Bill Text: VA SJR438 | 2019 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Celebrating the life of John Harper.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-04-03 - Bill text as passed Senate and House (SJ438ER) [SJR438 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2019-SJR438-Enrolled.html

Celebrating the life of John Harper.


Agreed to by the Senate, February 21, 2019
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, February 23, 2019


WHEREAS, John Harper, a trailblazing civic leader in Dale City and Prince William County, died on February 6, 2019; and

WHEREAS, John Harper was a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and held a master's degree in technology management from the American University; and

WHEREAS, John Harper served his country as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam War, earning the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster during his two tours in combat; he retired as a lieutenant colonel after 24 years of service; and

WHEREAS, beginning in 1987, John Harper served the Prince William County community for 10 years as director of the Dale City Sanitary District; he was the first African American department head in the county; and

WHEREAS, in 1995, John Harper became the first African American elected to any public office in Prince William County when he was elected to Prince William County's first elected school board; and

WHEREAS, in August 2017, the Prince William County School Board cut the ribbon on the brand new Covington-Harper Elementary School in Dumfries, which was named in his honor; and

WHEREAS, John Harper was also the first African American to serve on the board of directors for the Prince William County Park Authority and the first African American to serve as grand marshal for the Dale City Fourth of July Parade; and

WHEREAS, in later life, John Harper earned his realtor license and helped members of the community find the right home; and

WHEREAS, John Harper was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite mason and a member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; he enjoyed fellowship and worship with the community as a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Dale City; and

WHEREAS, John Harper will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife of 59 years, Beulah; their three sons, John III, Mark, and David; seven grandchildren; and numerous other family members and friends; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of John Harper, a trailblazing civic leader; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of John Harper as an expression of the General Assembly's respect for his memory.