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Community members remember volunteer

Breast cancer claims life of dedicated local

Posted: March 19, 2009 12:20 a.m.
Updated: March 19, 2009 4:30 a.m.
Jill Harper, a community volunteer active with College of the Canyons and the SCV Senior Center, has died after a battle with breast cancer. She was 56.

A Canyon Country resident since 1997, Harper volunteered for local organizations including the American Cancer Society, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Local community leaders remember Harper's dedication to the Santa Clarita Valley and the relationships she formed with people.

"Jill always treated people in a matter of utmost respect and sincerity," College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne Van Hook said.

Van Hook met Harper in 2001 as the community college prepared for its Measure C bond campaign.

Once the measure passed, Harper joined a site-selection committee to find a home for the college's Canyon Country campus, which was built with Measure C money.

Harper served on the Measure C oversight committee and the Measure M oversight committee, Van Hook said.

Van Hook remembers Harper's sense of humor and her love of life.

"She never failed to lighten up a room," Van Hook said.

Harper spent four years as the director of volunteers and recreation programs at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.

"She was just tremendously full of energy," said Brad Berens, the center's executive director.

Even though Harper was involved with the senior center, she maintained ties to other organizations like the American Cancer Society.

"She was never dedicated to just one cause," Berens said.

Harper is survived by her husband and four children.

College of the Canyons will host a celebration of Harper's life at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28.


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