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Elwood Nicholas Harper, USN (Ret)

October 25, 1931 - September 15, 2022

U.S. Veteran

Commander Elwood Nicholas Harper, USN (Ret), 90 of Sallisaw, Oklahoma passed away on September 15, 2022 in Vian, Oklahoma.

Cremation is under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Service, Inc. in Sallisaw. A memorial and military burial service will be held at the family cemetery, near Franklin, WV in November.

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Commander Elwood Nicholas Harper, USN (Ret), 90 of Sallisaw, Oklahoma passed away on September 15, 2022 in Vian, Oklahoma.

He was born on October 25, 1931 in Franklin, West Virginia to Margie Ella (Teter) Harper and Wilbur W. Harper. He grew up on the family farm, north of Franklin and attended both Franklin Grade and High School. He graduated from Berea College, Berea, KY in 1954; immediately entered the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviation Cadet and received his Navy pilot wings and commission as Ensign in September 1955. As a pilot, he flew from the decks of seven different aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was the flight deck officer on the USS Intrepid, responsible for landing countless air strikes over Vietnam. His last Navy Duty Station was commanding officer at the Naval Torpedo Station in Lualualei, Hawaii. Elwood retired from the Navy in 1981, with 27 years of service and the rank of Commander. He immediately started a second career as a jet flight simulator instructor for Lockheed Martin for 22 years at NAS Corpus Christie, TX and NAS Pensacola, FL. He and his wife moved to Brushy Lake near Sallisaw in 2008 to escape hurricanes and be closer to family. He enjoyed watching college football, fishing, walking his dogs and observing wildlife.

Survivors are:

daughter, Valarie, her husband Av and granddaughter Elianna of Cos Cob, CT;

stepsons, Greg Haas, Jeff Haas and his wife, Deidre of Sallisaw, OK;

stepdaughter, Deborah Somer of Scottsdale, AZ;

other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Louise Harper; parents; 4 sisters, Marylee, Christine, Freida and Janet; and 5 brothers, Kenneth, George, Paul, Bard and Wilbur Jr.

Cremation is under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Service, Inc. in Sallisaw. A memorial and military burial service will be held at the family cemetery, near Franklin, WV in November.