Harper remembered for sweet spirit

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jacob Harper was remembered by the Opp City Schools’ family for his personality, loyalty and thoughtfulness.

Harper, a rising freshmen at Opp High School, was fatally injured Saturday when a sports utility vehicle rolled over on him and crushed his chest.

“Jacob loved life for sure,” said OMS guidance counselor Margaret Fox. “He was full of life; he was a typical 13-year-old child.”

Fox remembered Harper as having a lot of friends.

“He had a great personality,” she said. “He was happy-go-lucky and easy going, which made him a great friend.”

School secretary Janet Anderson agreed.

“He was mostly happy and carefree,” she said. “He was a really sweet kid.

“I’ve been told he would always give his lunch and snack money to kids who needed it,” she said.

OMS Principal Aaron Hightower said Harper was always willing to help others.

“Jacob, to me, was a kid who would put others ahead of himself,” Hightower said. “If other kids didn’t have something, and he would see them, he wouldn’t hesitate to help them out and make sure they had lunch or snack.”

Anderson said Harper was always a “good kid.”

“I never remember him getting in trouble,” she said. “We all loved him.”

Fox said Harper was a great kid, who loved the band.

“He played (baritone) and played it well,” she said.

OHS band director Randy Hughey said the entire band is “pretty torn up” about the loss of their first chair baritone player.

“Jacob was an outstanding musician,” he said. “He was a very loyal band member and a future leader.”

Hughey described Harper as a friend to everyone.

“He didn’t judge people,” Hughey said. “He loved everybody. We’re really going to miss him.”

Hughey said the choir section at Ino Baptist Church will be reser-ved for the band family for today’s funeral at 11 a.m.

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart expressed his condolences to the Harper family.

“They are just a wonderful family,” he said. “We want them to know we are thinking of them, and we express our sympathy to them.”