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Lieutenant Colonel Robert Leonard ‘Len’ Harper

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Leonard ‘Len’ Harper, USA, Ret., 68, of Hayesville, lost his brave and courageous battle with kidney cancer on June 4, 2016. He began his long and difficult journey in 2002 and dealt with his illness with uncomplaining grace. He was born on Feb. 7, 1948 in Atlanta, Ga. Robert graduated from North Georgia College in Dahlonega, Ga. and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. Later he graduated from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. and received his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Robert then completed a petroleum and chemical engineering internship with Sun Oil in Philadelphia, Pa.
Growing up Robert was a member of the Boy’s Choir at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta where his mother played piano. His parents sent him to Rich’s Etiquette School and this served him well throughout his life. He was kind, funny, witty, modest, charming, knew which fork to use and could dance. Robert and Charlotte’s love story began when he asked her to dance.
In addition, to serving tours in the United States, Robert served tours in Germany, Bahrain, South Korea and Italy. He was a Petroleum Logistics Officer and traveled to many parts of the world. Much of his career was served in Joint Command assignments where his respect of others and excellent people skills made him many life long friends in all branches of the United States Military and member countries of NATO.
After his retirement from the Army in 1992, Robert and Charlotte moved to Hayesville. With the aid of his friend Jim Brewer of Fresh Air barbecue, Robert then combined two of his loves, cooking and barbecue. He opened his own barbecue joint that he named Hawg Heaven in Young Harris, Ga. in 1993 and later moved it to Hiawassee, Ga. As throughout his life, he loved his work and the people he met. In 2007, due to declining health, he had to sell his barbecue joint. Robert missed Hawg Heaven and seeing his many friends and customers.
Robert was a member of Union Hill United Methodist Church in Hiawassee for many years and had served as Chairman of the Trustees. He had a deep faith and love of God. Robert also loved to travel, golf, ski, fish and most of all to just be with friends sharing the wonder of the day.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Sidney and Nell Gunn Harper and his brother Sidney Harper. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Charlotte; his sons Robert and his wife, Mary, and Brian and his wife, Kristi Harper; daughters Beth and her husband, Tim Moncrief, and Shannon Mosher; four grandchildren and many of his supportive Gunn and Harper cousins.
A Military Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 17 from the Chapel of Cochran Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the service begins. Full Military Honors will be presented by the Untied States Army Honor Guard. Interment will be held at a later date at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Ga.
In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society:, or the Humane Society Mountain Shelter, 129 Bowling Gap Circle, Blairsville, Ga. 30512.
Arrangements entrusted to the Cochran Funeral Home & Crematory of Hiawassee.

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997