NATCHEZ — Memorial services for Reuben L. “Buzz” Harper, 74, who died Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson after a brief battle with cancer, will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary Basilica.
A celebration of Buzz’s remarkable life will immediately follow at the Prentiss Club.
Buzz was a native of Newport, Ark. He was a 1955 graduate of Newport High School, serving as drum major of the Greyhound Band. He attended the University of Arkansas and was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Buzz taught school in Grubbs and Tuckerman, Ark., and worked at Hurley Gin. He entered politics at an early age. He served one term as Jackson County Clerk and two terms as county judge. He was the youngest county judge in the history of the state of Arkansas. At the end of his second term, Buzz left politics and embarked upon the career that would take him through the rest of his life, that of an antique dealer and interior designer. He and his wife, Bobbie, opened Harper Antiques in Newport and after several years moved the business to Natchez.
Buzz lived in Natchez on and off for the next 40 years. He owned a number of historic Natchez homes over the years, including Wigwam, The Burn, Glenburnie, Glen Auburn, The Arrighi House, the Prentiss Club and Ravennaside. Buzz also lived in New Orleans, Savannah, Ga., Charleston, S.C., and New York City at various times.
His work as an interior designer was well known. His work was featured in articles in Architectural Digest, Southern Living, Veranda and the New Orleans Times Picayune. It was also shown on HGTV, CNN and A&E.
Buzz was known for his elegant attire. He was chosen the New Orleans Times Picayune/Junior League Best Dressed Man of 2000.
He was a daily communicant at St. Mary Basilica.
Buzz was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben L. Harper Sr. and Julia Williams Harper..
Survivors include one sister, Betty Jane Stone of Jackson; one son, Arrolyn L. Harper of Natchez; long time friend, Leslie Wisinger of New Orleans; four nephews, Richard Stone Jr. and wife, Patty, of Vicksburg, Dr. Reuben H. Stone Sr. and wife, June, of Jackson, Dr. William Stone Sr. and wife, Lisa, of Brandon and Buzz Stone and wife, Cherry, of Brentwood, Tenn.; six great-nephews, Richard Stone III, Dixon Stone, Reuben Stone Jr., William Stone Jr., Isaac Stone and Jack Stone; two great-nieces, Julia Morgan and Sarah Elizabeth Stone; his former wife, Bobbie Hurley Harper of Palm Springs, Calif.; one stepdaughter, Robin Terry of Blytheville, Ark.; and Dr. David Sibley and wife, Holley, of Mountain Brook, Ala.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary Basilica Family Life Center, 107 S. Union St., Natchez, MS 39120.