Clifford E. Harper ’51

WARREN, MAINE — Clifford E. Harper, 87, died Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland.

Born in Rockland, May 23, 1930, he was the son of Frank R. and Evelyn Knight Harper.

While growing up in Rockland, he was educated in local schools and was a 1948 graduate of Rockland High School. On July 21, 1951, he graduated from Maine Maritime Academy, having earned a Bachelor of Marine Science. In June 1958, he graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science in Education.

Cliff was proud to serve as a Lieutenant JG with the U.S. Navy, from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War, primarily aboard the USS Mt. McKinley.

On Dec. 18, 1951, he married the love of his life, Marilyn M. Fitzgerald in Rockland.

In 1961, Cliff earned a Permanent Secondary Teachers Certificate in the State of New Jersey, where he taught science and mathematics before returning home to Maine.

Cliff worked over 30 years as a Quality Control Scientist at FMC Marine Colloids in Rockland.

For many years, Cliff was a member of the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion, Post No. 1, and a life member and past Exalted Ruler of the Rockland BPO Elks, No. 1008. Cliff was the first Exalted Ruler at the newly built Elks Lodge on Rankin Street.

Other than his parents, Cliff was pre-deceased by his step-fathers, Charlie Higgins and Alvenus Cross, as well as his siblings, Ruth Dresser, Richard O. Harper and Eleanor Ames. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marilyn; his children, Jeff and Vicky Harper of Thomaston, Brian and Lynda Harper of Warren, Debbie and Dale Schafer of Kansas, Betty and Larry Oakes Jr. of Spruce Head; one brother Keith Harper and his wife Gayle of Burketville; eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

To share a memory or story with Cliff’s family, please visit their Book of Memories at