Cover photo for David Harper's Obituary
David Harper Profile Photo
1943 David 2019

David Harper

May 7, 1943 — April 19, 2019

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. The 23rd Psalm

David Warren Harper (75) died Friday, April 19, 2019 as the result of an accident at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Mr. Harper, the youngest son of the late Albert J. and Gladys Smith Harper, was born May 7, 1943 in Dry Fork, West Virginia and was a 1961 graduate of Harman High School In West Virginia.

Mr. Harper joined the Air Force in 1964 and was stationed at the Dyess AFB in Abilene, TX as an Administrative Specialist. Dave was honorably discharged from active duty early to help run the family farm and was transferred to the Air Force Reserve.

Mr. Harper graduated from West Virginia University in 1970 with a B.S. degree in Social Studies, Health and Physical Education and in 1972 with an M.S. degree in Industrial Safety and Safety Education. One of his favorite career experiences was also his first, as a driver’s education teacher at East Fairmont High School, Fairmont, WV.  Returning to WV several years later, he was Associate Director for Insurance and Risk Management, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; he also held several high-level positions that encompassed industrial safety, construction safety, loss control and risk management that took him to PA, MI, OH, WV and MD. Dave held professional licenses and certifications related to OSHA Construction, First Aid and CPR, Steel Construction, Lead Renovation and Crane Operator Safety.

Beginning as a college student and continuing throughout the years, Dave invested in real estate, teaching his children important skills from an early age, and working alongside his skilled brother, Harold.  He was a licensed real estate agent with N.J. Realty, Inc. in Ohio and completed several real estate certification programs. He received awards from the national Robert Allen Real Estate Organization and was featured in one of their publications. His recent real estate portfolio, operated with his wife Nancy, includes several properties in Maryland, West Virginia, and Florida.

Dave was a proud 32-degree mason and was a member of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio (F.&A.M.), Community Lodge No. 684, Columbus, OH and The AASR Valley of Columbus Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

He was a warm, genuine, caring, loving, mischievous and self-less person who never met a stranger.  He could always come up with clever phrases and create funny situations that would instantly draw people to him.  He will be greatly missed by his family and a legion of U.S. and international friends who span several countries. Whether an acquaintance, colleague, employer, or tenant, everyone regarded him as a true friend who would drop what he was doing to help them. He loved to travel and visited many places in the United States, Canada, Grand Cayman Islands, and Mexico.  He most recently vacationed in Hawaii, and on cruises to England, Scotland, Ireland, and Cuba. He also enjoyed attending area theater productions and symphony concerts.

From his earliest days on the farm, he was very skilled, resourceful and acquired a strong work ethic.   Still vivacious, energetic and fit, he enjoyed landscaping and working outside, driving his John Deere tractor, remodeling houses, and fixing things.  He delighted in finding sales and bargaining for lower prices. His early years in the Assembly of God church and the influence of the love and deep faith from his wonderful mother and father, whom he adored, framed his spiritual life.

Family was extremely important to him and was shown in the many ways he supported every immediate and extended family member, particularly helping his ageing parents manage their farm. He put a priority on attending all the important events and celebrations for everyone.

Dave is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Nancy Valentine Harper, who shared 23 wonderful years with him as a best friend, partner, soul mate and true love. He is also survived by his devoted children, daughter Stacia J. Harper and son Christopher D. Harper, who live in Morgantown, WV, and are from his first marriage to Karen J. Vance Dorton.

He is also survived by two sisters and a brother, Collene Harper Eyth (Victor), of Mentor, Ohio, Phyllis Harper Nelson (Don) of Accokeek, Maryland, and a brother, Harold Harper (Carol) of Akron, OH. He is also survived by 9 nieces and nephews, Susan (Eyth) Szanyi, David Eyth, Daliene Shafer, Sharon Curtis, Keith Curtis, Julie Steele, Clara Fitzgerald, Charlie Harper, Laura (Harper) Atherton and several great nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, one sister, Rosalie Harper Curtis, who resided in Riverside, CA is deceased.

The family will receive friends at the Hinkle-Fenner Funeral Home, Davis, WV on Friday, April 26, 2019 from 6-8 p.m.  A funeral service will be conducted at the Dry Fork Assembly of God Church, Dry Fork, WV on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Ruth Bullwinkle, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Davis, WV officiating.  The family will also receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.

Interment will be in the Harper Family Cemetery, a few miles from Harman, WV.  Following the graveside service, a fellowship meal will be provided for family and friends at the Dry Fork Assembly of God Church Fellowship Hall, about 1 mile from the church and served by the church’s Women’s Ministry.

Contributions may be made to the Harper Cemetery Association, and mailed to Eleanor Harper Nestor, Treasurer, 7936 Dry Fork Rd., Hendricks, WV 26271, or to a charity or organization of choice.

Condolences may be sent to his wife Dr. Nancy Valentine Harper at 1112 McNeil Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20905, or by signing the electronic guest book at

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 26, 2019

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hinkle-Fenner Funeral Home

567 Thomas Ave, Davis, WV 26260

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Dryfork Assembly of God

, Dryfork, WV 26260

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Dry Fork Assembly of God Church


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