Mother of former Daytona Times reporter dies at 85

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Annie Louise Harper

Annie Louise Harper, 85, passed away at AdventHealth Daytona Beach on Feb. 15 with her family by her side.

Her celebration of life will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in Daytona Beach on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m.

Mrs. Harper was the mother of James Harper, a former Daytona Times reporter.

“My mother was my rock and my best friend. I urge everyone with a mom living to treasure every moment you can spend with her,” Harper said.

Born on May 22, 1935, Annie Darrisaw was the daughter of Arthur Darrisaw and Annie Bell Askew of Tennille, Georgia. She was no stranger to hard work, having grown up on a farm with her parents and six siblings.

She graduated from Dock Kemp High School in 1953 in Johnson County, Georgia. She would then attend Fort Valley State College in Georgia. While in college, she visited her sister, Lillie Bell Beckton, in Daytona Beach and would soon meet Arthur Harper, who was the head waiter at Morrison’s Cafeteria.

Mrs. Harper decided to stay in Daytona Beach, eventually getting a job at Morrison’s. She and Arthur Harper married on Aug. 16, 1958 and would have celebrated 63 years together this year.

Longtime Speedway employee

Mrs. Harper would soon get a job in the housekeeping department at the Daytona International Speedway and occasionally worked for the France family, founders of the Speedway. She would work full time for the Speedway for 43 years before retiring and then worked another 10 years parttime for NASCAR.

She was a faithful member of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church for 60 years where she served as president of the Nurses Ministry, president of Circle 3, worked with the Youth Department, sang in the choir, worked for the Women’s Missionary Union (local, district and state), and served as a matron and worked with the Sunshine Band.

She enjoyed traveling, especially to the church’s state and national conventions.

She loved working with children and had two of her own –James and Tammie Harper.

Her grand-children are Jewel, Joy and Jasmine Harper. Great-grandchildren are Essence, Evan, Jalen and Zachary Harper, Cadence and Lyric Smith, Jaxon Scott, and Jayden and Jorden Williams.

She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Gainous Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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