ForeverMissed
Warren Charles Harper (81) passed away peacefully on September 22, 2020 after a seventeen day battle with COVID-19 pneumonia and many serious complications.  Warren was born in Neosho Falls, KS on September 4, 1939, the youngest of three sons of Charles H. Harper and Elizabeth Fontella Toot Harper. He grew up in Wichita, KS graduating from North High in 1957. His professional degrees included a Bachelor of Science with a major in Watershed Management from Colorado State University (1965) and a Master of Science from Oregon State University (1969). He always had a strong work ethic and a love of the outdoors which drew him to a professional life of Forest Management and Water Quality Management. Warren worked for the US Geological Survey, Weyerhaeuser Company and the US Forest Service where he retired as Director, Watershed and Air Management in 2002.  

In 1959, he married Janet Larrick (divorced) and had three children. Kim Maureen Brannan (1961) (Mike); Mark Allan Harper (1963) (Jennifer); and Stephen Paul Harper (1970) (Lisa). In 1980, he and Edlu Thom moved from Washington State to Virginia with Edlu’s children, Brent Christian Allert; Trisha Liane Frye (Tim); and Traci Deanne Shank. Their large bi-coastal family includes thirteen grandchildren: Heather Brannan; Amy Brannan Foster (Corbin); Sean Brannan (Maritza); Ryan Frye (Kristin); Rachel Frye Houde (Evan); Taylor Allert; Zachary Allert; Lindsay Shank; Kyle Shank; Tommy Shank; twins, Morgan and Mackenzie Harper; and Nathan Harper.  In addition, their growing family includes seven great grandchildren, Austin Brannan; Ben, Josiah, Noah and Sadie Foster; McKenzie Frye; and Hallie Rae Houde. Two more great granddaughters are due the end of 2020, one to be named Harper in Warren’s honor.

Warren is survived by his wife and companion of 43 years, Edlu Thom-Harper; six children; thirteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and his two brothers, Ken Harper (Neleen) of Albuquerque, NM and Maurice Harper (Judy) of Conway Springs, KS as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles H. Harper (1994) and Elizabeth Fontella Toot Harper (1970); one granddaughter, Rebecca Anne Brannan (2002) and great granddaughter, Melanie Faith Frye (2014).

Warren and Edlu have spent twenty-five years living in Friendship, MD on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay where they enjoyed boating and the beautiful nature surrounding the Bay. Warren was known for walking two miles around the Herrington Harbor South Marina five days a week with his dog, Amber.  Boating on the Chesapeake Bay in their trawlers, Eden and Eden II, was a  big part of their life for many years. They were members of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Ridge, MD where Warren served as Director and Officers, including Commodore in 2006.  They are members of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Lothian, MD, where he served on the Vestry for three years.

In retirement, Warren and Edlu enjoyed many travels with good friends to Mexico, Africa, China, Peru, Ecuador, England/Scotland, Germany, Austria, Holland, France, Italy, Costa Rica, the Holy Lands.  The Caribbean was always special to the couple as they eloped on St. Thomas, USVI at the Limetree Resort, the timeshare they owned for many years.   Africa was a favorite, having traveled there on two occasions visiting Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.  Seeing and photographing the "Big Five" and meeting the wonderful African people were experiences never to be forgotten.  The couple also enjoyed cross country trips in their RV with their precious pets, Amber and Sophie, visiting friends and family along the way.  Warren, through work and vacations, made it to all fifty states.

Warren was a devoted husband, father and grandfather that loved his family mightily. His friends and family knew him as a kind, gentle soul, with a ready smile -- "one of the good ones."  He will be missed by many. 
       
A celebration of life is planned when it becomes safer to gather together.  Meanwhile, please use this site to share your memories, stories and photos of Warren.   

Memorial donations can be made in memory of Warren C. Harper to:

AAMC Foundation, 2000 Medical Parkway, Belcher Pavilion, Suite 604, Annapolis, MD  21401.  Please designate that it go to the "Community Response Fund" for COVID-19 care. In addition here is the website where friends and family can make donations if they prefer to use a credit card.
 Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay whose mission is to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve the lands and waters of the Chesapeake watershed.  https://www.allianceforthebay.org/donate/

 






Posted by Amy Edwards on October 22, 2020
I have known Edlu and Warren for 40 years, which is why saying goodbye is so difficult. Warren was such a loving and gentle soul. He would do anything for Edlu and the other members of the family. I remember when they first moved to Arlington in the late 1980's, and later to Vienna, and even later to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Each home was unique but welcoming. And Warren insisted upon doing all of the home improvement projects himself! (I wanted to rent him out). He was SO devoted to Edlu. He would drive her to our monthly Forum lunches in the District (and patiently wait to pick her up). That is love! I enjoyed celebrating Edlu's ** birthday on the Potomac a couple of years ago, with family and friends, and I am so glad that Edlu was able to organize a month long celebration of Warren's 80th birthday. May you continue to watch over us from heaven, Warren. We miss you deeply.
Posted by Janice Owen on October 20, 2020
What a joy to have met you, Edlu, and Warren and to have become your realtor helping you purchase the lot next door to me and Wayland and for you to have had our builder, Buddy Groves, build your gorgeous home with the most magnificent views of the Chesapeake Bay in Chesapeake Overlook! It is hard to separate you and Warren as we were always with the both of you. You two became Chesapeake Overlook's "Hospitality Couple" as you opened your home to welcome new neighbors and to have Association Meetings for which I must thank you both as you and Warren were always wam and welcoming host and hostess.

