Cover photo for Barbara Harper's Obituary
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1937 Barbara 2022

Barbara Harper

February 9, 1937 — December 14, 2022


Barbara Ruth Harper 85-year-old lifetime resident of Nowata passed from this life into her Heavenly reward of the evening of December 14, 2022. Barbara took her first breath of life on February 9, 1937, the daughter of Edward and Mary Simpson right here in Nowata, Oklahoma. To say she was a woman with a huge heart and loved all would not begin to describe the beautiful soul she was. Barbara had a heart for people and devoted her adult life to working as a nurse for over 40 years helping all she could. Barbara spent 30 years at the Nowata Hospital before going to work for the Veterans Hospital in Claremore for an additional 10 years until her retirement.

So many words could be said or written, but they would not begin to describe who Barbara was, is and always will be. Though she has left us here, we will always hold her memories near and dear. We all know that one day again we will join her at the gates of Heaven and rejoice in knowing we get to share eternity with her. Barbara was strong in her faith and knew that Heaven was her home.

Barbara held two loves in her life the first being her first husband and the father of her children, William (Bill) Wilson. She later married Pete Harper and shared her life and love with him until his passing. In her first marriage, Barbara was blessed with six children Debra, Cathey, Joy, Pamela, Edward and Michael. Upon marrying Pete, Barbara gained a host of bonus family which included four children Joe, Lynn, Bertha, and David, which she loved as her own.  It could be said a mother’s love is more beautiful than any fresh flower.

“Mothers hold their children’s hand for a short while, but their hearts forever” - Unknown.

Barbara enjoyed many things in life, but reading was at the top of the list, even to the point she would walk to the library to be able to enjoy a good book. In fact, you could say outside of being with family, being curled up in her chair, covered in a blanket with a cup of tea reading a good book was her favorite place to be. Family meant everything to Barbara. Anytime that she could spend with her children or grandchildren was what she wanted to do. There was not one single grandchild from the oldest to the youngest that did not spend time in grandma’s lap. She loved them with a full heart.

Despite having an immeasurable heart, Barbara had a spunky side and you never had to wonder what she was thinking. She jokingly was the boss of her family. She was quick to laugh, slow to anger, and eager to love.

Barbara loved the outdoors, she loved to travel anywhere she could go, she lived life to the fullest and never missed an opportunity to experience something new in life.

Unfortunately, Barbara was no stranger to loss and heartache she lost her son Michael at birth, and her son Edward not long ago, a person could say losing a child is the hardest thing a parent goes through. The loss of Ed hit the family hard but especially Barbara, her children are her pride and joy. But we find comfort in knowing they are together again; both will truly be forever missed.

To say she will be missed would not begin to describe the void it leaves in our hearts with Barbara no longer here. She will be missed by all who had the great joy of knowing her down through the years.

Those who passed before her include both husbands, her parents, two children, and a brother.

Those left to cherish the beautiful memories of who she was include her children, bonus children, many grandchildren, one sister, two brothers, and a host of other relatives and friends.

The Family of Mrs. Harper have entrusted her love and care to the staff of the Benjamin Funeral Home in Nowata, OK. Online condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Harper, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 18, 2022

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Benjamin Funeral Service Chapel


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Funeral Service

Monday, December 19, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Watova Full Gospel Christian Church

, OK 74080

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Interment following funeral service

Monday, December 19, 2022

Ball Cemetery

, OK 74048

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