Willard “Buck” slipped from this world and his family on Monday, October 1, 2018 at his home in Otsego after a lengthy battle with cancer.
He was born May 27, 1932 in Otsego the son of Willard and Rose (Dawson) Harper. Buck was a lifelong resident of the area and had worked at Allegan Schools, Rockwell International, had his own business driving dump truck and at Valley Metal. He was a hunter and loved fishing, playing cards and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
On August 25, 1951 he married Bonnie Simington.
Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Bonnie; children, Shelley Campbell of Orangeville, Cheryl Caswell of Otsego, Bill (Patricia) Harper of Otsego, Vicky (Todd) Ziegler of Otsego, Steve (Mary) Harper of Otsego; Tom Harper of Indiana and Tina Harper of Otsego; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; with siblings, Al, Terri and Eleanor; many nieces and nephews and many extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, Terry Ann Harper; sons-in-law, Carlos Campbell and Robin Caswell; siblings, Bernard Harper, Thelma Brooks and Tom Walters along with his good friend Ivan Spencer.
According to his wishes cremation has taken place.
A memorial luncheon will be held at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, October 6, 2018, at the United Methodist Church of Otsego with an opening by Pastor Joe Shaler.
In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Buck may be made to
Wings of Hope Hospice
or to support his granddaughter’s mission trip.
Messages of condolence may be posted at
Offer Condolence for the family of Willard E. “Buck” Harper Jr.
Esta, John, Heather Nichols
October 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm
We are sorry to here about Bucky. May god be with you at this time. RIP Bucky
October 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Harper family I am shocked and saddened to learn Buck passed away yesterday….he was a funny and great guy who I had fun getting to talk to everytime I got to see him….take comfort in knowing he is pain free and causing trouble with Carl and
My Grandpa Buzz up in heaven…thinking of you all during this difficult time
October 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm
Harper Family: I am shocked and saddened to find out that Buck passed away but am relieved he is no longer suffering…i know he is up there in heaven causing trouble with Carl and my Grandpa Buzz….my thoughts and prayers are all with you during this difficult time…i will miss getting to see Buck and hearing him say “Well they will let anyone out in public won’t they” when he saw me
October 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Harper Family: I am shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of a wonderful and funny man…he always told it like it was and got the point across…i will miss seeing him out in public but I’m relieved that he is no longer in pain and he is up there in heaven causing trouble with Carl and my Grandpa Buzz my thoughts and prayers are all with you during this difficult time
October 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm
To all of Bucky’s family and friends, may God be with you during this painful loss and heartache. I would bet Bernie and him are sitting next to each other with fish pole in hand right now.
October 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm
I will always remember when I met Bucky.. he was working at Rockwell in Allegan and we were all at the Long branch… he was so funny & friendly… he taught me to put cashews on top of the bowl of popcorn they served… I don’t really like popcorn… but it makes the cashews last longer… so to this day it’s my preferred way to eat popcorn.. And I remember it’s Bucky’s way…
Little did I know I knew his children.. We went to school together… and then for his son to become my brother-in-law … my sister’s father-in-law… Bucky brought sunshine to so many lives along his life journey …
My prayer is for the Harper family, when ever times are at the hardest, think of the fun memories.. when he made you smile! Have a bowl of popcorn with cashews on top…
October 3, 2018 at 12:31 pm
Cheryl and family,
Sorry for your loss. My thought and prayers are with you and your family. Cherish the memories and know that he is good hands now.
October 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm
I CAN REMEMBER WHEN HE CARRIED ME ON HIS SHOULDERS TO SCHOOL IN THE WINTER TIME 3 MILES EACH WAY BECAUSE MY FEET WERE FROZEN WHEN WE LIVED ON THE 20 ACRES. LOVE& MISS YOU VERY MUCH !! RIP BROTHER BUCK. TELL EVERBODY UP THERE HI FOR ME. LOVE YOU!!!
October 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm
Harper family: So sorry to hear of Buck’s passing!! Larry always enjoyed talking to him about fishing when he would be walking and stopped by our house. I appreciated him coming to Larry’s visitation last October. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Lee and Diane Boysen
October 3, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Cheryl and families, We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your Father, Grandfather, Uncle and husband. We are sending you prayers of comfort during this most difficult time.
Trudy Simington Campbell
October 4, 2018 at 7:36 am
It’s been a hard year for a family with so much loss. Uncle Bucky, you were one of a kind and always such a funny guy. May you rest in peace. My deepest sympathies to all of the family. I hope you find a good spot fishing spot in heaven.
Lauri Krueger ( Seibert )
October 5, 2018 at 9:08 am
Harper family…..I feel like our lives have been strangely intertwined my whole life. I got my first kitten from you when your Mama cat came to our house in a storm when I was 5 or 6. Tom was on the fire department with my Dad. I’ve known Bill and Patty and Tina it seems like forever. I am so sorry to hear about Buck. He was such a constant and well known man in town. I always waved at him and your Mom while they walked. I’m sure they wondered who the crazy girl was. My family sends our love and good thoughts your way. <3
October 5, 2018 at 11:47 pm
I remember my dad having me try some popcorn with Worcestershire sauce. “Try some Tina, it’ll put hair on your chest” I remember saying to him, “but daddy, I’m a girl “ he would just look at me & smile!! Now that is the ONLY way I will eat popcorn, and I think Lisa Lynn eats it that way too!! See what you started dad!! R.I.P I love you!! My father, my friend…:Until we meet again…
Sarah & Ray Dendel
October 6, 2018 at 9:28 am
Love and prayers to the family. He was a great guy and will be missed. Won’t be able to be there but you will be in our thoughts
October 6, 2018 at 12:36 pm
So sorry for your loss. Been missing Buck, i knew him when i was a youngin. Then he became one of my many regulars at work. Miss the stories and the catching up on our families.
Jim and Tammy Thompson Drake
October 7, 2018 at 5:22 pm
Bucky will be missed so much, He used to come into the store where I worked and tell me all about his fish stories, With Bernard and his son Bill (which is my brother-in-law), and if it wasn’t his stories he would ask me if I had heard from his son Bill, my husband Jim, and my uncle Ron, because he hadn’t heard anything.. I would tell him, “ Oh don’t you worry Bucky if they caught anything the phone lines would be just a buzzing!” Bucky would laugh so hard! “Yep they would”!! Than I would get my hug, and Bonnie’s hug too, she would just stand back and smile thru it all till he stopped his yapping…and than they would leave and I would get to seen them a couple times a week!! love and hugs to all!! Group hug in heaven from all of us here on earth! (I know those fish story’s are going strong now in heaven)
October 7, 2018 at 10:15 pm
I remember the Bucky Harper family. My memory is of the family when the children were all very young. I actually attended county school with Bucky and his brothers an sisters. Many years have gone by since then, so sorry for the family I am sure he will be greatly missed. The last time I seen Bucky and Bonnie was at another old school friends funeral. I gave them both a hug and we talked a while. Prayers for the family.
May 28, 2019 at 11:05 am
Shelly, Tom, Tina and the entire Harper family,
Sorry for the loss of your father, he was a good man and I remember him fondly. I especially remember him coming to get Tom and I every time something happened on a camping trip many years ago.
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