Thank you both for being such good, helpful, and caring neighbors to me and Wayland who passed on March 11, 2020 to be with Jesus. Warren's was a life well lived which is a blessing forever! In sympathy, and in memory of Warren who was so loved! ! !
Posted by Larry Schmidt on October 16, 2020
Warren, a friend and colleague of many years, worked on the Santa Fe National Forest when I first encountered him. As I recall he was on his way to a new Job on the Pike NF. Warren was one of the first wave of hydrologists hired by the Forest Service in the 1960's during the International Hydrologic Decade. Many of Warren's colleagues gathered in Denver for a sedimentation conference in the mid-70's. That was one of my first opportunities to get to know Warren. Warren had a reputation for quiet competence. In meetings he was able to add some depth of knowledge to any discussion. When Warren took a job with Weyerhauser I felt the Forest Service had lost a valuable talent. Warren added his expertise to Weyerhauser and stayed active with the hydrology community.  Warren's reputation as a knowledgeable contributor made him welcome at meetings dealing with the Clean Water Act and forest management issues. When positions opened up in the Forest Service National Office many of Warren's colleagues advocated for him to take the job. Fortunately for the Forest Service, Warren took the Washington, DC job. He became part of the famous Harper / Delk HIC tag team. (One of the insider jokes)  HIC being the abbreviation for "Hydrologist in Charge".  At that time in the Washington Office there was a belief that there must be a hydrologist on duty during all working hours.
In the mid 1980's I joined Warren on the Watershed Staff. Warren was helpful in getting me oriented and was generous in his advice on how to navigate the Washington Office. Phyllis and I have many fond memories of the generous hospitality that Warren and Edlu offered. We especially remember our Wolf Trap concert outings. Warren was instrumental in designing a unique joint project with Research to deal with the emerging In-stream water right issues in Colorado and the western US. I was fortunate to get the job that Warren had skillfully designed. It was the best and most interesting job of my career. Warren's support and advice were key to the success of the STREAM unit. After retirement we were fortunate to join Edlu and Warren for a river cruise up the Rhine and Down the Danube to Vienna. We also enjoyed our shared post cruise tour of Austria and Germany. Over the years, Warren was like an older Brother offering a cheerful outlook, helpful advice and positive encouragement. I'm remembering so many adventures and many good laughs along the way working with Warren. Warrens 8oth Birthday gathering with long time friends was a memorable and heartening event. Phyllis and I will continue to savor that memory. Warren was a special friend and will be greatly missed. Rest in peace Warren.

Posted by Al Todd on October 16, 2020
As a Hydrologist with the Forest Service, I first met Warren on a trip to the WO in DC. Headquarters can be an overwhelming place to visit from the "field" and my first trip in, I felt a bit out of place. Warren went out of his way to be a gracious host and as I came to learn always tried to make people feel at home. In the years that followed, I moved to the east coast and found myself in the WO on an assignment or two where I got a chance to work more closely with Warren who became a mentor of mine and always a sound advisor. 

When Warren retired from the Forest Service we lost touch for a time until we unexpectedly met at a church event where my band was playing music. it was such a joy to get to know Warren all over again outside of work and the last 6-7 years we were able to reestablish a new connection and renewed friendship. 

Last year, I was lucky to be included by Edlu in a gathering for Warren's 80th Birthday when we shared fellowship and stories of the "old days" with other hydrologists from the Forest Service.  Thinking back to that time, it is so hard to believe that Warren is gone. His smile, humor, joy for life, and genuinely good soul will be missed. I count myself lucky to have know him.
Posted by Andrew Leven on October 14, 2020
I worked with Warren when he was in the Washington Office of the Forest Service and I was Director of Watershed Management in Pacific Southwest Region 5, California. When we needed extra help or support, we could always call Warren because he could be counted on to get the job done in a calm quiet way, never looking for glory or adulation. Warren saved my bacon several times, (too detailed to recount here!).  I join others in the realization that Warren was “one of the good ones”.  Yes, he will be missed, but his memory remains in our hearts. We will join Warren again in Heaven where we can all share a high quality, cool glass of water from our National Forest Watersheds that he helped to protect
Posted by Rick Sass on October 12, 2020
Bobbie and I first met Edlu and Warren when we were members of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Ridge Maryland in the early 2000’s. We discovered we had a lot in common including a love to travel. We ended up going on trips together to Machu Pichu, The Galapagos, Tanzania, Zanzibar, China and Sedona. We also watched the 2008 election returns together at their house in Friendship Maryland. What wonderful times we had. We are still numb at the thought that Warren is gone. We loved to discuss politics, boats, travel, history, technology and so much more. What a smart, knowledgeable, interesting and humorous friend. He is so missed.
Rick and Bobbie Sass
Posted by Robert Delk on October 11, 2020
Warren and I met in 1978 when we had both been hired by the Forest Service to work on the chief’s watershed staff. We had both been recruited by Mike Barton whom we both thought would be a great person to work for.  Unfortunately, he left very soon after our arrival and was replaced by Bob Tracy who was totally opposite of Mike. This resulted in the entire staff gathering at an Arlington saloon to discuss how to deal with this guy.

Warren and I were the only single guys on the staff and we lived close by so we stayed longer and talked about other more interesting subjects which led us to sailing. Neither of us had sailed before but here we are near the Chesapeake Bay. How hard could it be. Warren found a good used 22 footer so we each put in 50% and bought it. We were each captain every other weekend. The idea was the captain could pick the location and have visitors. That turned out to be useless because it did not matter where we went and we were both single so did not have any family or important friends to take out for a sail.

We went to a number of spots on the bay influenced by our home docking. 
The first summer we were in Annapolis and then moved to Deale; Our favorite placed included Tilghman island and St. Michael’. Tilghman was wonderful 40 odd years ago. One could tie up over night at no cost, use the shower for free and then eat in great restaurant. St Michael was also fun but a bit more expensive and more people’

When I got the chance to move back to Montana in 1981, I took it. Warren bought my half of the boat and kept sailing. Unfortunately since I was gone he forgot my teachings- never be in an engine powered vessel. He forgot that and went big motor. Obviously, with a good friend you over look their errors and get on with it. Some years later my wife, Carey, and I visited
Warren and Edlu in their home in Friendship, MD and we took a short trip on the monster. I must admit, it was quite fun. Maybe Warren had it right after all.

