anything in her garden.

She loved flowers and had a talent for making her yard blossom with color. Her home was a safe haven for family and friends. Babies and animals were instinctively drawn to her, and she never met a stranger. If you agreed to play a board game, card game, or video game with her, you had to be prepared to lose because she would win every, single time, even after dementia had started to set in. In the years when dementia sometimes robbed her of her short-term memories, she remained sweet, gentle, and loving.

Olean was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, T.Q. Harper, and by her siblings, Helen Holloway, Hubert “Red” Hampton, Daryl Hampton, Clara Faith Hampton, Dorothy Miller, and Joan Bryant.

She is survived by her siblings, Jim (Renee) Hampton, Lester (Janice) Hampton, and Bernice (Donnie) Lambert, and by her children, Debbie (Cliff) Smith, Johnny Harper, Loretta (Robert) Rigdon, Jeff Harper, and JoAnn (Scott) Miller. Olean was known as “Mawmaw” to her 11 grandchildren: Amy (Bo) Alexander, Brent Smith, Laura Rigdon, Chase (Carmella) Rigdon, Stephanie (Jessie) Rodenberry, Freedom Harper, Meagan (Nick) Marion, Levi (Ally) Harper, Braxton Miller, Gage Miller, and Trey Miller. She was also a wonderful “Mawmaw” to her 9 great-grandchildren: Case, Noelle, Langley Alexander/Callen and Harper Rigdon/Annie and Carter Rodenberry/Callie and Colton Marion.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Cornerstone Revival Center, with the funeral service immediately following.