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Helen Harp
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Helen Marshall Harp, 88, died in Modesto on Sunday, Nov. 28.

She was born in Lennox, California, on May 3, 1922 to John and Flora Marshall, Scottish immigrants.

She was a city girl who loved to skate on the sidewalks of Inglewood, California and dance to the music of the big bands. She attended Jefferson Elementary School and Inglewood High School, graduating early from high school, at the age of seventeen.

She worked temporarily at the May Company until she was old enough to be employed full time by Douglas Aircraft. She met her husband, Theodore Parsons (Ted) Harp, at Douglas Aircraft in 1941 and they married on March 1, 1942. Helen worked at Douglas Aircraft until 1942 when she became pregnant with their first child. She saw all three brothers and her husband leave to serve in the military during World War II. While her husband Ted served in the U.S. Navy, a second child was born in 1945.

After the war, they bought a small farm with an old home on Wagner Road, Escalon, where they grew melons and later planted almonds.

Mrs. Harp was always supportive of her children and their education. She participated in Atlanta Elementary School fundraising activities and taught Sunday school at the First Congregational Church of Ripon. She encouraged her children in their activities at Ripon High School, and even into their college years.

Mrs. Harp did the accounting for the family farm and also worked in Ripon as a teller at the Bank of America for several years in the early 1960s. She and her husband were longstanding members of the California Almond Growers Association and she was proud to receive a 50-year (Lifetime) membership from the Ripon Chapter of the Grange.

The couple became pilots and members of the Flying Farmers. As an active member of the California Flying Farmers, Mrs. Harp was honored as Woman of the Year in 2000. The Harps shared a love of travel, they flew across the United States, up to Canada and Alaska, and down to Mexico. They toured the Federal Parks and continued to participate in Flying Farmers' activities by motor home. They also traveled to Hawaii, the Caribbean, South America and, finally, to Scotland to explore her heritage.

Survivors include her children, Carol de Sá Campos and John Donovan Harp (Jack); her brothers, Walter and John Marshall; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted; her parents and her brother, Gordon Marshall.

A private graveside service was held for family at Park View Cemetery, French Camp Road, on Monday, Dec. 6 with a Memorial Service following at Ripon Congregational Church.

Remembrances may be made in her name to the First Congregational Church of Ripon, California.

The Escalon (California) Times

Dec. 8, 2010