Posted by Alice Rector on October 11, 2020
I met Warren through my husband who worked with him at the US Forest Service. We had the privilege of sharing wonderful times with EdLu and Warren here in Walnut Creek and in Friendship. One of my favorite memories was our visit to their lovely home. A unexpected snow storm was predicted and these CA pals had not seen one in quite awhile. So we gathered our beverages, bathing suits and headed for the hot tub to Truly experience every snowflake. The Harpers were up for any antic and we loved always being with them to share treasured times. Warren’s quick smile and gentle friendship will always bring a smile to my face. He is in heaven advising the Lord on Water Quality and BMP’s.
Love to his adoring family and wishes for peace and strength
Posted by Paulette Pidcock on October 10, 2020
I knew Warren through Edlu, my friend of many years. My husband and I shared time with Warren and Edlu...and the guys instantly liked each other. They were so similar...quiet and strong, loving and devoted to their wives, and we all loved boating. Warren - you will be missed so deeply. May God watch over Edlu and your large family and help them through this time of sorrow and grief. Paulette P.
Posted by Lucy McCrillis on October 10, 2020
Oh Warren…you are gone too soon. I miss you friend. Everything your children and grandchildren have said already are precisely my words. You are the warmest, kindest, gentlest of men. Being around you brought delight, happiness and peace. We always loved hanging with you and Edlu on L Dock those first years we met you. We loved that you lived near. We loved our boating outings with you, sharing Thanksgivings and evenings together. We loved seeing you that last time in Annapolis for dinner as we embarked on our great Looping adventure. You were so enthusiastic for us. Never thought for a moment this would be the last we’d lay eyes on you, share a toast and depart with much affection and hugs. Bless you old friend. I know we will see you again and enjoy a toast together on the upper deck overlooking some extraordinary sight beholding the beauty of the Lord and his magnificent world. Bless you. Love you and desperately miss you.  Lucy, John and Brian
Posted by Cheryl Tucker on October 9, 2020
Warren was such an exceptional man. He epitomized the definition of a gentleman with his calm quiet always classy manner. He was such a dear friend for nearly fifty years. Since George and I live on the west coast and he and Edlu lived on the east coast, whenever we all got together there was a fun vacation atmosphere. My very special memory of time with them was our trip to St Thomas for their wedding. After many years of being together, they were such happy newlyweds! Their's was a deep love that was obvious to anyone who knew them. I am so grateful we were a part of that experience.
Warren was probably my favorite democrat. He was so intelligent and always listened to my views even if they differed from his own. He also was a man of faith who liked to discuss scripture. He and George loved eating oysters, looking at boats, cars, trains, or anything mechanical while Edlu and I shopped and talked incessantly. I will miss him so much. I'll miss the four of us being together. 
Warren I want to say thank you so sincerely for being such a good friend and for loving my dear friend Edlu so devotedly. Please pray for all of us, especially Edlu and all your family as we try to cope with this great loss! You were and are still greatly loved.
Cheryl and George Tucker
Posted by Dean Lewis on October 9, 2020
Warren and I enjoyed many conversations together from about 2009 onwards. He had an inquiring mind, sensitive soul and abundantly warm heart. He loved God and sought to do the right thing. We shared many interests and Nan and I were the recipients of his supreme generosity and together with Ed Lu, were showered with their love.
Posted by George Pickart on October 9, 2020
I recall so many wonderful conversations with Edlu and Warren at coffee hour at St. James’ Parish on Sundays. Warren was truly a gentleman; kind, intelligent, thoughtful, and so well traveled. He was universally liked and respected by all of the Parish members. While our discussions typically lasted no more than 20 minutes, they were rich, warm and enlightening. I think I knew him well and am certain he was a loving husband and father. I looked forward to seeing him every week, and learning something new and interesting. My heart goes out to Edlu and all of Warren’s extended family and circle of friends. I hope you will all find strength in many happy memories of such a wonderful man.
Posted by Sue Grant on October 8, 2020
There are no words to adequately describe the loss of this extraordinary man. Warren was my neighbor for a long time and I got to know he and Edlu well- words that come to mind are kind, gentle, compassionate, generous, empathetic, tireless worker, patient, animal lover etc etc. The poet John Donne said that each man’s death diminishes us- we are so diminished by the loss of this good decent man. My heart aches for Edlu and the family- I hope that all the goodness he gave will somehow bring peace and comfort to all- I will miss him and remember him all the remaining days of my life- and remember his smile- especially when toasting with a martini or cold beer. Rest In Peace kind soul.
Posted by Carey Matovich on October 8, 2020
Warren was a very special man — we always enjoyed our visits to see Warren and Edlu (and their trips to see us), along with our travels. We miss him very much and think of him often. I never saw him angry, never saw him frustrated — just enjoying all that life had to offer. Rest In Peace, dear friend.
Posted by Traci Shank on October 8, 2020
Warren, my stepdad, had been in my life since I was 5 years old. I didn’t appreciate him much while growing up because he was so quiet and seemed uninvolved. As an adult, that changed, because I was able to understand that he was just quiet and that he stood back, and let everyone else shine while he took it all in, and that was just his way. My life is full of wonderful adventures such as camping, hiking, traveling and driving across the United States when we moved from WA State to Virginia. My kids are also blessed to have many of these memories with their Papa and Gramu. They especially loved Papacakes and Papacorn.

