Cover photo for Donald Harper's Obituary
1935 Donald 2022

Donald Harper

March 5, 1935 — October 13, 2022

Ivins, Utah

Donald Ernest Harper passed away at the age of 87, on October 13, 2022, at home in Ivins Utah, surrounded by loving family. He was born on March 5, 1935, in Cape Town, South Africa, to Ernest Albert Harper and Winnifred Mabel Doris Warren. He was married to Milja Huguenot Harper, nee van der Linden, in Mowbray, Cape Town, on June 23, 1962. They were sealed in the Zollikofen, Swiss Temple on August 14, 1964.

Don was raised in Johannesburg, South Africa and a great joy to him was to have been a KES boy, as a student for his High School years at King Edward School for boys. He was a good sportsman, excelling in tennis and basketball. Through eventually choosing to stay with basketball he was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and played on a Church team with the young men and missionaries. After receiving the missionary lessons, he was baptized a member of the Church on  December 26, 1955, by Elder Gary Forbush of Salt Lake City, who remained a lifelong friend.

After several career opportunities which included sales in men's clothing, owning his own restaurant, managing putt-putt mini golf courses, being manager of a fast-food drive-in chain which also included an exclusive dinner/dance restaurant in Cape Town, he was appointed to the position of CES Director for the Church over South Africa and Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia), and Mauritius and La Reunion. After 19 and 1/2 years he and Milja emigrated to the United States and worked ten more years in the CES program, living in Temecula, Southern California, until he retired in August, 2003.

Don traveled far and wide for his work and loved it. He was also a great sports fan, a love which he shared with his family. Don was always active in the Church and served in many callings, which included being a Missionary, Branch President, Bishop, Counselor to three Mission Presidents, Temple Sealer for 30 plus years, Regional Representative and Patriarch. Because of his outstanding organizational skills, he was the Chairman over two South African Area Conferences and the dedication services of the Johannesburg Temple.

After retiring Don and Milja served a Couples Mission in St George, Utah in 2004. During that year they bought a lot and came back the next year to build a home in Copper Canyon, Ivins in 2005 where they have resided ever since.

Don served on various committees in the city and community, including the St George Music Theater, the Book Festival, the Celebrity Concert Series, and Chairman of the Copper Canyon HOA.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Milja; children Sean, Neal (Alex), Vivienne Greg Kaseno),Rowan (Crystal), Stuart (Alisa) and James (Heather); a brother in Perth, Australia, Alan Doggett (Beve), a sister Leslie Ann Donaldson, in Johannesburg, South Africa; seventeen grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 at 11:00am at The  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel, 625 E Center Street, Ivins, Utah. The service will be live-streamed with link below.

A viewing will be from 9:00-10:45am at the same location. Interment will be in the Ivins Cemetery, under the direction of McMillan Mortuary.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

9:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Interment following funeral service

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Ivins City Cemetery

200 W 400 N, Ivins, UT 84738

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