On July 10,2019, Hugh Albert Harper, aged 77 years passed peacefully at his rural Readstown home after a long and hard fought battle with liver disease. Hugh was born in Brown’s Valley near Mindoro to Leslie and Edna (nee Ball) Harper. “Butch” as he was nicknamed by his Dad, was an active farm kid getting up to lots of mischief with his cousins and sisters. He grew up strong enough to survive polio and appendicitis at age 13, although he was left with a permanent and distinctive limp.
Hugh graduated Melrose High, and earned an associate degree in drafting from Wausau Technical Institute. In 1963, he married Monique Isham and had a son, Leslie “Scott” and a daughter Michele. That marriage and a second ended in divorce, but Hugh finally found lasting love with Geraldine Rock. They met in 1972 and enjoyed a long engagement before marrying in 1984. After working for Wick Homes and Mormon feeds, Hugh desperately wanted to return to farm life. He and Geri purchased a beautiful hilltop farm near Readstown. “Kickapoo Beans and Greens” sold a variety of produce. Hugh enjoyed being a “gentleman” farmer, raising pigs, goats, chickens and several thousand “head” of red worms for compost, and sharing the farm with several generations of much loved dogs and cats. He was passionate about republican politics,sustainable land use and conservation. He was actively involved with the Wisconsin Land Information Association, the Wisconsin Towns Association, writing block grants for several Wisconsin townships, and assessing for many local townships. “Uncle Butch” enjoyed the fine art of pottering around the farm, studying the Harper family history, hunting, fishing, a good game of cribbage, and cheering for/cursing at the Green Bay Packers. His charming smile, easy laugh, lively intellect and hearty appetite made him a fabulous dinner guest, and he will be so sadly missed at all of our family gatherings.
Hugh is survived by his wife, Geraldine; son Leslie “Scott” Harper, daughter Michele Harper, stepson Jay Rock, stepdaughter Heather Miller, grandson Justin Harper, stepgrandsons Tristan Rock and Matthew Miller, stepgranddaughters Jenna Miller, Cheyenne, Alexis and Brittany Rock, and twin great grandsons Westley and Wyatt(due in September). He is further survived by his sisters Emily Anderson and Diane (Richard) Humble, nieces Laurie (Steve) Goetzka and Jodie “ol’Doc” Anderson, nephews Kieth (Judy) Humble and Justin(Amy) Humble, several cousins and his beloved little dog, Susie. Hugh was preceded in death by his parents Leslie and Edna Harper, his brother-in-law Russell Anderson, and his niece Sherrie Lynn (nee Anderson) Singleton. In Accordance with Hugh’s wishes, there will be no funeral. He will be cremated and his ashes returned to the land that he loved.