Alvin Richard Harper

12/03/1945 — 12/19/2023

From Kennewick, WA | Born in Dayton, WA

Alvin Richard Harper

Alvin Richard Harper, 78, of Kennewick, WA, passed away on December 19th with family and loved ones by his side after courageously battling illness.

On Dec 3rd 1945, Alvin was born to William and Genevieve Harper in Dayton, WA.

He was born visually impaired, but still made the best of it and enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brothers.   He attended the school for the blind growing up which he thoroughly enjoyed.  He was a storyteller, and many good stories came from his shenanigans growing up.

While playing in the band at a school dance, Alvin met the love of his life Cheryl Bickford.  They were smitten with each other and quickly fell in love. He graduated from the School for the Blind and Hudson Bay Highschool and moved back to Eastern WA waiting for Cheryl to graduate Highschool.  Once she graduated they were married in Battle Ground, WA on July, 16, 1966.  They had four children and a foster child. Alvin eventually went back to school for a degree in Business, which helped him a lot with his volunteer work.

While being visually impaired he managed to work as much as possible, the jobs that held the most pride for him were:  being a house parent at the School for the blind, teaching special ED students in various school Districts, being a meat cutter and even tried his hand at the restaurant/grocery business; people would come from miles around to stock up on his Tiger Burgers, he even rebuild carburetors and RV’s.

Besides his children and wife, Al’s life was dedicated to acts of service. He always said that the Lions Club did so much for him growing up he just felt the calling to give back. He was always finding a way to try and raise funds or support for someone or a program in need. His service was more than a full-time job and he loved it.  A few of the projects he worked on were helping to start the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and hearing impaired, Playing Santa Clause and countless fundraisers including filling the bus Benton Franklin Transit Food Drives, sight and hearing foundation, guide dogs for the blind, working with students at the Ocean Beach School Districts Alternative School, Mentoring the Ilwaco Highschool Leo Club and so much more.    Kids were always drawn to him when he played Santa he would call them all George and got some pretty funny reactions.    He was also a Benton Franklin Transit ambassador, where he would help people with disabilities navigate the transit system.

He loved promoting his communities.  It was always a passion of his no matter where he went.  Before he moved to the Long Beach Peninsula, he was even hard at work supporting that community. He had connections in Japan who sent 5,000 glass floats that the Coast guard and community members dropped from helicopters onto the beach.  He loved fishing so of course he helped facilitate a Sturgeon Derby as well as a Surf Perch Derby.  The Surf Perch Derby continues to be a great success.  He helped with better access to fishing areas mostly for handicap use and would always lend a helping hand to any other derby going on. He had a passion for promoting the Lewis and Clark trail.  Even after moving back to Eastern Washington, he was still always on the phone answering questions and doing his best to help with that Beach community he so loved.

He and Cheryl lived most of their close to 56 years of marriage between Kennewick WA and Long Beach WA. Eventually moving back to Kennewick to be closer to most of their kids and grandchildren and could be monitored with their slowing down with aging ailments, yet still staying very active in community service and soaking up as much family time as possible.

Alvin enjoyed many things, but his favorite was fishing, and the best fishing was with his children and grandchildren and of course with a good cigar or pipe.  It didn’t really matter what he caught if anything it was just the enjoyment of being out there and teaching his kids or grandkids a thing or two. Another favorite was sitting under a covered porch watching a thunderstorm. It was an added bonus if he had a good cigar to go with it.  He also loved to tell a good story mostly jokes, but good story’s non the less.  He was the king of dad jokes.  His childhood stories were so good, you often wondered if it was trying to pull one over on you or not.

There is just too much to put into a little obituary.

Alvin was a fighter. No matter how many times he was counted out he just battled back.  This goes with his natural ability to be stubborn, and he wasn’t going to let anyone tell him when it was his time.  He went when he was good and ready on his time clock.  Now he is reunited with Cheryl in Glory. Probably fishing on the North Jetty with a giant white pole, a cigar in his mouth, his blue lions club hat and Cheryl next to him under an umbrella reading a good book.

Alvin was preceded in Death by his Father William, Mother Genevieve, Sisters Anna and Rose, Brothers Dallas, Alfred, Charles and Willy and his loving wife of nearly 56 years Cheryl.

He is survived by his Son James Harper (Janet), Daughter’s Marjie Rosco (Lloyd), Josie Opfar (Blaze) and Genni Currie (Bill), His grandchildren Blaze Opfar, Jeremy Rosco, Will Currie, Ben Currie, Aiden Harper and Owen Harper, His Brother’s Larry and Dean Harper and Sister Edna Kirk as well as many other friends and family.

A celebration of life will be planned for the spring when more family and friends are able to attend.

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Alvin Richard Harper

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  • I was lucky enough to work with both Al and Cheryl on many Lions’ Club projects. Couldn’t find two more giving and generous people with their time and efforts to help others. I feel very privileged to have known them and to have been considered their friend.

    Sherry Hash
    April 15, 2024
    Long Beach
  • Great man that contributed so much. His contagious smile and will be missed.

    Barbara Harper Thomas
    April 13, 2024
    Cleveland TN
  • Uncle Alvin was a great man with a big heart.

    Anonymous
    April 13, 2024
  • This is a beautiful tribute, so many memories to cherish. 💕

    Serina
    March 7, 2024
    Spokane
  • Beautiful Story …. Keep Those Memories !! … God Bless Your Family !!

    Dwight S Carey
    February 27, 2024
    RICHLAND
  • What a beautiful tribute to your dad❤️sending love and hugs.

    Kary Franson
    February 27, 2024
    Kennewick
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