Dwight Jesse Harper was born January 10, 1961, in Birch Hills to Floyd Harper and Krystall (Campbell) Harper. He was the eldest of three boys. Growing up in Birch Hills he enjoyed playing all sports. He started his love of sports like any small town boy playing road hockey and shinny. His favourite sports were football, hockey, and baseball. In high school, starting in grade 10, he was fullback on the Birch Hills Marauders football team. He was a strong, stay at home defenseman in hockey. He played Midget AAA with the Humboldt Autotown Indians. He also played first base on the Birch Hills Brewers baseball team. He started the Birch Hills Jaks slow pitch team which usually sported his brothers and many Harper cousins.
Dwight started studies at the University of Saskatchewan in the fall of 1979 in the College of Pharmacy. But he reached his goal, in 1982, when he was accepted into the college of Dentistry. He developed strong friendships with his dental school classmates which carried on for his lifetime. He enjoyed travelling to dental conferences across Canada.
While living in Residence at the University Dwight met Kelly Fitzpatrick. A friendship developed into love and they were married on Aug 17, 1985. In 1987 Dwight graduated with his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD). After great consideration, Dwight and Kelly chose to move to Nipawin for Dwight to begin his dental career. He worked with Dr. D. Phillips and after one year the decision was made to stay in Nipawin and they purchased the practice.
Dwight and Kelly have 3 children: Brendin, Brittny, and Megan. He was very involved in each of his children’s’ lives. He started bringing the kids out on the golf course when they were toddlers. This evolved into the whole family loving to golf. He started coaching baseball and hockey when the kids were young. He truly loved coaching hockey the most. Dwight was tough but he always made sure everyone played fairly. As his daughters grew up and decided to dance, he became a dance-dad. He would never admit it but he loved watching and critiquing dances. Dwight wouldn’t hesitate to travel the province to watch hockey, baseball, basketball or dance competitions. He was his kid’s biggest fan.
Travelling has always been a big part of Dwight’s life. The family went on many trips through the years. After all of his children moved out, he and Kelly saw many parts of the world. They enjoyed yearly trips together. Golf was often part of these trips. One of his favourite trips was to the Masters as well as golfing St. Andrew’s in Scotland.
Dwight retired in September of 2018 after 31 years of dentistry in Nipawin. “Duke” loved to golf every morning with the boys. He would later spend time in the garden or picking his Saskatoon berries. He loved cooking and also found out he loved baking, having the best pies, crisps, cookies and muffins. He also made salsa, beef jerky, jams, relish and pickled vegetables. Dwight also loved to spend time spoiling his “granddogs”. He followed many sports on TV and enjoyed his NHL draft. He was a lifelong Maple Leafs fan. “This year they will win the cup.”
Dwight had many traits that everyone loved. He was kind, loving, and generous and he had a great sense of humour. Duke always had a tidbit of golf advice for anyone willing to listen. He loved to tell stories and had a knack for retelling them. He was a good winner but hated to lose a card game or pickleball match!
Dwight was predeceased by his father Floyd Harper and Mother in law Audrey Fitzpatrick. Survived by his wife of 34 years Kelly (Fitzpatrick) Harper, mother Krystall (Campbell) Harper, father-in-law Robert Fitzpatrick. Children; Brendin, Brittny (Evan)Zurloff, Megan (Kyle) Webster. Brothers: Trevor (Kathy) Harper and nieces Laura, Casey and Rachel; Todd (Trina) Harper and nephew Scott. Sisters-in-law: JoAnn (Rod)Vanstone nephew Marcus(Lisa) Vanstone and niece Caitlyn, nephew Nathan (Desiree) Vanstone and nieces Shay-Lean, Shahanna, and Embrey; Jackie(Doug)Mann and niece Jenna. As well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Duke always had a smile on his face and a smart remark or ‘beak’ to make everyone laugh. Dwight will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.