Norma G. Harper, age 84, of 7774 County Route 153, Interlaken passed away at
Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania on Friday, June 20, 2003 from
injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Born on April 15, 1919 in Interlaken, Norma was the daughter of Dr. L. Arthur Gould and Elizabeth Case Gould.
Norma graduated from Interlaken High School and then went on to receive a BA in Mathematics from Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA in 1941. Following graduation, Norma accepted a position with MIT's Radiation Lab where radar was being developed for use in the anticipated WWII. As one of the mathematicians for this critical project, Norma was responsible for calculating various theories and was integral in the development process of the radar that is used so widely today. Following the war, she worked for American Optical Company in Buffalo as a mathematician.
There she met Kennard W. Harper and they married on November 1, 1947 in the Gould family home on Seneca Street in Interlaken. Norma devoted herself to caring for their three children and as they grew older she was a Cub Scout leader, Girl Scout leader, and was always involved in their schools, especially as a Librarian. From the mid-70's to the mid-80's she was head librarian of the Interlaken Public Library. Norma loved the Interlaken area and enjoyed showing visiting friends and relatives its beauty and many attractions. Over the years she found many ways to support the community.
Norma was an avid sports enthusiast. As a young woman she won a number of awards in golf, basketball and bowling; and she would jump at any opportunity to go sailing. Norma was an accomplished card player. She belonged to a Bridge Club and taught a group of ladies how to play. She also played Military Whist in Interlaken for many years.
Though content at home with all of her activities and responsibilities, Norma loved to travel. She visited every state in the US including Alaska and Hawaii and went to Canada. The Harper family took 2 car tours of the United States when her children were young. She and Ken enjoyed several riverboat trips on the Mississippi River. Norma also vacationed in Barbados and in the early 70's ventured to Africa to see the eclipse of the sun. She had an active and full life and often said that she had a great life and had no regrets.
Norma was a quiet and humble person and the memory of her welcoming smile and gentle manner will forever warm the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Norma was preceded in death by her husband Kennard on June 26, 1996. She is
survived by her daughters, Sara E. Harper of Salem, MA and Rebecca H. (Mrs.
Hans) Maryak of Somersworth, NH and her son, David G. (Lynn) Harper of Santa
Clara, CA; six grandchildren; her sister, Virginia Gould Jones now of Tallahassee,
FL and one niece and one nephew.
Services will be held at the Interlaken Reformed Church on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. with the Rev. Michael J. Hooker officiating. Prayers of Committal will follow at the Lake View Cemetery in Interlaken.
The family will be present to receive their friends in the Fellowship Hall of the church immediately following the Prayers of Committal. The family has entrusted arrangements to the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg. 1-888-534-5446. www.ness-sibley.com.
Contributions in Norma's memory may be directed to the Interlaken Public Library,
P.O. Box 317, Interlaken, NY 14847 or the Interlaken Historical Society, P.O.
Box 270, Interlaken, NY 14847.
Page Submitted By: Joseph L. Sibley