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Ronald Forsythe Harper
Ronald Forsythe Harper (Ronnie) passed away on November 2, 2022. He was 93 years old.
He is survived by his loving wife, Nancy Westbrook Harper, devoted children, Jennifer Harper
Wilson, Peter Baxter Harper (Lisa Ranck Harper), Pamela Harper Meyer (Brian Ronald Meyer),
and grandchildren, Alexander Jeffery Wilson, Tucker Harper Wilson, Liam Westbrook Wilson,
Cole Westbrook Harper, Katharine Rose Harper, Payton Harper Meyer, Jack Brian Meyer, and Tyler
Ronnie was born in Philadelphia, PA on December 5,1928. He was the son of George Thomas
Harper and Helen Anna Quinlan Harper. The family moved to Mt. Lebanon, PA where Ronnie
spent his youth. Recognized for his upbeat behavior and positive attitude, Ronnie acquired the
nickname “Happy” (aka “Hap”) which enveloped his character for a lifetime. Following
graduation from Mt. Lebanon High School, Ronnie attended the University of Pittsburgh and
graduated in 1950 with a degree in finance. After college, he enlisted in the United States Air
Force and served his country at Keflavik Air Station in Iceland. Following his time in the Air
Force, he moved to Bryn Mawr, PA and worked as a financial analyst until becoming a business
Ronnie met Nancy at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in the young adult group called
Corinthians. He and Nancy were married on June 23, 1962. They lived in Bryn Mawr, PA until
moving to Devon, PA, where they raised their three children, and resided for 60 years.
Ronnie became an avid sailor after his retirement. He and Nancy kept their sailboat, “At Last”,
at North Point Marina in Rock Hall, MD and spent 20 years sailing the Chesapeake together
with their family and friends. They enjoyed spending several winters in Ft. Lauderdale, FL,
taking the boat down the Intracoastal Waterway in early fall. Stopping in small marinas and
meeting fellow sailors from all over the world highlighted their trips. Every day was a good day
on their excursions, even in rough seas when their beloved Cocker Spaniel would slide from
one side of the cockpit to the other, crawl up on Nancy’s lap, and place his paws on her
Ronnie took great pleasure in serving his community. During his younger years, he served on
the Easttown Township Planning Committee, was an assistant coach for his son’s football team
(the Strafford Eagles) and volunteered as Social Chairman at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.
After retirement, he spent much of his time with Habitat for Humanity through Paoli Presbyterian
Church. One of his favorite trips was to Gulfport, MS after hurricane Katrina where he and
Nancy ran Camp Hope for three months helping to meet the needs of hurricane victims. Ronnie
also served as a Deacon. He loved volunteering in the church kitchen during Winter Wonders,
chopping onions and wearing his Rudolph blinking nose to entertain the children. Paoli
Presbyterian was a place where he felt loved and connected. Ronnie was also a member of the
Trophy Committee at The Devon Horse Show. He loved escorting people into the ring to
present the trophy to the winners. The tradition and camaraderie of other volunteers was an
experience he looked forward to every year. He and Nancy were honored this May for their
years of service.
Family and friends were most important to him. Caring and providing for his wife and children
were his top priority. Spending time with his grandchildren was something he relished and took
great joy in their visits, entertaining them with stories from his life experiences. He especially
enjoyed yearly vacations on Hilton Head Island, SC. He was the happiest when his family of 16
was altogether where laughter abounded. The highlight of this year’s vacation was celebrating
his and Nancy’s 60th wedding anniversary, surrounded by family and doing the twist with his
eight grandchildren by the pool. A life well-lived. A life much loved.
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