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Aberdeen Park is dedicated in memory of Linwood “Butch” Harper


The community park located at Aberdeen Elementary School was dedicated with the unveiling of a new sign on Monday, November 15, 2021, as the Linwood “Butch” Harper Park at Aberdeen in memory of Harper. The ceremony was attended by HCS superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith, and School Board members Ann Cherry, chair; Richard Mason, vice chair; Stephanie Afonja; Tina Banks-Gray; and Jason Samuels. Former School Board members Dave Pearson and Phyllis Henry also attended as well as Harper’s family; City Council members Chris Bowman; Eleanor Brown; Steve Brown; and sheriff Karen Bowden.


Aberdeen principal Dr. Tiffany Geddie-Suggs gave opening remarks and a welcome. Dr. Smith, Ann Cherry, and brother of Butch, Michael gave comments during the dedication.


Linwood (Butch) D. Harper

(August 23, 1947 – March 15, 2018)

Butch Harper graduated from George P. Phenix High School in 1965 and immediately joined the United States Air Force. He later attended Norfolk State University and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in mechanical engineering. During his professional career, Butch also served on the Newport News Police Department and worked as a mechanical engineer at the Newport News Shipyard.


Butch had a passion for helping and mentoring the children in the community. In 1982, Butch started the Aberdeen Athletic Association along with lifelong friends Gilbert “Gil” Steward and Eldridge “Tony” Marshall, which evolved into Deen Ball Sports, Inc. In addition, he served as youth director for Boo Williams’ AAU basketball program until his health declined.


Butch was elected to the Hampton City School Board in 1993 and served until his passing in 2018. His strong passion for helping the youth along with his brother Chris’s support sparked his initial interest in running for a position on the board. Furthermore, Butch was then able to mentor and teach children educationally. Over the years, he worked at a variety of schools in Hampton and Newport News as a substitute teacher.