George Andrew Harper, a former resident of Wilmette, and dean of boys at New Trier High School from 1913 to 1927, died last Friday [7 Jul 1939] in Honolulu following an emergency operation. Mr. Harper, 60 years old, lived in Tucson, Ariz., where he was vice-president of the Southern Arizona School for Boys. He had been vacationing in Honolulu at the time of his death.
He is the brother of J. R. Harper, superintendent of the Wilmette public schools. Besides his brother and a sister, Mrs. Albert Bickett, of Xenia, Ohio, he is survived by his widow, the former Mary Ellen Syder, and two daughters, Helen and Mary, all of Tucson.
Came to Shore in 1906
Mr. Harper went to New Trier in 1906, five years after the school opened, to teach mathematics, and shortly became head of the mathematics department, which position he held until he was made dean. His brother taught physics at the school during part of this same period.
Mr. Harper had been a rheumatic cripple all of his life, from the time he suffered an arthritis attack at the age of seventeen. During his latter New Trier days, as a matter of fact, he was able to get around in a very bent over position only with the aid of crutches and canes. Everyone, however, marveled at his fortitude, and the fact that he would never admit defeat. Frederick Kahler, who succeeded him as dean at New Trier, said this week that he was one of the most respected and revered men who ever entered the school, as well as one of the most intelligent.
Founds School for Boys
When he resigned from New Trier in 1927, Mr. Harper went to Arizona, founded the school for boys and served it ever since, first as headmaster, then as vice president.
Mr. Harper was educated at the University of Chicago, and the University of Arizona, and is the author of a number of textbooks on algebra and geometry.
His nephew, Robert Harper, is a teacher of mathematics at New Trier at the present time, and his brother-in-law, William A. Snyder, is now the head of the mathematics department at the high School.