James Henry “Pop” Harper, 83, of Cotulla, died on Thursday, July 29, 2021. He was born in Cotulla on August 15, 1937 to Frances Alvin Harper and Clifford J. Berry Harper. Henry was one of nine children.
He is preceded in death by his parents, seven siblings, Albert Harper, Melvin Harper, David Harper, Lucille Harper Pollard, Bertha Harper Kyle, Eula J. Harper Wilson, Dorothy Harper Wilson, his spouse Mary Lea Harper and his friend Lela Jo Machen Ivy.
Henry is survived by his sister Eloise Harper Siedel and all of his children, Sandra J. Harper, Rev. John (Cassandra) Cochran, Jody Cochran, Jim (Belinda) Cochran, Jenise (Donny) Whitaker, and Justin Cochran, grandchildren Daniel (Chelsea) Cox, Rebekah (Lance) Rush, Miranda (Jordan) Martin, Rebekah (Jeremy) Garcia, Megan Cochran, Jack Cochran, Jake Cochran, Anica (Luke) Flugrath, Ariel (Matt) Williams, Ashely (Tyler) Withers, Raven (Trevor) Dornbusch, Skylar (Joseph) Perkins, Jarah (Daniel) Harris, Chancie (Joshua) Nuyttens, Abigail Whitaker, Victoria Whitaker, Leiryc and Gaige Whitaker, Allison Cochran, Jeremy and Jessie Cochran, 26 great-grandchildren and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
Henry was married for many years to Lela Jo Machen and they had a daughter, Sandra J. Harper of George West. He would later go on to marry Mary Lea Cochran and became a provider, mentor, teacher, and friend to her five children, John (Cassandra) Cochran, Jody Cochran, Jim (Belinda) Cochran, Jenise (Donny) Whitaker, and Justin Cochran.
Aside from family, Henry enjoyed his mule team and participated in the Laredo International Trail ride for over 25 years. Henry was a welder by trade, and a teacher at heart as he shared his skill for welding with many young folks along the way. In the latter years of his life, he was baptized at the First United Methodist Church in George West by his son, Rev. John Cochran.
Services will be held at the United Methodist Church in Dilley at 10 a.m., August 14. Interment will follow at the Covey Chapel Cemetery. Those who wish to remember Henry need not send flowers or plants and no donations to any charity are required.