Sad News - RIP Jeff Harper - Friend and Ball Fruit Jar Collector - You Are Missed

Jeffrey F. Harper

The Findlay Bottle Club sends its heartfelt condolences to Mary Harper, and to Jeff and Mary's family and friends. Jeff will long be missed, and fondly remembered by all his fellow fruit jar collecting friends.


Jeffrey Harper 

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Jeffrey (Jeff) Frederick Harper passed peacefully in the early morning of May 18, 2012 from complications of kidney cancer. He was 60 years old. 

Services will be held at First Congregational Church, 10840 Beinhorn, Houston, TX on Sunday, May 27 at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Assembly Room.

Jeff was born and raised in Muncie, IN, graduating from Burris High School in 1969. Jeff attended The Culver Academies Summer School from 1960 to 1968, first as a Woodcraft camper and then as a member of the Naval Academy. He was also a Culver Summer Camps counselor for the summers of 1969-1970. During his years at Burris he met his wife of 38 years, Mary Pieroni Harper. They married in 1973 after Jeff graduated from Brown University with Honors in Molecular Biology.

They moved to Charlottesville, where Jeff earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Virginia in 1978. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Endocrinology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1980.
Jeff was employed as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine (Endocrinology) and Pharmacology at the University of Texas Medical School - Houston from 1980 through 1987. 

After leaving the medical school, he became the owner of an industrial ceramic inspection and testing company that grew into International Refractory Service, Inc. (IRSI). At its height, IRSI had offices in Houston and Venezuela. Switching careers in 1998, he began working for Askesis Development Group, Inc. (ADG) , a subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He served ADG in computer data management and held several positions including VP for Development and Manager, Client Services Division.

Since 2002, he served in several volunteer capacities at First Congregational Church. He was on the Board of Deacons from 2006-2012, serving as the Head Deacon over the past three years. He also served on the Church Council, and rang bass handbells in the Decibells Handbell Choir. 

Jeff has been an active volunteer with the Fibromyalgia Association of Houston (FMAH), video-recording and producing a DVD of each presentation. He supported the organization in countless ways, and FMAH will deeply miss him. He was a very giving person, who always took the time to help others.

Jeff was one of the leading collectors of fruit jars and other memorabilia made by the Ball Corporation, a company founded by Jeff's great grandfather and great uncles. At his passing, Jeff possessed over 2400 different Ball fruit jars, 100 different Ball soda bottles, and numerous other items related to the company.

Jeff is survived by his beloved wife Mary, two wonderful adult children (Katherine Anne and Andrew Mario), and two loving siblings (brother Charles, his wife Kathy and children, and sister Ellen, her husband Jim and children). He is preceded in death by his parents Marjorie and Henry Harper and his in-laws Jane and Mario Pieroni.

Remembrances may be made to: 
  • FCC Endowment Fund (Harper Fund), First Congregational Church, 10840 Beinhorn, Houston, Texas 77024;
  • Fibromyalgia Association of Houston, Inc., POB 541742, Houston, TX,77254-1742;
  • Or to The Jeffrey F. Harper Memorial Fund for Science Education, C/O Askesis Development Group, 112 Washington Place, One Chatham Center, Suite 300, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219
Published in Houston Chronicle from May 23 to May 26, 2012


  Jeff Harper was featured as a LEGENDS OF THE JAR      

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