Don and Marge were married for 34 years and lived long and full lives. Don passed away on January 21, 2019 at the age of 90. Marge passed away on January 30, 2019 at the age of 83. Both were surrounded by their loving families.
Donald Buel Harper was born on January 5, 1929 in Oak Park, Illinois. Moving west with his family during the Depression, he grew up in Arcadia, California. He shared a wonderful childhood with his brother, Dwight, and sister, Maggie, enjoying the fresh fruits and vegetables that they grew on their family acre of land. He also enjoyed exploring the nearby towns and beaches of beautiful Southern California, often traveling on the Pacific Red Car Electric Railroad. In 1952, he married Gay Hazeltine and started a family. In 1957, he moved his family to the small community of Scottsdale, Arizona, where he and Gay raised their six children. He loved gardening and was known for his beautifully kept lawn and flower beds.
Margaret Jean Scheve was born on June 16, 1935 in Beatrice, Nebraska. She grew up working on the family farm with her two sisters, Jan and Judy. She realized that farm life was not for her! In 1954, she married Loren Grone and moved to Kearney, Nebraska, where they raised their family of three boys. She enjoyed life as a housewife and mother. Marge’s boys were active in sports and she never missed a game. They later moved to Colorado, where she enjoyed life in the mountains, the beautiful scenery, and cross-country skiing.
In the early 1980s, both Don and Marge, single by then, were each enjoying apartment living at the Orchid Tree Apartments in Scottsdale. They met at the pool, developed a friendship, fell in love, and were married in 1984. They resided in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, and Vallecito, Colorado and enjoyed many trips around the country together in conjunction with Don’s towing equipment sales business and Marge’s many family reunions. They settled again in Scottsdale, where they spent the remainder of their lives together delighting in the many activities of their growing blended family.
Don and Marge are jointly survived by their nine children, John Harper (Cindy), David Harper (Amy), Michael Harper (Madylon), Stephen Harper, Sandra Harper Lagerson (Fred), Sharon Harper Michalski (David), Scott Grone (Lani), Bruce Grone (Laurie), and Todd Grone (Donna). They share 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Messenger Mortuary and Chapel, 7601 E. Indian School Rd., Scottsdale. Donations may be made in their memory to Hospice of the Valley.