Jacqueline (Jackie) Harper Obituary
Jacqueline (Jackie) Hutzler Bello Harper photos Jacqueline (Jackie) Hutzler Bello Harper photos

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Jacqueline (Jackie) Hutzler Bello Harper

May 1, 1926 - May 4, 2014
Obituary

Jacqueline (Jackie) Hutzler Bello Harper buried her father, then her stepfather, later her mother, next her first husband, then her second husband, and finally two of her three children. Her heart simply gave out on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Jackie was born on May 1, 1926, to Dewey and Lucille Hutzler in Hagerstown, Maryland. An avid student, Jackie aspired to study at the institution she regarded as the pinnacle of learning: Duke University. She resided on Duke's East Campus with other women students, wrote for the school newspaper, and participated in Alpha Phi sorority. She met and was courted by another Duke student, Harold Lou Bello,...
Jacqueline (Jackie) Hutzler Bello Harper buried her father, then her stepfather, later her mother, next her first husband, then her second husband, and finally two of her three children. Her heart simply gave out on Sunday, May 4, 2014.

Jackie was born on May 1, 1926, to Dewey and Lucille Hutzler in Hagerstown, Maryland. An avid student, Jackie aspired to study at the institution she regarded as the pinnacle of learning: Duke University. She resided on Duke's East Campus with other women students, wrote for the school newspaper, and participated in Alpha Phi sorority. She met and was courted by another Duke student, Harold Lou Bello, whom she married in 1948 after earning her B.A. in English.

The Bellos settled in Raleigh and raised three children there: Tom born in 1949, Gerry in 1951, and Susan in 1952. While remaining the most loving and supportive of mothers, Jackie worked outside (and well as within) the home to help support her growing family. She became the business manager for a group of psychiatrists who, along with their patients, relied more and more on her sterling competence, judgment, and empathy. She also served for many years as the Executive Secretary of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association, facilitating collaboration between psychiatrists throughout the state.

An open-minded family, Jackie's children matriculated at many of the state's colleges: Tom at UNC-Chapel Hill, Gerry at Davidson and NC State for his graduate degree, and Susan at her mother's alma mater, Duke. Everyone got along extremely well, with occasional exceptions during basketball season. As the children departed for college, Jackie separated from and then divorced her husband.

Later, in 1975, she married Dr. Robert Harper, a psychiatrist, and delighted in her new stepchildren Robert, Nellie Sue, and Billie. Bob and Jackie partnered in their shared careers and became intrepid travelers to then exotic destinations including Communist China, the Soviet Union, and the Galapagos Islands. Dedicated preservationists, the Harpers restored a rundown antebellum home called Ivy Hill in Warren County. Enthusiastic gardeners, they planted native trees and other plants at Ivy Hill, built a greenhouse in their Raleigh home (where they stored many a friend's plants during winters), cultivated varieties of camellias and orchids, and contributed essays to gardening publications. Jackie and Bob took turns serving as President of the Raleigh Garden Club.

Always supportive of their six children, the Harpers constructed a rustic haven for their extended family at Lake Gaston. The couple also excelled at bridge, crossword puzzles, candle-making, beekeeping and honey production, experimental cooking, lifelong reading, and listening closely to others.

Bob Harper succumbed to kidney disease in 1992. Mustering the courage to soldier on, Jackie became a docent at the Raleigh History Museum, a Global Villages volunteer teaching English as a second language to children abroad (Poland, Crete, and Spain), and a more active Democrat. She entertained her neighbors including her annual Twelfth Night feast, hosted delicious dinners for friends, and celebrated holidays and special occasions with family.

She died of congestive heart and kidney failure far too soon, and is survived by her growing family: Dr. Robert Harper and Monica Hunter of Durham; Jon and Madeline Harper of Long Island, NY; Lauren Harper of Durham; Nellie Sue Harper Potter and Steven Potter of Toronto, Canada; Billie Harper Buie, Dr. Steve Buie and their daughters Sarah, Hannah, and Grace of Asheville; longstanding companion Kern Holoman of Raleigh; Tom, Judy and Jackie Bello of McLean, VA; Yeats, Justine and Julian Bello of Washington, DC; Pierce, Alyssa and Cadence Bello of Falls Church, VA; Nancy and Denny McGinnis of Chambersburg, PA; and other beloved relatives and friends.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 10, at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 St. Mary's St., Raleigh, at 1 p.m. The family will receive any guests afterward.

Any contributions may be submitted in her memory to the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be made through brownwynne.com.

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"Love and blessings to Tom, Judy, Jackie Jr, Pierce and Yeats. Your love and devotion to Jackie has been an example for us all. I'll always be grateful to..." Billie Buie (Asheville, NC)

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