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Kathleen Joyce Harper, 90, died Saturday, March 29, 2014, at the Liberal Good Samaritan Center. She was born on June 18, 1923, in Beaver County, Oklahoma, the sixth of eight children born to Nelson and Hattie (Droegemeier) Heitschmidt.

Joyce attended the rural Greenough School in Beaver County where she became active in the 4-H Club and the Greenough Home Demonstration Club. She graduated as the valedictorian of her class in 1941.

On April 25, 1943, she married M.E. "Pug" Harper and they settled in Liberal, where they were lifelong residents.

Joyce was a member of the Church of God, where she had become a Christian in 1947, and was very active in the church throughout her life. She taught Sunday School classes, Bible Study classes, and served as a church pianist for more than sixty years. She was particularly proud of her efforts to organize the establishment of the Heritage Room at the First Church of God.

For many years Joyce was a columnist for the Southwest Kansas Senior Beacon and was the director of the Liberal Senior Citizen Center's L.E.A.R.N classes. She was also a member of the Senior Center's Rhythmaires and had volunteered with Southwest Medical Center's auxiliary and the Liberal Good Samaritan Center.

She was a member of Women of the Church of God, the Kansas Author's Club, and Toastmistresses. She also maintained lifetime membership in the PTA and was a proud former Cub Scout Den Mother for all three of her sons.

Joyce was a lifelong learner, an elegant writer, and an avid reader. She read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation on several occasions, each time picking out new verses to memorize and new words to live by. In her spare time she also very much enjoyed the simple pleasures of cooking, home canning, and bird watching.

Survivors: 5 grandchildren- Stacy E. Harper, Bradley E. Harper, Darla Harper, Dustin L. Petrus, & Faye Marie Zimmerman. 7 Great grandchildren-Kyla Harper, Charlie Berkel, Tayson, Aaliyah & Asher Zimmerman and Keely & Kaia Petrus. 1 Sister Norma Gene King of  Pocatello, ID. 1 Daughter-in-law      Bobetta Harper       Liberal, KS

She was preceded in death by her husband, M.E. "Pug" Harper; her sons, Dale Eugene Harper, Dwain Ray Harper, and David Lynn Harper; sisters Neita Stalker, Erma Wallace, Violet DeWolfe, and Bertha Akers; and brothers Henry Heitschmidt and Donald Heitschmidt.

• Funeral Service:  2:00 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the South Church of God, Liberal. With Pastor Arlen Ankle presiding. Burial will take place at Liberal Cemetery.

Visitation: 1 pm - 5 pm Thursday and 9 am - 8 pm Friday at Brenneman Funeral Home.

Memorial Contributions: May be given to the South Church of God, In care of Brenneman Funeral Home

Condolences may be sent to the family at:



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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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