Mark A. Harper

Mark Alan Harper, also known as “Big Daddy”, age 66, died at 3:20 p.m, Saturday, August 13, 2022 at his home. After battling leukemia for seven years he passed peacefully surrounded at home by his family.
He was born January 5, 1956, in Parsons, to Jimmy D. and Naida E. (Clausen) Harper. He attended Parsons school and graduated from Parsons High School in 1974.
Mark was a conductor/ switchman for the M.K.T. Railroad, later merging with the Union Pacific Railroad. He worked in this craft 45 years. An earlier part of his work history included being a chef at Don Divine’s Restaurant and Sir Richards Restaurant.
Mark was a food connoisseur and liked to find Triple D’s famous stops while traveling the United States. His biggest finds were donuts, ice cream and moonshine distilleries. His love for ice cream is now passed on to his grandchildren. He was a self-proclaimed professional BBQ-er and won several district competitions. His proudest award was winning 10th place in the American Royal barbeque contest. He was the pitmaster of Big Daddy’s and Sons BBQ.
Mark loved to make memories with family and friends while traveling, camping and boating at every famous lake he could find which always turned into a Clark Griswold story. He was always a storyteller and would share a lifetime of stories (never knowing when to call his B.S.). He was always eager to share his knowledge with his kids, grandkids or others who took an interest. His family interaction was always a desire of having his kids, grandkids and friends to be a part of sharing his automotive skills, boating skills, cooking or how to indulge until the crickets started chirping.
Many people looked up to Mark as a mentor, teacher and someone to banter back and forth with because of his quick wit. He was a great husband, dad, grandpa, papa, brother, son, uncle and great friend to many.
He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus Counsel #643, the United Transportation Union and served as local chairman of Local # 527 from 2004 – 2013. He was a member of the Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS).
Mark and Diane Marie Yockey were married January 18, 1980 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include his five children and their families – Miranda Mordica (Nathan) and Jackson, Owen and Luke of Joplin, Brendon Harper (Stacy) and Abbi and Gracyn of Gardner, Nick Harper (Cassidy) of Wichita, Jenae Austin (Justin) of Joplin, Ross Harper (Jennifer) and Nicholas, Chase and Emma of Parsons; his brother Terry Harper (Judy) of Kimberling City, MO and sister Sandra Stovall (Andy) of Waxahachie, TX; father-in-law and mother-in-law Carl and Louise Yockey; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, David Yockey (Trudy), Carla Winter (Jim), Lori Nash (Larry), Debbie Chavez (Mike) and Brian Yockey (Susan); several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
The Funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m., Friday, at the St. Patrick’s Gymnasium in Parsons, with Fr. Curtis Robertson officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
The Rosary will be prayed at 6 p.m., Thursday at the Carson-Wall Funeral Home in Parsons and the family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Memorials are suggested to the St. Patrick Church Restoration Fund or the St. Patrick School. They may be left at or sent to the Carson-Wall Funeral Home, P. O. Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online messages may be left at

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