Warren loved his family so much and we knew we could count on him for anything. He was our rock. A wonderful husband, who loved my mom deeply, dad, stepdad and especially papa!! At our family dinners together, Warren would do our prayer because he did such a beautiful job. It would touch my heart each time because I would watch is eyes fill with tears and emotion because he was so thankful for his family and his life.

Our hearts are breaking that COVID-19 took you from us, Warren/Papa. Although, I know you will still be loving us and watching over us, probably with a bowl of popcorn, in heaven. We miss you so much and we will always love you!! Blessed to have had you in my life and my kids lives.
R.I.P Warren/Papa
Posted by Traci Shank on October 8, 2020
From granddaughter Lindsay Shank....

The first thing I want to say is thank you, thank you for your kindness, thank you for caring so much, thank you for being there for my mom when her dad couldn't, thank you for being there for gramu and making her feel so special, beautiful and loved, thank you for being a great papa, thank you for everything you did, but most importantly thank you for your love. Papa you had the biggest heart, you loved everyone so much and we are so thankful for that. I'm sorry that people couldn't be more careful, I'm sorry that people didn't listen when they said people are dying from Covid, I'm sorry no one cared enough, I'm sorry that you didn't get to give anyone a proper good-bye, but I'm mostly sorry that the last time I saw you, I was too focused on my phone and not my family. I wish we got to have one of our long talks about life and history because you were so smart, I wish I hugged you more, you always gave the best hugs. Things will be so different without you. I'll miss your pancakes, our trips to DC, the shows we went to, I'll miss the way you smile and the way you laugh. I'm gonna miss you papa! I know you are in a better place now, I know you aren't in pain anymore, I know you will always look out for me and my family. I still can't believe you're gone, it's not real, I want to wake up and go to your house and see you sitting in your chair smiling, or you coming in from taking Amber on a walk. I love you papa. saying goodbye to you was one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with. I've never lost someone this close to me and I will never ever forget you, you will always be in my heart. I love you papa. Thank you!
Posted by R Shank on October 8, 2020
Warren, you will be truly missed. I admired you greatly.  Thank you for being such a generous, kind, gentle, curious, measured soul. Thank you for the boat cruises.  Thank you for your hospitality. Thank you for caring so much about your family.  Thank you for being a friend to my parents.  Thank you for caring so much for my kids and being a role model they will never forget.  Thank you for all the trips and time you spent with them. 

I am glad to know you had great faith.  I am glad to know you are certainly with the man upstairs.  Your legacy will live on within all you touched. 

My deepest condolences to you Edlu and the Harper, Brannan, Shank, Allert and Frye families and everyone who loved you.  I think the list is long. 

What a great loss. What a great life well lived.  We will miss you Warren and hope to meet again.  

Rest In Peace,
Rob
Posted by Lesa Kjellberg on October 7, 2020
Uncle Warren,
   Although I didn’t know him that closely, I do remember meeting them and uncle Kenny’s family, along with Grandad Harper in Colorado one summer. We all were camping, cousins were playing as kids do, or not! Evening time we all gathered around the campfire, uncles aunts cousins as well as granddad Harper. I believe we were sharing ghost stories and such, uncle Warren spoke up and said he had a story for us all. He said he had been doing some family research , or genealogy. Next he proceeded to tell us all that we were related distantly to President Andrew Johnson. All of the kids were very excited to be related to a president, then after getting home and doing some research on my own, I found that he is not the best pass president to be related to! But at the time I thought it was very neat that we could be related to a president. And also on that camping trip cousins Kevin Harper Brian Harper Mark Harper all went on a souvenir buying trip, and they came back with onion gum! Yuck they thought they would be sneaky and offer some of the gum to granddad Harper, so they went up to him and said granddad we bought this gum it’s really very good hoping to trick him so he took a stick of the gum and chewed it and express to the boys what wonderful gum it was ha ha!!!, Later to find out the Uncle’s had told granddad about the boys gum buy!!!!
That’s my best memory of uncle Warren, but I always dearly loved he and Janets daughter, Kim Harper. I remember when they lived in Colorado near the garden of the gods, Kim and I would go out in front of the house and uncle Warren‘s jeep and pretend to drive it while smoking candy cigarettes!!!!
Love you uncle Warren, rest in peace!!!!❤️
Posted by JoEllen Kelly on October 7, 2020
I was not privileged to know Warren as a family member; therefore I cannot speak to the loss and pain of this family.

But, I can say this.

