Alice Katherine Harper, 85

Alice Katherine Harper PhD, (nee Hauslein), 85 – community activist, retired administrator, principal and teacher and native of Dover, N.H. – died March 9, 2015, peacefully in her home.

Harper was mother of David Willett of Washington; sister of Lucy (Albert Dec.) Jache of Marietta, Ohio; fond aunt of Ann (Len), Ellen (Dale), Heidi, Joyce, Janet, Philip (Karen) and John; great-aunt of Lara, Dana, Rachel, Andrew and Peter, great-great-aunt of Estella Cooper.

The family wishes to thank Lynn and Louis Brahin and their children Lenny and Lizzy for all of their love and care.

She was preceded in death by husband, J.T. Harper, parents Rhea and John Hauslein, and brother John Hauslein.

Harper attended the University of New Hampshire and earned her BA and MA in Education from Roosevelt University, and her PhD from Nova University.

A pioneer in the Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Harper was deeply involved in the Chicago teachers’ union; serving on African American committees dating back to the late 1960s. She was an innovative leader in elementary education (1960-72) at Chaplain, Beethoven, Harte and Black schools. Harper was the recipient of the 1965 “Excellence in Teaching” award from The Chicago Tribune. She served as principal (1973-91) at Wendell Greene, Sheridan, Bontemps, and Peck elementary schools. After retirement, Dr. Harper was asked to teach English to kindergarteners at Salazar Bilingual School.

Harper was a world traveler, painter, pianist and vocalist, golfer, volunteer usher, choir member at Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church in South Loop, and former president of the New Eastside Association of Residents and 400 Condominium Assoc.

Harper’s family offers special thanks to her friend and nurse Barbara Duffy; her attentive and sensitive caretakers Olah, Galina, Ralph and others; the Midwest Hospice Care team; dear neighbors, friends and supportive staff at Outer Drive East and her integrated medical team who helped Harper remain in her home adding years of love, friendship, happiness and dignity to her life.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 31, at 1 p.m., at 400 E. Randolph St., Chicago.

Donations may be made in Harper’s name to Northwestern Univiversity, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
Arrangements are by the Cremation Society of Illinois. Call 773-281-5058 or visit for more information.