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Wife of Former Oklahoma Land Title Association President Passes Away

February 21, 2012

Vera Harper, the wife of Earl Harper, passed away Feb. 12 at the age of 86.

Vera and Earl purchased Southern Abstract Company in 1957. They operated the company until Earl’s death several years ago. The couple’s son, Owen Harper, still operates the company.

The couple attended many ALTA conventions for more than 20 years. Earl was chairman of ALTA’s Errors and Omissions Committee. He served as president of the Oklahoma Land Title Association in 1970-71.

Herschel Beard, owner of Marshall County Abstract Co. in Oklahoma and a member of ALTA's Board of Governors, recalled Vera and Earl as mentors to the younger title professionals.

"She was always happy, cheerful and anxious to hug her friends," Beard said. "Some in our industry will remember that Earl Harper was one of the guiding forces in getting TIAC organized, which provided a much-needed resource for errors and omissions insurance for our industry as part of the membership value of ALTA. Certainly, Vera's support in that effort was instrumental in its creation."

Declining health prevented her from attending OLTA events the past year, but Beard said she always sent messages to her industry friends.

"We will miss Vera but will always remember with fondness the legacy that she leaves, and the wonderful contribution she made to our Oklahoma association, and to our industry nationwide," Beard said.

Vera and Earl were both mentors to Mark Bilbrey, who served as ALTA president in 2004-2005 and worked in the industry for nearly 40 years.

“Vera loved the title industry and especially the friendships she developed through ALTA,” Bilbrey said. “Vera was always the one that went out of her way to make you feel welcome. She was one of the first true ambassadors of ALTA with her wonderful smile and warm hug. She welcomed my wife, Cathy, and me when we were title rookies, and shared her knowledge and guidance that led us to our ALTA involvement and commitment. She was a kind person and will be missed by all that had the privilege to call her friend.”

Funeral services were held Feb. 18 at Disciples Christian Church in Bartlesville, Okla. Donations may be made to the PKD Foundation.

Click here to view the obituary or leave a message on the guest book.

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