Warren should still be alive, traversing the US and the world with his beloved Edlu. Please, please use this as an object lesson to follow the guidelines to protect yourself and your own family and friends. Wear a mask and emulate Warren and be outside as much of the time as you can. Wear a mask, etc.  
Posted by Maurice Harper on October 6, 2020
I am the middle brother. Growing up as kids on Vassar in Wichita. We had this wonderful, big pear tree in our back yard. There was not a speck of grass around the tree because the two of us used this space in our play with trucks, shovels, etc. This wonderful tree provided ample shade and an abundant crop of pears which fell to the ground. The pears attracted bunches of honey bees which the two of us decided were "baby" bees and should be collected in Mason jars. Mom told us that the "baby' bees would "come back to bite us". I don't know how, but we were never stung. Another story, we were on Grandad Toot's farm riding bareback, double on a horse that Grandad bought for us named "Jewell." Which to us she was a Jewell, but I'm sure was an old "grey mare" As we were loping across the pasture, we both fell off. We were unhurt, except Warren unfortunately fell into a cactus plant and spent the remainder of the afternoon, with Grandma pulling the spines out with tweezers.
Fast forward a few years, "little" brothers are supposed to get Hand-Me-Downs. This seemed to work in the opposite for the two of us. I bought Warren's 1st car from him - which made his first car my first car. For a period of time my wife (Judy) and I inherited his horse "Stormy" which we kept in Judy's parent's barn. We enjoyed both a lot. Somehow, Warren seemed to accumulate the coolest toys and was more than willing to share with us, including a WWII Willis Jeep(painted bright red with a brush, a Cushman Eagle Motor Scooter which he purchased in a bushel basket (some assembly required.) Fast forward a few more years - Warren, always looking for adventure, set off for Florida to seek his fortune by acquiring a 3-masted schooner so he could cruise the south seas. After this "prodical son" spent his last dime and was sleeping on the beach, he sought help from Mom & Dad so he could find his way home. More years, Warren came home feeling quite haughty with his golf hat, dressed to the nine, smoking a cigar. Mom, watering her flowers in the back yard, observed his approaching figure and without a word, proceeded to "hose him down". This burst his balloon.
I believe these stories tend to show his adventurous side. I could go on with more unbelievable stories, some better not told. We loved him much and will surely miss him.
Going to miss all of his "guidance" ???? Love for ever, Maurice & Judy
Posted by Kenneth Harper on October 5, 2020
Warren Charles Harper my youngest brother in law. I guess other than his two brothersI have known him the longest of any family member and always had a special attachment to him. As young people we seemed able to let our hair down at the end of the day and talk about everything including religion, politics, family and life in general. We had some wonderful exchanges of ideas, thoughts, life principles, and dreams. We were so very young and full of things to come. Life became very hectic and full of the moment. It is hard to know now if Warren’s most desired dreams became reality or not.
I would surmise that Warren never stopped dreaming or planning for the future. He had already achieved the real important things in his life. His religious ideals, his career , his toys and most of all his family. Everything else was frosting on his cake. Happy Birthday Warren Love Neleen Harper
Posted by Kenneth Harper on October 5, 2020
Kenneth Harper the oldest brother remembering Warren
On Wednesday September 2 2020 at 10:33 AM two days before Warren’s BD I called him and found him available to talk. This now seems to me it was Devine providence. We can now see that it was probably after his contact with COVID but before any knowledge for what was in store. We talked for over an hour about everything but political issues. It was just a BD greeting. The conversation reminisced some of the events of the 1960s when our families had many experiences together. Warren was starting his College degree at Colorado State at Fort Collins and I had just finished more tour in the Air Force. We were in Albuquerque and Warren was located in Denver and then Fort Collins working to establish residency in CO for British American Oil company in Geological mapping then later for Ideal Cement in Fort Collins logging geological data while going to school and starting his family with Kim and then later with Mark. The families were very close during the school years. After graduation they located in Santa Fe, NM where Warren worked for the Forrest Service in the field evaluating watershed data. This involved weeks at a time living in the field in primitive cabin and tents with his government supplied horse and his Lab Pete. He would sometimes join us for the weekend in a campground. On one occasion Maurice’s family joined in. He then moved to Colorado Springs and worked for the Forrest Service in the field. During this time, I think he discovered a Department of Agriculture program that would provide for an Engineer to serve in certain areas of watershed management and then ultimately to a College for an advanced degree. He applied and was accepted which explains his locations in California and later Oregon. He delayed his start in the program and extended his time in Colorado Springs while our Mother was fighting cancer for most of two years in Wichita KS so that he could be close for the several trips home. Our family then made trips to visit him in Los Gatos CA and Corvallis Oregon. I believe he was with the National Coast and Geodetic Survey in California. When we were there he showed me the San Andres Fault. In Corvallis Oregon we attended a get together to celebrate the completion of his course work for a PHD. I found the work he was doing as a basis for his dissertation in the effects of clear-cutting on-stream flow and the spectrum of effects on biology and stream flows. He was using radioactive particles to determine channel characteristics and velocities. His employment at Weyerhaeuser where he worked under Ruckelshaus was a key to his move to Washington. When our Father was facing his leg amputations Warren came to manage his needs to allow Neleen and I to go to Spain to meet our new Daughter in law and first Grandchild. We remember the great family get to gathers in Wichita before our Mothers death and the Reunions in Albuquerque and in Breckenridge CO before our Fathers death.
Posted by Ryan Frye on October 4, 2020
It’s still hard to believe that I’m sitting here writing this. I’m so lucky that God put me in this family and made you my Papa. Im so happy I facetimed the morning of your birthday as we were pulling out of port to head back out on patrol. I just remember feeling that I needed to call even though I called the night before. I’m so thankful for all the memories we have together. All the effort you and Grammu put into being grandparents. The long days, the long nights, the long trips, from the big things to the Little things like making me Mickey Mouse papacakes. You just loved doing it, you loved being there, you loved me and it never went unnoticed. Not just for me but every single one of your grandchildren. I’ll never forget all the boat rides we took. I’d like to thank you for introducing me to the water( I don’t think my career choice would have been the same without you.). I absolutely love being out on the sea. All the adventures we would go on. San Antonio, Texas still some of my favorite memories of you. Riding horses, giant fires visiting the Alamo. Taking me to Chicago to see the Cubs play in one of the oldest remaining ballparks where I got to meet Sammy Sosa. But my all time favorite is seeing how much you loved Mckenzie and how much she loved you. It’s so special to me that the last time we got to see you I was home for the 4th of July to fly over the White House for Salute to America we had 2 days of solid time together and before we left Kenzie got to make here cement hand prints. She made you a Mickey Mouse pancake this morning and told me how much she misses you and loves you. You are an example for what a man is. Kind, loving, understanding, faithful, driven, not shaken easily in your beliefs, but willing see it from another point. We had lots of good conversations. And that’s what they always were, no matter if we disagreed, it was always a conversation. I will strive to make such an impression on others as you have done for me and my family. I know you’re home now and looking down on all of us smiling. Probably making Melanie Mickey Mouse pancakes as we speak.
I love you Papa thank you for a lifetime of love and much much more.
-Your Grandson,
Ryan
Posted by Rachel Frye on October 4, 2020
Papa,
You were always such a kind, gentle man, with such a calmness about you. Alway there to fix things, build us fires, and make us “papacorn”. I want to thank you for all the wonderful experiences and trips I would not have had if it wasn’t for you and Gramu. I will cherish all the memories of New York, Texas, Chicago, visiting historical sites and Museums, our camping trips, and all the boat rides. When I was little and would stay with you and Gramu, you would let me sleep on the chase in your room. Even when I got too tall you brought up an ottoman so I could still stay in there with you guys- that’s how sweet you were. You and Gramu brought me to so many amazing plays- starting with the Nutcracker when I was 4 and I decided to dance in the isles- you both are definitely responsible for my love of theater. Thank you for always being someone I could depend on, or even fall asleep on your head, while on your shoulders, when I couldn’t walk anymore. You are such an amazing Papa to all of us. I will miss our conversations and your Papa wisdom. I love watching you as a Papa to Hallie (Great granddaughter). She loves you so much and continues to ask for you every time we call. I will forever be grateful that you redid Gramu’s table and chairs- from when she was a little girl- for Hallie’s 3rd birthday this year. It is a little piece of your craftsmanship that I and my girls will always cherish, and have many tea party’s and memories on it, thanks to you. I am heartbroken that you won’t be here to meet sweet little Harper (due in November), but I am so happy that you knew I was naming her for you. I hope that brought you so much joy! I will continue the tradition of Mickey Mouse pancakes and movie nights with “papacorn” with my girls always. I love you so incredibly much and I wish I could get one more papa hug or kiss. You will be truly missed. Sending my “I love you six” to heaven ❤️

