Deanna Jo Harper, age 74, of Iola, Kansas, passed away on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at Windsor Place of Iola.
She was born Sept. 28, 1946, at Garden City, Kansas, the daughter of Margaret J. (Hagans) and Vance L. Harper. Deanna graduated from Iola High School with the Class of 1964, and received her associates degree in 1966 at Allen County.
In her early years, she worked at several camps in Pennsylvania and enjoyed her time there working with children. When she returned to Kansas, she worked as a clerk and then in public relations for Berg manufacturing, which she loved. While she worked at Iola State Bank as an administrative assistant, she was inspired to pursue her dream of becoming an educator. She received her bachelor’s of science in education from Pittsburg State University in 1983. She then began her teaching career in Junction City for one year before returning to Iola to teach. She taught at Lincoln Elementary for 22 years. During that time she received her master’s of education from Pittsburg State University. She loved all of her students that were so special to her, and she loved following their lives throughout the years.
Deanna was a member of the KNEA and the National Retired Teachers Association. She was well known for her work in the KNEA across the state, and it was one of her greatest passions. She was also a member of Wesley United Methodist Church in Iola and her faith was important.
Deanna’s greatest joy was her family and watching all of her nieces, nephews, cousins and all of their children. She was fondly called “Aunt Deannie” and would always say “I love you to pieces.” She dearly loved her mother and was a wonderful companion for her in the last 20 years. They loved traveling and following all the children of the family. Spending time on their beautiful back deck was one of their favorite pastimes.
Deanna was preceded in death by her father, Vance L. Harper in 1990; and one brother Rex L. Harper in 1996.
She is survived by her mother, Margaret J. Harper, of the home; one brother, Dennis L. Harper and wife. Sheryll. of Elkhart, Ind.; one sister, Rhonda M. Sigg and husband, Herb, of Iola; nieces and nephews, Dirk Harper and Cheryl, Doug Harper and Rose, Shannon Lock and Brian, Heath Sigg and Lachelle, Libby Hineman and Andy, Lexy Eastwood and Adam; and numerous great-nieces and -nephews, extended family and friends.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m., on Friday, May 21, at Wesley United Methodist Church, Iola, with inurnment to follow at the Highland Cemetery, Iola.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wesley United Methodist Church or to A.C.A.R.F. (Allen County Animal Rescue Facility)