Jerry Davidson Harper of Madisonville, TX; 83 years, 5 months, 13 days; passed away at his home on Monday; January 25, 2021. A celebration of Jerry’s life was scheduled for Saturday at 2PM at The First Baptist Church in Madisonville, TX with Bro. Troy Brooks officiating. The visitation was also scheduled for Saturday at The First Baptist Church beginning at Noon. The burial followed at Ten Mile Cemetery in Normangee, TX.
Jerry, who was known throughout our community as “Coach Harper”, was born on August 12, 1937 in Teague, TX to Olon Thomas and Lillian Beatrice (Maloy) Harper. He was a graduate of Teague High School, Navarro Junior College with an Associate of Arts degree, Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, and Sam Houston State University with a Master’s degree in Physical Education. Coach Harper was a lifetime educator and coach, retiring from The Madisonville Consolidated Independent School District in 1995, but continued to work in different capacities for the district through the 2008 school year. A lifetime member of The Texas High School Coaches Association, Coach Harper began his coaching career in Falls City, TX from 1959-1965, taking his career on to Rockport-Fulton Independent School District from 1965-1972, before settling down in Madisonville, TX in 1972, where he completed his career. He was also very civic minded having served on the Madisonville City Council for two terms.
Coach Harper was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Jon Harper; and his niece, Shawna Smith. He leaves behind to cherish his memories his wife of almost 64 years, Patsy “Pat” Elaine (Reese) Harper; his daughter Kim Rigby (Billy); his granddaughter Ashley Rigby; his grandson Jace Rigby, father of Jerry’s great-grandchildren Hunter Rigby and Emory Rigby and their mother Katie Rigby; his nephew, Kevin Harper; and a host of friends.
Serving as pallbearers are: Jessie Jaenicke, Drew Montgomery, Herbert Gilbert, Keith Smith, Terry Dean, Randy Walker, Pat Hoffmann, Robert Bustamante, Chuck Heath, Dennis McWhorter, and Craig Bailey - these 11 men represent Coach Harper’s last football team!
Serving as honorary pallbearers are: The Deacon Body of The First Baptist Church and the Senior Adult Men’s Sunday School Class of The First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to The Sonshine Outreach Center (320 N May St; Madisonville, TX 77864); The National Brain Tumor Society (55 Chapel St, #200; Newton, MA 02458); or a charity of your choice.