Until we meet again R.I.P.
Your Granddaughter,
Rachel
Posted by Kim Brannan on October 4, 2020
I think Grandpa Harper’s words say what’s in my heart the best.

“Now we travel on in sorrow
Through this “vale of tears”
But his memories will be no less treasured
Through the passing of the years

When at last this life is ended
And we reach the bright golden shore
There will be no tear stained parting
As we abide in His love evermore

Then we’ll reunite with the dear departed
In the mansions prepared up above
And the trials of this life will seem nothing
In the land of sunshine and love”

-Charles Harper 1970

I love you, Dad. I will always and forever be your little girl. Until we meet again. -Kim
Posted by Jennifer Harper on October 4, 2020
What will remain with me always is Warren's kindness. I felt it from the moment I met him. In fact, building a house in Mexico for a charity organization is how we first met! I had recently started to date Warren's son, my now husband, Mark, and Mark knew this would be a meaningful way for us to get to know each other and an opportunity for time with his father. Later, I would spend more quality time with Warren and his beloved wife, Edlu, at their home in Annapolis, touring Washington DC, and meeting up in NYC for shopping and dinner - together they were always up for some fun family time. Mine and Mark's wedding is an especially meaningful memory as Warren and Edlu, as well as all of our extended family, gathered in our hometown of Seattle to celebrate our union and surround us with love and support. Warren was indeed a kind, loving man and though he may not be present for future family gatherings, his memory will remain with us and surround us with love. Love, Jennifer Harper
Posted by Trisha Frye on October 4, 2020
My stepfather, Warren/Papa lost his battle with COVID-19. I want to thank you all for the outpouring of love and prayers for our family. Our hearts are broken to lose such an amazing, kind, gentle, wise man with strong core values that he lived by daily. I have been blessed to have him in my life for 43 years, and can’t really remember a time when he wasn’t here. When my dad was absent in my life he was a constant. I didn’t always appreciate him when I was a teenager, but as an adult I realized how lucky I was to have such a caring and sensitive man as a father figure, husband to my mom, and Papa to my children and now their children. He was passionate about his faith, his family, friends, his health, the environment, nature, wildlife, Traveling, Boating, the water, especially the Chesapeake Bay. (And his doggies❤️)We were spoiled with many boat rides, camping, beach trips, movie nights with a warm fire and “papa corn” and “papa cakes“ for breakfast over the years! My parents have traveled the world together, and this brought them both so much joy, oh the amazing stories they have! On his 81st bday, with a tear in his eye, he said how grateful he was for the incredible life he has had and we did a toast to him. Who would have thought that only a couple days later this horrible journey with Covid would begin? At 81 he was healthier than most 50 yr olds and so very careful to follow all the Covid guidelines, and he still got it! If there is any message here at all it is that this virus is real and still out there! Please be extra careful and protect yourself, your loved ones, and others, wear the mask and wash your hands. I didn’t think it would happen to Me or my family, but it did, and now a great man is gone from our lives!
We love you Warren/Papa, you will be greatly missed , but wonderfully remembered ❤️
Posted by Steve Harper on October 4, 2020
My dad had much left to do and see in this life and the world lost another precious soul to the pandemic. My dad was a gentle presence with a kind heart. He had the ability to create space for everyone and his quiet nature allowed him not only to be curious but also accessible. A quote from one of his favorite books The Alchemist, I believe reflects how he tried to live his life-“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now”. We will miss you pops but know we will continue to be mindful of how precious time is and not forget to see what is all around us. Being in the moment allows you to see what you have versus what you do not. You lived your life with the delicate balance of being a constant student and teacher. One great lesson you taught me is to never stop being inquisitive and to share what I have learned. Thank you dad.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Amy Edwards on October 22, 2020
I have known Edlu and Warren for 40 years, which is why saying goodbye is so difficult. Warren was such a loving and gentle soul. He would do anything for Edlu and the other members of the family. I remember when they first moved to Arlington in the late 1980's, and later to Vienna, and even later to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Each home was unique but welcoming. And Warren insisted upon doing all of the home improvement projects himself! (I wanted to rent him out). He was SO devoted to Edlu. He would drive her to our monthly Forum lunches in the District (and patiently wait to pick her up). That is love! I enjoyed celebrating Edlu's ** birthday on the Potomac a couple of years ago, with family and friends, and I am so glad that Edlu was able to organize a month long celebration of Warren's 80th birthday. May you continue to watch over us from heaven, Warren. We miss you deeply.
Posted by Janice Owen on October 20, 2020
What a joy to have met you, Edlu, and Warren and to have become your realtor helping you purchase the lot next door to me and Wayland and for you to have had our builder, Buddy Groves, build your gorgeous home with the most magnificent views of the Chesapeake Bay in Chesapeake Overlook! It is hard to separate you and Warren as we were always with the both of you. You two became Chesapeake Overlook's "Hospitality Couple" as you opened your home to welcome new neighbors and to have Association Meetings for which I must thank you both as you and Warren were always wam and welcoming host and hostess.

