Stephen G. Harper passed away on March 10, 2021 at the age of 78. Mr. Harper was a longtime resident of Plymouth Township. He had a B.A. from Washington College, Chestertown, MD and an M.B.A. from Babson College, Wellesley, MA. He retired from Ford Motor Company in 2002 after a 35-year career in corporate finance and business planning. His final position was Shareholder Relations Manager.
In the early 1980’s, he was one of the founders of the Friends of the Plymouth Library and served as its Treasurer. He was one of the organizers of the successful petition drive and subsequent special election in 1985 that established the Plymouth District Library. He served on the Board of the Plymouth District Library from 1986 to 2004 and rejoined the Board in 2014 where he served through 2021. He has served in all of the Board’s officer positions and chaired the Building Committee that built and expanded the present Dunning Hough Library. In 2003, he was appointed to the Library of Michigan’s Quality Services Advisory Committee for Library Co-operatives and chaired the Administrative Standards Committee. Since 2004, Mr. Harper has been a member of the Board of The Library Network, the library cooperative serving much of southeastern Michigan, and formerly served as its Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance and Real Estate Committee.
Prior to his work with the libraries, Mr. Harper served on the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education and continued as a Board Member of that school district’s Educational Excellence Foundation. For thirty years, he was also the President of the Board of Directors of Growth Works, a Plymouth-Canton based youth service agency which provides counseling, job training and chemical dependency treatment for young people and their families and, under contract with Wayne County, operates a very successful program for the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders and probationers and their families.
Stephen loved his work but also enjoyed spending summers and holidays on Mackinac Island, where he and Mary Anna had vacationed for over 30 years.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Anna, his stepson, Jon Scott Conner, daughter-in-law, Tami Conner; three grandchildren, Chris (Lindsay) Conner, Caylie Conner and Courtney Conner. Also, four great-grandchildren - Caden Conner Brynnlee Conner, Easton Conner and Bowen Conner.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Stephen may be made to Growth Works, 271 South Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170; Plymouth Public Library, 233 South Main Street, Plymouth, MI 48170; Educational Excellence Foundation, 454 South Harvey Street, Plymouth, MI 48170; The Library Network, 41365 Vincenti Court, Novi, MI 48375 or Mackinac Associates, P. O. Box 567, Mackinaw City, MI 49701.
No services will be held at this time.