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OBIT: Mr. Joe Harper, Age 89, Of Cookeville

Mr. Joe Harper

Retired Smith County businessman Mr. Joe Harper of Cookeville died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon January 24, 2018 at the Carthage Pavilion where he and his wife made their home for the last seven months.

Graveside services were conducted Saturday morning January 27th at 11 a.m. in the Garden of Gethsemane at Smith County Memorial Gardens. Bro. Bill Cowan officiated.

The seventh of eight children of the late Clyde Walter Harper who died June 9, 1965 at the age of 82 and Livie Green Betty Harper who died thirteen days later on June 22, 1965 at the age of 74, he was born Joseph Harper in Gordonsville on March 10, 1928.

Six siblings preceded him in death, Raymond Harper, Ethel Sykes, Lucille Nixon, Virginia Hackett, Robert Harper and Catherine Abernathy.

On November 12, 1949 he was united in marriage to Chestnut Mound native the former Maxine Wyatt.

They were preceded in death by their son, Joseph Stephen “Steve” Harper who died at the age of 45 on October 25, 1997 as the result of an accident.

Mr. Harper was a 1946 graduate of Gordonsville High School.

He was the former owner and operator of Joe’s Gulf Service in Carthage and he and his wife owned and operated the Green Hills Drive-In Theatre in Riddleton and the Plaza Burger in the Smith County Plaza in Carthage.

He was a member of the Gordonsville United Methodist Church.

Perhaps Mr. Harper’s greatest enjoyment in life was when for twenty five years he drove the Special Education bus for the Smith County School System.

Surviving in addition to his wife of just over sixty eight years is their daughter, Susanne Harper Massa and husband Dan of Cookeville; four grandchildren, Joey Harper and wife Sherri, Kelli McDonner and husband Mike all of New Middleton, Holly Dudney and husband Brain of Cookeville, Scott Massa and wife Maria of Mt. Juliet; nine great-grandchildren, Avery Harper, Garrett Dudney, Grace Williams, Cole Harper, Ella Dudney, Lily Haggard, Forrest Massa, August Massa and Kennedy McDonner; his last surviving sibling and the youngest of the eight children, a brother, retired Tennessee State Trooper Richard Harper and wife Carolyn Litchford Harper of Brush Creek.

The Harper family request memorials to the Jordan Hackett Foundation.

Sanderson of Carthage