February 2, 1931 - March 3, 2018
Marie Harper, of Trail, Oregon, passed away Saturday, March 3, 2018 from complications of cancer. She was born Gloria Marie Ragsdale February 2, 1931 in Klamath Falls, Ore., to Wilmer and Arlee (Damoth) Ragsdale.
The family, long established in the Upper Rogue Valley, was in Klamath Falls temporarily while Wilmer worked on a sawmill for the Weyerhaeuser Company. They soon returned to their home in Trail, on the north bank of the Rogue River, where Marie was raised, and spent most of her life.
As a child she worked on the family farm, picking strawberries and selling produce at a stand on Highway 62. She was in the first class taught at the “new” Trail Creek Grade School (later renamed Elk Trail), and she graduated from Prospect High School in 1949. She entered Oregon State College in 1949. While there, she joined Alpha Omicron Pi, and attended every home football game.
She married Merle Evans Harper the following year, and they settled in Trail, across Highway 62 from the family farm. They had two children, Teresa Runell and Rodney Merle, and she worked in the Elk Trail Grade School cafeteria, where her mother was the head cook. Later, she worked in the school office, and she kept the books for Merle’s logging business.
In 1964, when the Rogue River rose catastrophically, it left a basement full of mud and took out several trees, but left no lasting damage, and Merle and Marie soon re-established their home on the river.
She was not a joiner, but took great pleasure in family and friends, and devoted much of her spare time to gardening. The yard at her house was beautiful, varied, and meticulously maintained.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Merle; her brother, Arnold Ragsdale; and her grandson, Benjamin Joseph Lucas.
She is survived by her children and their spouses, Teresa and Chris Lucas and Rod and Karen Harper; grandchildren and their spouses, Ryan and Annie Harper, Stephanie and Evan Pogue, and Nick Harper; and several great-grandchildren.
She will be lovingly remembered as she was. Kind thoughts are appreciated as we honor her wishes for no memorial service.