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Obituaries - January 28, 2023

David Adamson Harper

David Adamson Harper died peacefully in his sleep on October 22, 2022 at the age of 84.

pg14aDavid was born on April 14, 1938 in England and attended Peter Symond’s School in Winchester, before graduating from HMS Worcester Naval College, in Greenhithe, Kent.  He spent five years at sea, latterly with the China Navigation Company in Hong Kong, where he served as a junior deck officer. He covered this period of his life in his first book “Kwangchow,” an enjoyable read about the delights and dangers in the steamy sea ports of the Far East.

In 1970, while working for Grace Line in San Francisco, David became a U.S. citizen. He later served as the U.S. consular agent in Colon, Panama, concurrent with running Grace Line Panama. His time and interest in Panama was the incentive for his second book, the historical novel “How Teddy Took Panama.” 

David left behind a multitude of memorabilia of his years spent in many countries during his career in the steamship industry, as well as his passion for sports.  He had a lifelong love of rugby, and became a referee when his playing days ended. He refereed the game all over the world and often said that rugby was his entree to new friends wherever he travelled, even in Mexico.

A sailing enthusiast, David raced in every class from Lasers to 48 footers, and owned a succession of sailboats before age caught up to him. He bought a trawler styled cruiser when he lived in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and spent the summers and weekends cruising the local and British Columbia waters.

He was for many years a member of the East India Club in London, England, in addition to various rugby clubs, referees societies and yacht clubs, including the Royal Bombay.  He was a lifelong member of the Association of Old Worcesters and enjoyed the occasional get together with his fellow alumnae in different parts of the world.

David moved to Mexico after retiring from a lifelong career in the maritime industry.  He wrote and published four novels after settling in Ajijic.  David’s first two books are available in paperback and/or Kindle format from Amazon, as is his third novel “The Game that Never Ends.” His final novel, “Destination Callao,” previewed the founding of the Grace Line and the lives of Irish setters in Peru.

David is survived by his wife Susan Mary Bruhaug of Ajijic, Jalisco.  The couple were married at the Orange County Courthouse, California in 2008.  He is also survived by his first wife, Nicolene Ellen Dawson of Bonita Springs, Florida, and their son Andrew of Nashville, Tennessee.  Sadly, his son Jason Harper of Huntington Beach, California predeceased him.  Their families and those of his brothers Stewart Harper and Peter Harper and their families in England live on.

At David’s request there will be no funeral services or celebrations of his life.

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