‹ Return to Current Obituaries
Send FlowersHand delivered by a local florist
Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees

Graveside Service

Fillmore City Cemetery
Tuesday March 31st, 2020

View Details

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Richard's visitation.

Richard Emmit Harper

Richard Harley Emmit Harper, 82, passed away Friday, March 27, 2020 in the Fillmore Hospital, Fillmore, Utah.  Richard was born August 21, 1937 in Big Thicket, Texas to Robert Bruce and Mary Sexton Harper.  He married Doris Mae Brown in 1956 (later divorced). He was married to Grace Barnard in 1957 (later divorced). Richard married Muriel Niskanen in 2005, in Wadena, Minnesota. She preceded him in death in 2007.  He married Darlene Madsen in 2015 in Kanosh, Utah where he lived out the remainder of his life.

Richard was raised and educated in East Texas on the Louisiana border. He joined the Air Force at an early age serving for 22 years. He was stationed in Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and other locations. Much of his time in the Air Force was spent at the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. He earned many decorations and medals including the Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters.  He served in the Vietnam War.  During his time in the military he served as an airplane mechanic and hospital medic.

He was also employed as an alligator and snake hunter in the state of Florida for a short period of time and had many hobbies including 3rd degree black belt, reading, music, dancing, travel, animals and outdoor life. His life was filled with many adventures! Family and friends were blessed to hear of his fearless and heroic adventures that he faced, experienced and witnessed during his lifetime.

Richard had 12 children; Vicky, Janina, Richard, Robert, Michelle, Roger (deceased), Domonique, Christine, Rodney, Damon, Christopher, Wendy.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Paul Galanos; wife, Muriel Niskanen, 4 brothers:  Ralph, Roy, Edward, and Royce, his half-sister Lefkothea Henson and son Roger.

 A family-only Graveside will be held Tuesday, March 31, 2020 in the Kanosh Town Cemetery under the care of Olpin Stevens Funeral Home. Online condolences can be offered at www.olpinstevensfuneralhome.com.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Harper, please visit our flower store.


I love your stories, Chris! This one made me laugh and cry. Thank you.

Christine Mar 30 2020 12:00 AM

My Father and Son Event lasted three weeks. I had dad living with me every winter for a few years. One year he bought an RV and I had to drive him back to MN, only because he was such a good driver that I didnt want other people on the freeways getting jealous of his driving skills. He was in such a big hurry to get back home to his cabin in the woods so we had to leave immediately. We left, he drove the first leg. We got about 70 miles until he needed to pull over because it had been too long since he had napped and needed to try his hand at fishing. We stopped at a reservoir in Malad, ID. It took us 6 hours to get that 70 miles. He fell asleep while fishing, of course. We then left from there at a hurried pace at four in the morning because he needed to get home asap. We made it another 80 miles before it was time to find a place to sleep for the night. Yes, the night. Early the next morning we then went to a massive reservoir at the bottom of the Grand Tetons called The Palisades, which took us another 6 hours to go that 50 mile distance. I then taught dad how to fish, properly. He caught so many fish. Bite after bite, after bite, he reeled them in. He caught a good 12 fish in about 45 minutes. He was a kid in a candy store. We went to our campsite and I cleaned the fish. We got about three fish and 16 million bones into the meal of the mushiest, boniest, white fish that I had ever had. Dad was so proud though of his masterfulness in this new sport that he had come to love. I called Amity to come join us, keeping in mind that it had been almost a week to make it where we were currently at, Amity made it there in just less than three hours! When we got half way through the fish, throwing most of it away because of the impossibility of getting all the bones out, a man comes by our camp with four, 28 inch Brown Trout. He asked out of curiosity if we were out of food. I said no, what would make you think that? He said, because those are bait fish that you are eating. They are supposed to be caught easily because they will eat a plain hook with no bait. You then chop them up and use the meat as bait for Rock Salmon or Brown Trout so you can actually get some good tasting, edible fish. That was, after all, how he got his fish. The man, as dad would love to call the many people we met on this trip, was a kindred soul. He offered us one of the huge Browns that he had caught and we then ate like kings. This was the first week of a three week trek to get to MN. In a hurry and with no shortcuts.
I love you Dad! I hope they have fish and other treasures waiting in heaven for you.
Love your loving and grateful son,

CHRIS HARPER Mar 29 2020 12:00 AM