Lucius “Pete” Carlton Harper
Lucius “Pete” Carlton Harper [Frostburg]
Lucius “Pete” Carlton Harper went home to be with his Lord and Savior Tuesday, June 30, 2009.
Pete was born in Frostburg Nov. 1, 1916, and was the son of the late William Lucius and Hattie Augusta (Bolden) Harper.
He was a member of Dickerson AME Church, Frostburg. Pete attended Lincoln Elementary School on Park Avenue in Frostburg. After leaving school, Pete drove a coal truck and also worked for William Jenkins as his personal caretaker for many years. He was a man of many talents and worked odd jobs to provide for his wife and family.
Pete was married to his first wife, Mary P. Washington, who preceded him in death in September 1976. He was also preceded in death by his firstborn son, Carlton “Sonny” A. Harper, in May 2008.
Harper’s Parklane Restaurant was opened in 1959 by Pete, his wife and children. The restaurant created a recreational spot for Negroes in the community at that time. A part of the building was used to detail automobiles. Times changed and Pete decided to go into the fried chicken business at Parklane. He was also a self-taught singer and musician and played the bass fiddle and guitar. Pete had a musical combo at the Parklane. People would come to eat, dance and hear Pete sing with his wonderful voice. Many musicians, local and some not so local would come to Harper’s Parklane to sit in for a musical jam session with Pete. Several celebrities visited Parklane, and the most notable were Count Basie and Cannon Ball Adderly. Pete also played bass for Roberta Flack, renowned singer, pianist and song writer. He also played bass in several venues at Deep Creek Lake and local clubs in the area.
In the late 1960s, Pete’s wife became ill, and they were no longer able to operate Parklane. Pete moved to Washington to seek employment. He went to school for air conditioning and refrigeration. After completing his studies, Pete worked as an air conditioning and refrigeration engineer for Flag Ship Restaurant in Washington, D.C. He retired in the 1980s and returned to Frostburg and continued his music by entertaining clients at local nursing homes. He also played his bass in the Cumberland Theater.
Pete is survived by one brother, Robert B. Harper and wife Bessie Josephine Bush Harper, Frostburg; six sons, Robert “Bob” P. Harper and wife Mary, Elkridge, L. Wayne Harper and wife JoAnn, Cumberland, Gregory C. Harper and wife Doris, Elkridge, Phillip C. Harper and wife Adrene, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Boyd D. Harper and wife Jane, Frostburg, and William “Nubby” Harper and wife JoAnn, Uniontown, Pa.; two daughters, Linda H. Carrington, Cumberland, and Paulette Hall and husband Larry, Baltimore; 20 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and dear friend and ex-wife, Joyce Harper and stepson, Byyan.
Pete was preceded in death by brothers, William and Wallace Harper; and sisters, Madge Gordon, Georgia Waites, Helen A. Hatcher, Doris Harper, Anna B. Cole and Mozelle Cole.
Friends will be received at the Sowers Funeral Home, P.A., Friday, July 3, 2009, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a funeral service following at 1 p.m. with Pastor Meredith C. Hudson officiating.
Inurnment will be in the Frostburg Memorial Park at a later date.
Friends are invited to repass with the family at the Frostburg United Methodist Church on Main Street immediately following the service.
Cumberland Times News
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008