John C. Harper, Sr.

By Susan Stites

We are sad to announce that on January 9, 2019, John C. Harper, Sr. passed away. He will assume an honored position among our MYC “Celestial Sailors.”

Although he was living in Arizona at the time of his death, John was a long-time resident of Maple Bluff and member of MYC. Having grown up on the shores of Lake Mendota, he loved everything about the water, including sailing. He was well-known by the sailors in Burrows Park. If he wasn’t coming out of Dengel’s Bay on Water Baby, his M-16, he would wander down on foot with his dog Bayly to encourage the Scow sailors, offer his support, and congratulate them on a race well-sailed.

John loved being a member of the ILYA Bilge Pullers, an organization for accomplished Scow sailors. He served as a mentor for younger sailors and would often introduce them to Bilge Pullers and nominate them for membership. He took particular pride during annual meetings when he would get a standing ovation for being the oldest member.

John was a generous supporter of Mendota Yacht Club. For years he hosted the club’s Victory Day between-race party on his lake-front lawn. You could find him in his “summer house” sharing stories of life on the water while his dog Bayly monitored (and sometimes sampled from) the sandwich table.

John will be missed by many as he sails his Water Baby in the heavens.