Robert “Bob” Harper passed away peacefully in his home in La Cañada Flintridge on December 31, 2021, at the age of 71.
Bob was born in Toronto to Irish parents, Brendan and Monica Harper, who settled in Alhambra where Bob and his sister Annette attended St. Therese School. His professional work skills were honed early when, from the age of 9 to 12, he had a daily paper route which earned him a Paper Boy of the Year honor.
His family moved to San Marino where he attended La Salle High School then Loyola University in Los Angeles, where he met his wife, Joan, to whom he was married from 1983 until his passing. After college, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Northwest in St. Mary’s, Alaska, where he taught and was a dorm advisor to their Yup’ik students. JVC North West promised its volunteers they would be “ruined for life,” and for Bob, this proved true.
He returned to L.A. and worked for Security Pacific Bank for a year before answering a call to teach religion and be a counselor at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco. While teaching, Bob earned his MBA from University of California, Berkeley, before joining the audit staff at Coopers and Lybrand, eventually moving into human resources. Bob and Joan and their children moved back to Los Angeles in 1989, where Bob served as an H.R. partner in a national role. He finished his professional life with his retirement in 2006 from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bob was highly respected at PwC for his integrity, honesty and professionalism.
After retirement, Bob immersed himself in important causes, his nascent art, golf, a men’s group at St. Bede Church and extensive travel. He served on the boards of Loyola Marymount University Alumni Association, Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy (his daughter’s high school) and Healing Hearts, Restoring Hope. Bob and Joan began the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in L.A., the senior version of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Bob had worked with out of college. When home, Bob could regularly be found sitting on his porch, engaging friends in deep conversations about life, religion, politics and family.
Bob’s children Brendan, Matthew and Kathleen were able to spend significant time with him this past year as he battled cancer, listening to his stories, getting advice and relishing in his love. Joan was always at his side, giving him love, support and comfort to the end of his life. He is also survived by his sister Annette, her husband Mark, and niece Christina.
Non-deductible donations in memory of Bob may be made to the Los Angeles Catholic Worker for their Skid Row Soup Kitchen, run by his son Matthew. Instructions can be found at lacatholicworker.org/wp/donations.
Services are being planned for later this year. To be informed of the memorial, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.