James Leovon Harper Jr. 1944 - 2021

    “The Pilgrim they laid in a large upper chamber, facing the sun-rising. The name of the chamber was Peace.” —Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress 

 Rev. James Leovon Harper Jr. Ph.D. passed from McMinnville, Oregon, into eternity with his Maker on July 17, 2021. He was under the care of the angels at Rock of Ages and the devotion of his wife of 58 years of marriage, Judy Harper.

Born May 3, 1944, in Tyler, Texas, James grew up in a large, loving family. He was a man of many titles and many accomplishments. He began as a student, receiving his Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana Tech University with a major in political science and a minor in history. He was a man of wild stories and unique experiences, even spending some time as a Senior Page in the White House during the Kennedy Administration. He went on to become an ordained minister and pastor who served several churches and mission organizations over the past four decades. He obtained a master’s in communications and Doctorate in Biblical Family Counseling, shepherding many congregations and leading them toward God.

While James was an educator and a man of much wisdom, he loved His Lord and his people most. He mirrored his Savior as a true “fisher of men." He played many roles and went by many names, but was best known as Paw-Paw.  A husband, brother, father and grandfather—his legacy lives on in his gracious wife, Judy Harper; his brother, Jack (Cathy) Harper; sister, Judy Patterson; brother, Jeff (Patty) Harper; brother, Jay (Melissa) Harper; son, James (Tina) Harper III; daughter, Jana (Dwight) Polivka; daughter, Jennifer (Patrick) Yonke; daughter-in-law, Karen Harper; 18 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He is lovingly reunited in Heaven with his father, James Harper; mother, Jeanne Harper; son, John Harper; and grandson, James Nathanael Polivka.

James lived life to the fullest. He was an avid gardener with a true green thumb, a fisher, a storyteller, and always had a good joke. He did not know the word “stranger,” but rather had a world of brothers, sisters and friends—impacting the lives of all those he met. Though there is much rejoicing in his most recent promotion to the “home office," the world is not the same without his legendary spirit of fun and vigor for the Lord. He will be greatly missed. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15.)

 In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to Rock of Ages Benevolent Fund MAIDS.

Memorial gifts can be sent to Macy & Son Funeral Directors, 135 N.E. Evans St., McMinnville OR 97128

A special thanks is given to Brighton Hospice for their excellent and caring service to James and family.

 A Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m. August 1, at Macy & Son Funeral Home.  To leave online condolences, please visit www.macyandson.com

 A second gathering will be an open house held from 1 to 3 p.m. August 22, at his beloved Grace Fellowship Church in Maple Park, Illinois.