Thank you both for being such good, helpful, and caring neighbors to me and Wayland who passed on March 11, 2020 to be with Jesus. Warren's was a life well lived which is a blessing forever! In sympathy, and in memory of Warren who was so loved! ! !
Posted by Larry Schmidt on October 16, 2020
Warren, a friend and colleague of many years, worked on the Santa Fe National Forest when I first encountered him. As I recall he was on his way to a new Job on the Pike NF. Warren was one of the first wave of hydrologists hired by the Forest Service in the 1960's during the International Hydrologic Decade. Many of Warren's colleagues gathered in Denver for a sedimentation conference in the mid-70's. That was one of my first opportunities to get to know Warren. Warren had a reputation for quiet competence. In meetings he was able to add some depth of knowledge to any discussion. When Warren took a job with Weyerhauser I felt the Forest Service had lost a valuable talent. Warren added his expertise to Weyerhauser and stayed active with the hydrology community.  Warren's reputation as a knowledgeable contributor made him welcome at meetings dealing with the Clean Water Act and forest management issues. When positions opened up in the Forest Service National Office many of Warren's colleagues advocated for him to take the job. Fortunately for the Forest Service, Warren took the Washington, DC job. He became part of the famous Harper / Delk HIC tag team. (One of the insider jokes)  HIC being the abbreviation for "Hydrologist in Charge".  At that time in the Washington Office there was a belief that there must be a hydrologist on duty during all working hours.
In the mid 1980's I joined Warren on the Watershed Staff. Warren was helpful in getting me oriented and was generous in his advice on how to navigate the Washington Office. Phyllis and I have many fond memories of the generous hospitality that Warren and Edlu offered. We especially remember our Wolf Trap concert outings. Warren was instrumental in designing a unique joint project with Research to deal with the emerging In-stream water right issues in Colorado and the western US. I was fortunate to get the job that Warren had skillfully designed. It was the best and most interesting job of my career. Warren's support and advice were key to the success of the STREAM unit. After retirement we were fortunate to join Edlu and Warren for a river cruise up the Rhine and Down the Danube to Vienna. We also enjoyed our shared post cruise tour of Austria and Germany. Over the years, Warren was like an older Brother offering a cheerful outlook, helpful advice and positive encouragement. I'm remembering so many adventures and many good laughs along the way working with Warren. Warrens 8oth Birthday gathering with long time friends was a memorable and heartening event. Phyllis and I will continue to savor that memory. Warren was a special friend and will be greatly missed. Rest in peace Warren.

his Life

Warren the Forester - written by Warren's father, Charles Harper

WARREN THE FORESTER
You have come to that coveted moment
in your journey down the years
You are a full-fledged forest ranger
As your graduation nears

You have had I know quite a struggle
To reach that final day
When you would be a man of letters
And would start on your chosen way

I sometimes wonder how you did it
With the responsibility that was yours
It took a lot of sacrificing
Just to do your daily chores

It would have been quite impossible
Without help from Janet, your wife
No doubt she did without things
That you could come to a better life

You stayed up till the morning
To meet your assignments day by day
And you finished with grades outstanding
Which of course your final pay

You journeyed to Colorado
When it seemed the risk was great
But you surely made it pay well
In that your adopted state

You had the determination
To get into your chosen field
And even in the face of setbacks
To disappointments you would not yield

You had the grim determination
To achieve your vaunted goal
And your fortitude and courage
Was refreshing to the soul

I know you will remove mountains 
In your journey to your star
And will surmount any obstacle
And I'm convinced you will go far

To be of needful service
To this your fellow man
In water conservation
If anybody can

So here's wishing success and happiness
In anything you do
Please know we are pulling for you
Is the message from we two, Mom and Dad

May 31, 1965

Final Chapter - Gone too soon!

Heaven gained an amazing angel on Tuesday, September 22.  My beloved husband, Warren, passed away at approximately 4:30 pm ET from COVID-19.  Although the medical staff did everything in their power, the virus overtook his body, and he could no longer fight back. The entire family was able to say goodbye via zoom, and Trisha and I were able to be by his bedside, only due to having the virus as well. He was surrounded by so much love and many wonderful memories. A special prayer was given by Rev. Patti Sachs., a dear friend, and an Episcopal priest. He passed away very quickly and peacefully, and is now with our Lord.  He is now an advocate In heaven to assure people pay serious attention to this dreadful disease that can hit all ages.  

We thank everyone for the love and prayers during Warren's and my illness.  I don't think I could have made it through this horrible disease and loss of my husband without my family, friends, neighbors and the thoughtfulness of the doctors and nurses at Anne Arundel Medical Center.  Warren and I got excellent care by the heroes in the hospital.
Recent stories
Shared by Phyllis Schmidt on October 19, 2020
Dear Warren,  I'm not sharing a story but I want to thank you for being in Larry's and my life for many years. I am thankful for your kindness, you and EdLou. You supported us in many ways throughout Larry's career and forgiven me for my clumsiness as a guest in your home. You and EdLou are so gracious. I cry for ELlou . I know you are in heaven. I cry when I think of you and I cry when I think of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I don't know how you are connected in my mind but you were both are so fair minded and we lost both of you is a short period of time. I can hardly type through my tears. Thank you for being such a good friend.

