Waynesville, Dr. Eugene Roberts Harpe, age 92, passed away on Monday, May 2, 2022, at his residence.
Dr. Eugene Harpe was the son of the late Lafayette C. and Sara Lovelace Harpe. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and lived in Asheville until he entered military service. He graduated from Lee Edwards High School and Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee with the Doctor of Optometry degree.
He entered military service during the Korean War and served overseas on the destroyer USS McCord and later as a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer with the Second Marine Division. He was a member of the Naval Reserves with over 16 years of service, four of which was active duty.
Dr. Harpe started in practice in Waynesville in November 1955 and was past president of Mountain District Optometric Society, The North Carolina State Optometric and The American Optometric Society for fifty years. He retired from practice in 1998.
He was past president of the Waynesville Rotary Club and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. In prior years he was chairman of the Waynesville Planning and Zoning Board and helped in rewriting the current zoning regulations. Dr. Harpe was appointed to the Haywood County Board of Health and served for nine years, six of which as chairman. He was a director and secretary of the Waynesville Chamber of Commerce in the early sixties. Dr. Harpe served as vice president of the Waynesville United Way. As a community volunteer, he served for over thirteen years at The Open Door Soup Kitchen.
Dr. Harpe was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville and had served as both a deacon and elder. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margot Hocking Harpe, who died in 2020; son, Stuart Harpe; and granddaughter, Paige Harpe.
Dr. Harpe is survived by his daughter, Lindy Harpe (Rob Moore), of Camden, South Carolina; son, Stephen Harpe, and his wife, Sherry, of Waynesville; three grandchildren, Stephanie Harpe, of Asheville, Maggie Gibbons Cannon (Mac), of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and Graham Gibbons (Marcia), of Charleston, South Carolina; great-grandchildren, Kai Sabian Gold and Margaret Mills Cannon.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at Green Hill Cemetery with Reverend Holly Davis officiating. The family will receive friends from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. prior to the service at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville, building fund, 305 N. Main Street, Waynesville, NC 28786 or a charity of ones choosing.
The care of Dr. Harpe has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.