Deceased July 25, 2022

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In Memory

“A wonderful friend, with such an uplifting spirit and boundless energy.”

“I cannot think of anyone with such a grand spirit.”

Variations on those words came from several classmates receiving the news that Wyatt Harper died on July 25, 2022. Wyatt brightened the lives of everyone around him, charging through life with a smile and a mission to embrace every moment.

“I loved Wyatt’s positive attitude,” said one classmate. “I appreciated how gawky he was on the basketball court and in life.” If you told Wyatt he was gawky, he’d agree. Goofy jokes suited him, and in more recent years his hilarious stories delighted fellow Deke alumni in Zoom gatherings, where he would conclude by saying, “I just love all you guys.”

Born in Florida, Wyatt came to Amherst from a high school in California. After graduation, he entered Army training as a paratrooper and signal corps officer, in the latter role helping to protect villages in Vietnam against attacks. Then, moving to Tennessee, he earned a master’s degree in psychology, administered a mental health clinic and carried on a private practice. With his Army training in electronics, he also started a company that specialized in computer data communication and conducted business in Radio Shack stores, of which he owned a couple. Licensed as an instrument-rated pilot, he flew on cross-country business trips. In recent years, he did psychological evaluations for police and firefighting candidates.

With wife Eileen and their son, Wyatt Jr., he ran a tennis program for children in Dickson, Tenn. He served in the Army Reserves with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell, retired at the rank of major and was commander of his local American Legion post. He also played the lap dulcimer. He and Eileen celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary last year. We miss him. 

Dave Davenport ’68, Bob Warrington ’68, Dick Salem ’68, Jim Lynch ’68, Richard Neugass ’68 and John Stifler ’68