Mr. Milton Francis Harper, age 93, of Blackshear, passed away Thursday morning (9/30/21) at his residence following an extended illness.
Born July 21, 1928 in Blackshear, he was the son of the late Elbert Frank and Katie Conner Harper. He lived most of his life in Pierce and Ware Counties and was a 1945 graduate of Waycross High School. He was a veteran, having served in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Spokane, Washington. He returned to southeast Georgia and worked for 35 years with the United States Postal Service, retiring as the Postmaster in Blackshear in 1985.
Following retirement, he served as Deputy Coroner for several years before being elected as the Pierce County Coroner from 2002 to 2012. He worked as a funeral assistant with Smith Funeral Home and Hart Funeral Home. Milton also served his community by working with the Election Board in Pierce County for many years.
Milton helped start the Hacklebarney Volunteer Fire Department, was a former member of the Waycross Lion’s Club, enjoyed fishing, and was a constant giver to the Red Cross Blood Drives in the area.
He was a dedicated member of First Baptist Church in Blackshear, having served many years as a deacon, attended the Men’s Fellowship Sunday School Class, had been one of the church bus drivers, and served on many other committees over the years.
Milton was deeply loved by his family and friends. He never met a stranger and made everyone he met feel special and loved. His love for the Lord was evident in the way he served his family, country, church, and many friends. Milton’s legacy of love will live on through the many people who were touched by his life.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-mother who raised him, Pauline Rowell Harper and a sister, Jackie Peacock.
Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Dottie Riggins Harper of Blackshear; 5 daughters, Mary Frances Cain of Cedartown, GA, Connie Hereford (husband Warren) of White Oak, GA, Vicky Strickland (husband Terry) of Waycross, Christy Williams (husband Charles) of Bluffton, S.C.,Nancy Smith (husband Hal) of Statesboro, GA and one “adopted daughter,” Sherry Lairsey of Blackshear; 14 grandchildren, Brea Mead (husband Mason), Joey Tison, Alicia Tison, Leah Southerland (husband A.J.), Lott Hereford (wife Katie), Caroline Fuhrmann (husband Richard), Jake Strickland (wife Heather), John Strickland, Cary Williams, Shawn Neal (husband Chip), Brandon Barber, Natalie Barber, Allison Dampier (husband David), and Ashlie Smith; 25 great grandchildren; a sister, Marcelia Lambert (husband V.J.) of Travelers Rest, S.C.; a brother, Philip T. Harper of Waycross; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
A funeral service will take place Saturday morning (10/2/21) at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Blackshear. Burial will follow in the Blackshear City Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the church on Saturday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, GA 31503.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at www.hartfh.com.
Hart Funeral Home in Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to Milton's family, please visit our floral store.