Harper, Marie M. (Mrs. Jolly)


1913-May 2001
Marie Harper died in Natchitoches, Louisiana and was buried beside her late husband, Jolly B. (Hunter Ross) Harper in Pineville, Louisiana. Marie received her education in Pineville, Alexandria, and Northwestern State University, Natchitoches.
She married Jolly B. in 1931 and they celebrated 67 years of marriage. They ministered as a team in the Louisiana Conference more than four decades, serving churches in New Orleans, Franklin, Cedar Grove, Bastrop, Ruston, Natchitoches, Opelousas and also the Alexandria District as District Superintendent. In retirement, they served Provencal, Flora and St. Maurice.
While in New Orleans (Second Ave. and St. Mark’s) the Harpers adopted three children. The first one, Barbara Marie, died at the age of three months. Marie lived life to the fullest and touched the lives of countless people with her gentle spirit and graceful manner. She fulfilled the role of a minister’s spouse in a dignified and loving way. She let Jolly B. know in the very beginning that “where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Her survivors include a daughter, Evelyn Marie Callia of Baton Rouge; one son, Ross Earl Harper of Natchitoches; a brother, Albert Moore, Jr. of Pineville; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
China painting and looking after Jolly B. seemed to be her main interests in life. She became proficient at both. The following words (by Natalie Sleeth, Methodist Hymnal #707) were used at her graveside service in the Pineville Greenwood Memorial Park, May 11, 2001:
Hymn of Promise
In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree; In cocoons, a hidden promise, butterflies will soon be free. In our end is our beginning, in our time, infinity;
In our doubt, there is believing, in our life, eternity. In our death a Resurrection,
at the last, a victory, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 2001, p. 253 By Henry C. Blount, Jr.

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