Lucy Harper

73, known for her welcoming smile, left legacy of classroom volunteering

Lucy Evelyn Harper of Buena Vista, passed suddenly into heaven from complications of cancer May 29 at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

Lucy was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and dedicated school volunteer. She was a gentle, caring woman who loved being around other people and was known for her welcoming smile and joyful laugh.

Lucy, daughter of Harold and Evelyn Dick, was born on June 3, 1947 in Wichita, Kan. After graduating from Wichita East High School in 1964, Lucy studied elementary education at Kansas State University, which inspired her lifelong commitment to helping students succeed. Before earning her degree in 1969, Lucy spent a summer studying in France and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. 

Lucy married Forest Dean Harper in 1969. The next year they moved to Denver, where they raised two sons, Jeff and Andy. While living in Denver, Lucy was a member of Junior League and the Crestmoor Tennis Club, and she volunteered at Bromwell and Denver East High schools. Looking back at their 51 wonderful years of marriage, Dean deeply appreciates the quote, “I made the living and Lucy made the life worth living.” 

After Lucy and Dean moved to Chaffee County in 2001, they divided their time between living in Game Trail and Pebble Creek, Ariz. Lucy continued her legacy of volunteering in the classroom for two decades in both Buena Vista, and Surprise, Ariz. She also enjoyed exercise and was always ready for a good round of pickleball or aerobics with her many wonderful friends.

One of Lucy’s greatest achievements was her devotion to her grandchildren, Kate and Harold Harper. She would do anything to keep them healthy and happy. Family holidays were a great joy for Lucy, and she always planned ahead to make sure everyone’s time together was special.

Lucy is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband Dean Harper of Buena Vista, her son Jeff (Rosa) of Denver, her son Andy (Sarah) of Vacaville, Calif., her brother Harold Dick (Jeanne) of Tucson, her nephew Hal C. Dick of New York, her nephew Eddie Dick (Allison) of Tucson and her sister-in-law Sidney Janzen of Scott City, Kan.

In lieu of a memorial service, the family has chosen to establish a website for people to share their condolences and memories at:

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the school of your choice.

 Lucy’s family and many friends were grateful to have known her and will try to remember her encouraging advice when times are tough: “Suck it up, buttercup.”