US Army


Francis "Shorty" LaVern Harper

January 1, 1932 ~ February 22, 2018 (age 86)
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Vern 'Shorty' Harper

January 1, 1932 ~ February 22, 2018

Vern “Shorty” Harper, 86 years old, passed away at home Feb. 22, 2018, with his wife of 65 years, Vera, and their children by his side.

Vern’s family moved around Oregon during his childhood, including Bonanza, Powell Butte, (where he started school) and Lakeview, finally ending up in California.

When Vern was 17, he joined the Army. After his training, he was sent to Korea, where he proudly joined and bravely fought alongside his brothers in arms. While in the military, he met the love of his life, Vera Davis, while visiting his brother, Mel Harper, in Prineville. Vern and Vera were married in 1953.

While still on active duty, the first of his three children were born, Pamela Sue in 1953, the following year, Fredrick Lavern was born, and their last child, Charles Otha, was born in 1957.

After honorably serving five-and-a-half years, Vern worked at numerous occupations and locations to provide for his family. With the help from his closest friend Gene Hedgspath, he started his electrical apprenticeship in Medford. Upon receiving his journeyman license, he moved his family back to Prineville to pursue his dreams of being an electrical contractor and raising his family where they could be close to Vera’s family that lived in Central Oregon.

Despite injuries from a life-threating industrial accident, Vern was able to start his company Diamond Electric in 1968 with their logo “Let Us Remove Your Shorts.” Vern, with the help of his wife, Vera, built the company to include as many as 23 electricians working all over Oregon while maintaining his base in Prineville. Vern’s sons, Fred and Chuck, joined him at Diamond Electric, becoming licensed electricians. Vern also taught his grandson Chad Harper (currently licensed in three states) the electrical trade.

Vern’ s career at Diamond Electric spanned over 50 years where he touched so many people with humor, kindness and always willing to help anyone out.

Shorty was always active in the community, donating his knowledge, time and company resources to numerous local government and private agencies. Vern never turned anyone away. Whenever possible, he enjoyed traveling in his motor home with his wife.

He is survived by his wife, Vera Harper; daughter, Pam Mitchell; sons, Fred Harper and Chuck Harper; 23 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; brother, Mel Harper; sister, Doren Shrout; sisters-in-law, June Pipkin, Donna Smalling and Juanita Strawn; and brother-in-law, Darrell Davis.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Redemption House Ministries in Prineville, Band of Brothers in Prineville, and St. Charles Hospice in Prineville.


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