Orville “Pete” Harper

Orville “Pete” Harper of Sundance, Wyoming, passed into the presence of the Lord on May 25, 2012, after 92 years on this earth and a long, long losing battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 31, 2012, at the Sundance United Methodist Church. Burial will take place at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to benefit Gideons International.

Pete was born, raised and lived on the Harper ranch of rural Beulah, Wyoming. He survived his parents, Elmer Morgan and Eva Mae (McClelland); sisters, Vera Berniece and Leota Francis; brothers, Spencer Morgan, Cecil Elmer and Lorin Wendall. He is survived by his wife, June of Sundance; son, Gary Donald of Oregon; and daughter, Sherry Louise McGrew of Montana; and a host of nieces and nephews and relatives in the local area and across the United States.

Pete attended the Rocky Ford Rural School, the Sundance High School and the University of Wyoming before joining the United States Army Air Force in June of 1942. He was a twin engine fighter pilot and trained other fighter pilots, both American and Chinese, before being ordered to B29 very heavy bombers in July of 1945 and was separated in October of that year as a First Lieutenant. He married Wanda June Gregg on December 1, 1945 and started private ranching and farming and acquired and formed, with his wife, Red Ranch which is in operation to this day. During this time Pete was involved in local, state and national activities such as Crook County Farm Bureau, Redwater Farm Bureau, Redwater Conservation District, Rocky Ford Rural Telephone Company, Crook County Weed and Pest District and Powder River Weather Modification Association. He was a life member of the National Rifle Association, the Gideons International and a past member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and Warbirds of America.

Pete also enjoyed family and friends and big boy things like picnics, camping, swimming, fishing, hunting, teaching Gary to fly and flying charters, forest fire suppression, air ambulance flights, cloud seeding and whatever else went up. Pete was a patriot of the United States and was not ashamed of it.

He was active as possible to the end, he always said, he “wanted to wear out and not rust out.”

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapels of Sundance, Wyoming.

Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com