Beloved volunteer known, embraced by many for her optimism and determination.
Jill Harper, a community leader who worked with a variety of
local nonprofit agencies, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer.
She was active with the Santa Clarita Chapter of the
American Red Cross, the SCV Senior
Center, Carousel Ranch, the
SCV Chamber of Commerce and College of
the Canyons, just to name a few.
A vibrant woman with a lilting English accent and wicked
sense of humor, Harper recently worked with senior citizens, coaxing them to
tell stories from their past for an oral history program. Talking with a
reporter about the program, which matched seniors with college students
recording the stories, she stressed the importance of sharing.
“They told me when they used to think back on their lives,
they tended to think of the tragedies, but by giving depth to these students,
they brought up happy memories they had forgotten for decades.”
Happy memories seemed to overwhelm social networking sites
Monday night, where news of Harper’s passing was posted. Her enthusiasm for
helping others and cheerful attitude was a common thread.
In lieu of a funeral, a public celebration of her life is
being organized. And the family requests in lieu of flowers, people make donations
to College of the Canyons in her memory. Watch hometownstation.com for updated
information on dates and a website, which is currently in the works.