W.R. “Bud” Harper, 81, passed away at home in Fort Smith on
Wednesday, March 28, 2012. He was born Jan. 6, 1931, in Fort Smith to
William Raymond Harper and Helen Olive Jones Harper. Harper is
survived by his wife, Jo Harper, and a son, daughter, and grandchildren. He
was a multifaceted man of tremendous faith and deep love for his
family. He loved his church, and he loved Fort Smith and his country. He
was a man of great integrity and compassion, and was an avid outdoorsman. He held a Bachelors of Science from Arkansas Tech Univeristy, and recently, served as chair of the Arkansas Tech University Board of
Trustees. Mr. Harper was also the 1999 recipient of “Outstanding Alumnus of Arkansas
Tech University” Hall of Distinction.
two terms on the Sebastian County Quorum Court, Harper was elected
Sebastian County Judge in 1983. He served in this capacity for 16 years
until he was appointed to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Cabinet as director of
the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and served from
1997-2003. During this time, he was the point man for Homeland Security
in Arkansas. As director at ADEM, Mr. Harper was also on the CUSEC Board of Directors, and was a former Chairman of the Board. Mr. Harper was a dedicated community servant, and member of many civic, volunteer, and professional organizations and associations.
CUSEC offers our deepest condolences to the Harper family. Memorials
may be sent to St. Luke Lutheran Church, 5401 Free Ferry Road, Fort
Smith, AR 72903, or to Arkansas Tech University, 1509 Boulder Ave., Room
210, Russellville, AR 72801.