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Penny Harper

Obituary of Penny Harper

Penny Harper, 60, went to be with the Lord on September 25, 2022, at her home.

Penny was preceded in death by her parents James and Doris Ruppe of Gaffney, South Carolina; a brother Jimmy Ruppe of Gaffney; and two sisters, Gail Bright and Sybil Ruppe of Gaffney.  She is survived by a sister, Pam Parker and husband Johnny of Durham, North Carolina, and brother Ricky Ruppe and wife Tammy, of Gaffney.

Penny was born on March 1, 1962, in Gaffney, South Carolina.  Although she grew up in the foothills, Penny soon planted her roots in Northeast Tennessee where she was surrounded by the beauty and majesty of the mountains that she loved and would always call home. Penny lived a full and interesting life, and those who knew her were blessed to share time with her and color the dash between the day she entered this world and the day she left it.


She was a graduate of Milligan College and later earned her certification as a Christian Educator from Pfeiffer University.  Although she spent the last ten years working as a coder and fraud investigator, her true passion was children and teaching them about God’s love.  Whether she was leading a day long vacation Bible school or serving up meals on a youth retreat, Penny had a mission to ensure that all children experienced the wonder of God’s love.


She was instrumental in establishing a homeless shelter for women in Kingsport and could frequently be found serving up meals at the Kitchen of Hope.  As an active member of Mafair United Methodist Church she loved the time that she spent with the youth.


A long-suffering devotee of the New York Mets, Penny was an avid baseball fan who enjoyed watching games at all levels.  She loved to travel and experience new foods.  Her true joy, however, was simply soaking in the summer heat and relaxing by the pool or at the beach. 


Penny was a passionate person with plenty of grit who firmly believed that if you do nothing, the guaranteed result is nothing.  With this as her driving motivation, Penny always had a plan.  And if you were not a part of Penny’s plan before you arrived, rest assured that by the time you left, her engaging--never met a stranger--personality would draw you in and have you right there beside her. 


Left behind to carry on Penny’s plans: her husband of 22 years, William, her children, Thomas of Kingsport, and Paul Perry and wife, Taylor, and a grandson, Allen, of Portsmouth, Virginia.


Although Penny enjoyed flowers, she always lamented their fleeting beauty.  As such, she asks that if you wish to honor her memory, please do so by making a memorial donation to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Children’s Advocacy Center.


If you wish to say farewell, please join her family for a memorial service at Mafair United Methodist Church on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at 1:00 pm. 


Carter-Trent Funeral Home of Kingsport is serving the Harper family.

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Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Mafair United Methodist Church
1409 E Center St
Kingsport , Tennessee, United States