The Prophet, On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran

Shared by Lisa Harper on October 18, 2020
When Steve and I got married in 2002, we asked Warren to say a few words during the ceremony. He chose this beautiful poem that we have always loved and cherish even more now. While the poem itself is intended to represent a marriage, there are many life lessons within these words, including some that feel applicable to the emotions we are experiencing with Warren's passing. We especially appreciate the verse about the oak and the cypress.

Warren always seemed to have a way with words. He knew how to give a proper toast, and on special occasions I looked forward to his words followed by the merry clinking of glasses and loved ones laughing together. I'll miss the tear in his eye and the crack in his voice during a sentimental moment. I'll miss his words, his wisdom, his poetic nature. With this poem, we'll remember... 

The Prophet, On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran

You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other’s shadow.

31 YEARS AGO TODAY. 10/17/2020rGr

Shared by John Rector on October 18, 2020
To honor Warren I have to tell a story. This is not a Forest Service story about what an anchor was to us while serving in the Washington office, which he most certainly was. Nor is it a story about the ribald after work get togethers or bar crawls, though there were many. This is a story of 31 years ago today, October 17, 1989. A story of Warren Harper as a human being, a caring friend.
SETTING
On that date Mr. Harper and I were attending an Environmental Protection Agency meeting in Fort Collins Colorado at the Holiday Inn, now the Hilton Hotel. The topic of the meeting, developing Total Maximum Daily Loads as limits for pollution for surface water flows. TMDL, a scintillating topic no doubt. As many such EPA meetings were, the two of us were bored to tears.  My suggestion that day ‘Hey Warren let’s sit at the back of the room and sneak out early. The third game of the World Series is on at 5:00 pm. It’s the Bay Bridge series, Giants vs the Oakland A’s! I know a great college bar where they have a floor to ceiling TV, great burgers, buckets of fries and scooters of beer as long as your leg.’ With his famous grin and a nod of his head, we were on. At 4:30 pm we left the meeting, hopped in my rental car and made off for what portended to be a great evening. When we walked in everything was as I’d advertised. Jammed with college students, beer, burgers and fries everywhere. Only one thing wrong.  On the floor to ceiling TV was are-run of Roseanne! Undeterred I hustled to the front of the bar to as the folks with the remote on there table if I could turn on the game. 
MORE THAN A GAME HAPPENING
The reply I got from the table floored me. “There ain’t no game man. They had an earth quake, the stadium cracked open, the bridge fell down and the city is on fire.” I found a pay phone by the front door and tried to call my home. The canned message I got “Were sorry, but due to the emergency situation all incoming calls to this area code are not being permitted at this time.” Starting to panic a bit, I went back to our table and conveyed this message to Warren.
THE FRIEND
Warren suggested we go back to the hotel. Noting I was distressed, picked up the keys an announced that he would drive. Back at the hotel we went to my room and turned on the TV. The coverage of the quake at that time was being provide by sports casters in the Goodyear blimp flying over the Bay Area. Zoom shot- ‘The Golden Gate Bridge has fallen down’. Screams John at the TV “That’s not the Golden Gate, that’s the Bay Bridge!”  Zoom shot- ‘San Francisco is on fire.’ Screams John “Thats the Marina District not down town!” Zoom shot- etc, etc etc. What has happened to my home? My family? Getting more panicky I ranted and raved at the TV. Damn sports casters. Warren quietly sat on the edge of the bed watching and nodding. Twenty failed phone calls later Warren suggested I try the Office of Emergency Services in Denver. Maybe the OES can all through. I called the OESand learned they had an automatic rotary dial system Into which they could enter my name, number to called and message to be sent.  I was assured the message “Call me please” be sent on a reoccurring sequence. I was number 1,871 in the sequence of numbers being called. My frustration grew. Warren stood up, picked up the car keys a left the room. I sat staring at the TV, mouth open, hands wringing. A half and hour later Warren came back carrying dinner and two six packs of beer.  We sat, ate, drank and watched.  Warren said nothing only nodding at my continued protestations.  Finally some news reporters took over and real news came on. Yes, it had been a 6.9 magnitude quake. The stadium had cracked, the Marina district was on fire and buildings sinking due to liquification  of the land fill. The BayBridge did drop a 50 foot span onto the lower deck and the upper deck of the Nimitz Freeway had dropped onto the lower deck. The tragedy was real. But what about the suburbs? We sat, stared and ate, two friends, helpless in Fort Collins.  Into the wee hours we sat. Warren did not leave until some time after I finally fell asleep. The next morning bright and early Warren was banging on my door. He was there with a cup of coffee and the news that he had contacted the airlines and had reserved me a flight out of Denver and I had better get going. With that he wished me well and left. I packed, drove to the airport and flew home.  To my relief, finally, I found that my family and home were fine. 
AND SO WHAT
Why this long story, for which I do apologize. I had to tell the story for me to reaffirm in my mind, and hopefully now in yours, what a true friend Warren Charles Harper was and always will be to me.  A real friend in a situation like mine doesn’t talk, he listens.  He’s there when you need him and takes action when action is warranted.  No, Warren didn’t hold my hand, but he didn’t leave me alone.  He listened to my rantings without judgement. He drove home from the bar, got food for us, got me coffee and an early plane reservation simply understanding that those things needed to be done. Empathy, understanding and quiet action that’s my most personal and important memory of Mr. Harper I can share.  Besides being a professional support, of utmost importance, his friendship. Gods speed and rest in peace my pal.