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Lonnie Dennis Harper

January 11, 1947 - December 2, 2016

Lonnie Harper passed away Friday, December 2, 2016 at his Medford home. A native Oregonian, Lonnie was born January 11, 1947.

When he was old enough to stand on a small stool, his parents, Jule and Ann Harper would bring him to their meat plant, Harper Meats, and Lonnie would stand on the stool at the butcher block and “bone out” meat using a screwdriver so he wouldn’t cut himself. Lonnie would continue to be involved until his parents died and the plant was sold and became what is now Cherry Street Meats.

Lonnie graduated from Medford Senior High School in 1965. He received an associate of arts degree from Shasta Junior College, a bachelor of arts degree in 1971 from Chico State, and his master degree in counseling from Cal State at Hayward in 1973.

In 1975 he began his career working for the Ashland School District as a guidance counselor at Ashland Junior High/Middle School and later as a Dean of Students.

Lonnie married Ann Bridenstine November 26, 1993. They had dated during high school, went their separate ways after graduation, then reunited. They celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary this past November.

Lonnie retired from Ashland Middle School 11 years ago. He enjoyed the school staff and the students to the point that after he had retired for a year, he returned to the school for another year.

Lonnie’s joys in life were his wife and his family. He loved driving rails and quads on the dunes. He enjoyed The Grateful Dead, Merle Haggard, NASCAR, morning coffee with “the guys” at the Phoenix McDonald's, and Corvettes. An avid patriot, he got immense pleasure from anonymously picking up the tab in a restaurant for those in uniform. All who were fortunate enough to share time with him were constantly entertained by his stories; funny but true things that happened to him throughout his life.

Lonnie is survived by his wife, Ann; two sisters, Judy Harper Crowe (Murray), Applegate and Jacqueline Harper Taylor (Greg), Medford; two nephews, Brent Crowe and Kelly Taylor (Olivia and Audrey); three nieces, Kellie Crowe Halsted (Rich, Allie, and Josh), Brenda Crowe Levitt (Scott, Skylar, and Dakota), and Rosie Taylor. He was also blessed to have “inherited” a loving family when he married Ann, Rich and Trish Bridenstine; nephew, Travis (Annie, Rhett, and Sloane); and Trish’s sons, Josh and Jason Freese. He also leaves behind his “adopted son,” Trevis Burns.

Our deepest appreciation to the Hematology and Oncology Associates. Everyone was so caring, respectful, and professional. Eternal thanks also to Rogue Hospice, Carrie, RN; Aleta, RN; Linda, RN; Kathleen; Holly, RN; RN; Warren, PT; Sue, Jennifer, Lori, and Robin.

In lieu of flowers, please remember Lonnie to Rogue Hospice or Southern Oregon Humane Society. If you have the opportunity, please honor him by “paying it forward” to our people in uniform.

II Timothy Chapter 4 Verse 7

I have fought a good fight,

I have finished my course,

I have kept the faith.

We invite you to join us to share time and special memories from noon to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Plaisance Ranch, 16955 Watergap Road, Williams, Ore. Help us celebrate his 70th birthday! (1-11-47 to 1-11-17)

Lonnie Dennis Harper