W.R. "Bud" Harper - March 28, 2012 Print E-mail

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.

After serving 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.