Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Berniece Harper

March 10, 1938 - April 18, 2024
Holland, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Benjamin's Hope
15468 Riley Street
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 399-6293

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Life Story / Obituary


Berniece Lee Harper, a loving mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2024 after a battle with lymphoma. Born on March 10, 1938, in Ecorse, Michigan, Berniece lived a life full of love, laughter, and dedication to her family, faith and community.

Berniece was raised in the house where she was born, alongside her siblings John Eugene Lowry (of Rochester Hills, Michigan), the late Cpt. Wayne Lowry (of Tampa, Florida), and the late Lois Williams (née Lowry) of Taylor, Michigan. She graduated from Ecorse High School and went on to pursue her education at Eastern Michigan University. Following her studies, Berniece received her teaching certificate and had a passion for teaching students who were deaf and hard of hearing.

On August 11, 1962, Berniece married Kenneth J. Harper at Ecorse Presbyterian Church. The Harpers lived in 11 cities in Michigan as she supported Kenneth’s callings to pursue his PhD and his career in public education.

Together, they raised two children, Susan Allen (née Harper) of Huntington Beach, California, and William Harper of Fennville, Michigan. Family was incredibly important to Berniece, and she cherished her roles as wife and mother. As her children grew into adulthood, Berniece returned to the field of education, working at the Ottawa Area Center in classrooms for children with developmental and physical disabilities. She found immense joy in supporting these special needs students and their dedicated educators.

Faith was also important to Berniece. She served as a volunteer and lay leader in the Presbyterian and Reformed churches to which she an her family belonged. Most recently, she was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Holland MI.

Beyond her dedication to her faith, friends and family, Berniece was known for her quick wit, ready laugh, and skill at playing cards. She relished spending time with loved ones, both locally and across the miles. Berniece enjoyed visiting friends and family in the region and traveled to her husband's ancestral homelands of England and Scotland.

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth. Berniece's legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of her children, Susan and Will; her grandchildren, Benjamin Allen, Kirsten Lubbers (née Harper), Jillian Allen, Caitlyn Harper, and Nicholas Allen; her brother, John Eugene Lowry; her sister-in-law Frances Ford (née Harper), and many dear friends and extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Berniece's memory to Benjamin's Hope [], where many of her former students reside. Honoring Berniece's wishes, her family will gather for an intimate remembrance.

Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Downtown Chapel.