Elta Harper Profile Photo
1934 Elta 2022

Elta Harper

January 29, 1934 — February 20, 2022

Elta Joann Harper

A Celebration of Life for Elta J. Harper will be Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Christ Community Church in Crawford. Pastor Steve Mallery will be officiating.

Elta J. Brunart-Harper of Belmont Nebraska

Dedicated member of Christ Community Church of Crawford NE

Passed away on February 20, 2022.

Born to Charles Brunart and Josie Jackson Brunart on Jan. 29, 1934 Elta was born at the San Jose Hospital in San Jose CA.

When she was introduced to her 4 year old sister Alverda the remark was made that “she sure looks rusty”.  From that day forward she was nicknamed “Rusty” until high school.

For the next five years the family lived on a farm where there were acres of homegrown vegetables, free roaming chickens, goats and a cow. Thus began a fondness for wide open spaces and healthy living.

Around the age of six the family moved to Bonny Doon in the Santa Cruz mountains of CA. Shortly after their move, she entered the Shriners Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in San Francisco for the reconstruction of her right hand over the next several years. She endured 37 operations of skin grafting and plastic surgery. Elta had spent so much of her childhood at the hospital that she was made the mascot for the arena filling, East/West football games that were hosted by the Shriners Hospital. During these years her schooling was between San Vicente Elementary (a one room schoolhouse in Bonny Doon), and San Francisco city schools at the Shriners Hospital.

In 1945 the family moved to Davenport CA., Where she went to Pacific School then transferred to Santa Cruz city schools, riding a bus for 11 miles to and from school.  At Santa Cruz High she joined the award winning choir and participated in many performances.

She entered San Jose State College in 1952 majoring in art. In her senior year she was recruited to teach fifth and sixth grades at Pescadero Elementary in San Mateo County Ca.

At the first fall dance she met her husband to be; James Curtis Harper. They were married December 18th of that same year. Elta continued teaching and finished her college degree.

Their first son arrived on Dec. 12, 1956. James Henry Harper. One year later another son, Charles Winton Harper was born on Dec. 3, 1957.

She stopped teaching when a third child arrived on Dec. 29, 1961. Elizabeth M. Harper, on her Daddy’s birthday.

After living in Davenport for a few years the family moved to White House Canyon into a small cozy cabin. While raising her children she enjoyed gardening, canning and freezing veggies, and homemaking. Transporting children to and from school to catch the bus.

She loved architecture and drew up plans for a larger house which was built soon after by her husband Jim and her brother in law Elio Orlando of Davenport.

Several years later another opportunity arose with a house that needed a remodel and more land to grow a vegetable garden and fruit trees, with beautiful red wood trees, pine trees, and fir trees. The move was on again. After many years in this location, Elta had her sights set on something different. They visited several towns and countrysides in Nebraska. She and Jim fell in love with a property near the quiet little town of Crawford. Unfortunately Elta’s husband Jim passed away on June 20, 1989 before they had a chance to make the move. Even so, Elta continued on with the moving plans. Elta and her mother Josie moved to Belmont in the Spring of 1990. They were excited to be a part of Crawford's community and joined the Eagles Club and the Crawford Chamber of Commerce. She was voted in as President of the Chamber for at least one term.

Elta also enjoyed helping Dora Hale with the annual Peabody Hale Old Time Fiddlers contest held in July. In earlier years both Elta and Jim were members of the Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association in CA.,

Elta had quite the passion for health and wellness, and a passion for Christ. She enjoyed learning of and implementing healthy lifestyle and dietary habits and loved to share her knowledge with others. Elta was honored to be a member of Christ Community Church in Crawford. She went on two mission trips. One to Prague and the second to Guatemala with Eldon and Nancy Minks, Roene Hatson, and Rosemary Betson. She loved attending church every Sunday and Wednesday, arriving early to make coffee, water the plants, and set up for communion.  She loved her church, and her church family.

Surviving Elta is her daughter Elizabeth Castro and son-in-Law Larry Castro of Belmont, granddaughters Sarah Castro of Chadron, Ashley Goff of Rapid City, SD, and Julia Rivera of Santa Cruz, CA; great grandchildren Shawn and Jadyn Raben of Chadron, Chloe and Aiden Goff of Rapid City; daughter-in-law Christine Harper of Santa Cruz, CA; sister Alverda Orlando of Santa Cruz, CA; nieces Rosemary Holbert of Visalia, CA, Luisa Haddad and Lucia Quan both of Santa Cruz, CA, and great nephews Elio Quan of Santa Cruz, California, Anthony Orlando of Fayetteville, North Carolina and great niece Alicia Novy of Visalia, California.

She was preceded in death by her father Charles Brunart and mother Josie Brunart, husband James C. Harper, sons James H. Harper and Charles W. Harper.

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Christ Community Church

710 W 6th St, Chadron, NE 69337

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