Al Harper Obituary

Alfred B. "Al" Harper Jr., 80, of Rye, died Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, at his home after a lengthy illness.

He was born Sept. 1, 1931, in Bingham, Maine, the first child of the late Alfred B. and Ruby Mae (Hardy) Harper.

He received his early education in Maine and Massachusetts and graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954 with a degree in mathematics. and guest books on

His career took him and his wife to Newark, N.J., in 1955 to work in the actuarial program at Mutual Benefit Life. With a desire to return to New England, he moved to Portland, Maine, in 1961 and was employed by Union Mutual Life. He became a fellow in the Society of Actuaries in 1974. In 1980, he and two associates formed a consulting company named Renaissance, in Portsmouth, dealing with actuarial and insurance software. The company was sold in 1985 and he joined John Hancock Insurance in Boston, where he was head of insurance research until his retirement in 1991.

After his retirement he became a member of the Rye Over 55 Club, serving as vice president and president from 1992 to 1996. He also assisted the club with trips and travel for 10 years. He was a member of the Community Council of Senior Citizens in Portsmouth, teaching computer skills to seniors and assisting the executive director. He also volunteered with Rye Reflections, an online newspaper.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Shirley Elizabeth (Cartmill) Harper of Rye; five children, Elizabeth Harper of Hallowell, Maine, Wendy Sue Harper and partner Robin Hopps of Monkton, Vt., Nancy Harper and her daughter Emily of Portland, Maine, Scott Harper of Rye, and Chris Harper and wife Sue and their two children Grace and Faith of Belgrade, Maine; two sisters, Nancy Page and husband Robert of Latham, N.Y., and Rachel Garcelon of Yarmouth, Maine; four nephews and a niece.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

If desired, the family suggests a donation to a charity of one's choice.