Harry R. (Rodgers) Harpster

LEWISTOWN – Harry R. (Rodgers) Harpster, 82, of Lewistown, died at 11:31 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in the emergency room of the Lewistown Hospital.

Born on Jan. 15, 1931, in Reedsville, he was a son of the late Harry F. and Mary R. (Baird) Harpster.

In addition to his parents, Harry was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (Hess) Harpster, on Feb. 8, 1988, and a son-in-law, Richard W. Cross.

He is survived by his daughters, Marjorie Cross, of Frederick, Md., and Amy Carter and husband, Donald, of New Bloomfield, and three granddaughters, Megan Rae Cross, Sarah Elizabeth Carter and Allison Marie Carter.

Harry was known as “Jack” to his friends in Reedsville, Alfarata, Burnham and Paintersville.

He was a 1949 graduate of Lewistown High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Shippensburg State Teachers College in 1953, a Masters of Education from Penn State University in 1957 and then pursued doctoral studies at Penn State University.

He was a veteran of the Korean conflict, serving with the U.S. Army in the 8457th Military Police Company, Sandia Base, in Albuquerque, N.M. He served from June 1953 through May 1955.

Harry was a teacher in the Mifflin County School District, retiring in 1992 with 37 years of service. His classroom was selected in 1975 by Children’s Television Workshop as one of the models in developing the weekly segment for special needs children on the program “Sesame Street.”

In 1985, Harry was recognized by the United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania as an outstanding educator of special needs children.

He was a member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he was chairperson of a committee that established St. John’s Nursery School in 1980. He was a member of the Family Circle Class and a teacher of Family Circle, Augsburg and Ich Dien classes.

He belonged to the following organizations: Lewistown Lodge No. 203, Free and Accepted Masons; Lewistown Chapter No. 186, Royal Arch Masons; Mifflin County Historical Society; NEA-PSEA- Retired; AARP; life member of National Education Association and state and local Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees.

Harry was an avid reader, enjoyed crossword puzzles, woodworking and building furniture. He was adept at the following things until his central tremors took control of his hands several years ago: gardening, flower arranging, cooking, baking, crocheting afghans, making line drawn drapes, furniture re-finishing, upholstery and arts and crafts.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26, 2013, at Heller- Hoenstine Funeral Homes, Inc., Woodlawn, 200 N. Main St., Lewistown, with the Rev. Gary Roth officiating. Interment will take place in Juniata Memorial Park.

A viewing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 120 N. Main St., Lewistown, PA 17044.

Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.hellerhoenstinefuneralhome.com.