Dorothy G. Harper, 88, seamstress, letter writer

November 01, 2003

Dorothy G. Harper, a retired seamstress and longtime Carroll County resident, died of kidney failure Wednesday at Montgomery General Hospital. She was 88.

Born Dorothy Graf in Millers, she was raised on her family's farm and graduated in 1933 from Manchester High School.

Mrs. Harper worked as a seamstress making men's clothing and suits for more than 20 years at the Manchester Sewing Factory. From 1960 until retiring in 1977, she was employed at Mount Wilson State Hospital in Reisterstown, where she made and repaired clothing for patients.

After her 1939 marriage to Paul Harper, a farmer, the couple settled on a farm in Greenmount. She remained on the farm after her husband's death in 1996, until moving to Longview Nursing Home in Manchester in 2000.

Mrs. Harper was an avid letter writer.

"She loved writing letters in longhand with a fountain pen until the day she died. She had about 20 or 30 pen pals all over the country. She was a great chronicler of events," said her son, P. Douglas Harper of Rockville.

She was a member for 50 years and former president of Triple Valley Homemakers, and a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester. She was also the oldest member of the Cramer Runk Family Reunion, which had been established by her mother and held its 70th reunion in August.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Eckhardt Funeral Chapel, 3296 Charmil Drive in Manchester.

In addition to her son, she is survived by a brother, Alton L. "Bud" Graf of Millers, and two grandchildren.

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