The Rev. David Richardson Harper, who led Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) and was parish priest in two churches in his native New Zealand before leading a church in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C., died May 7 at 82.
His father, who served as a chaplain during World War II, died when David was six months old. His mother never remarried, and raised her three children. Paternal relatives provided a home for the family.
He attended a parochial secondary school, thriving in the study of French and Latin, then earned his Licentiate of Theology from St. John’s Theological College in Auckland. He was ordained in New Zealand in 1964.
He was a parish priest in two New Zealand congregations until 1981, when he became director of Christian Advance Ministries, an organization focused on charismatic renewal. In 1983, he joined the international board of SOMA. In 1998 he became SOMA’s international chairman.
During his ministry, he traveled to minister in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. In 1986, the Harper family moved to the United States and he became rector of Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, Virginia. He retired in 2012.
Fr. Harper is survived by Margaret, his wife of nearly 53 years; a sister; two daughters; a son; and five grandchildren.
Mother Hettie S. Love, who earned a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School of Business in 1947, died July 14 at 100.
She was the first African American woman who earned the degree from Wharton, which the school has celebrated. Love said she was ignored by nearly all of her Wharton classmates, but that three Jewish students welcomed her into study groups.
After obtaining her MBA, Love was a bookkeeper for several businesses, a teacher in Philadelphia, longtime treasurer of her parish, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Harrisburg, a mentor, and a volunteer for many organizations.
Bishop Audrey Scanlan paid tribute to Love in a message to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, saying that her “legacy of community activism, a nation’s first, passion for education, and numerous organizational involvements … earned her the title ‘Mother.’”
Love was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Before her studies at Wharton, she graduated from Fisk University. A “Love of Learning Scholarship” was established in 2021 in honor of Mrs. Love and her late husband, Dr. George H. Love. Primary students wrote a book, Hettie Simmons Love: Penn Pioneer, that described her achievements as an educator and a mother of teachers.
She is survived by her two children and two grandchildren.
The Rev. Deacon Walter Henry (Terry) Miescher III, a veteran of the Vietnam War who later fled Iran as its revolution began, died July 13 at 77.
Miescher was born in Portland, Oregon, but his family moved frequently as his father served in the military. He spent most of his early life in Germany. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Arizona State University.
He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, flying and repairing a wide variety of aircraft. He then took a job with Bell Helicopter International in Iran. In 1979, Miescher and two of his daughters, who were babies at the time, fled Iran with many other Americans at the start of the nation’s revolution. According to an obituary in The Wichita Eagle, he recalled shielding his daughters from gunfire as they were evacuated by helicopter.
In 1994, he was ordained in the Episcopal Church as a deacon after completing seminary at the Kansas School of Ministry. He was appointed Deacon of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Wichita, a post he held until his death.
He is survived by his wife, three siblings, four children, and seven grandchildren.