In loving memory of

Dennis Keith Harney
November 5, 1946 - July 30, 2022

Dennis K. Harney, 75, passed away peacefully at his home in Lynnwood, WA, on July 30, 2022. His beloved family was at his side.

Dennis was born 11/5/1946 in Elwood, IN, the son of Billy and Vera (Collier) Harney. He worked hard to put himself through college, the first of his family to do so. Through the course of his educational career, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Regional and Urban Planning and a Master of Public Administration from Ball State University, and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Valparaiso University. In 1970, Dennis married Kathleen Sorg; they were happily married for 52 years.

Much of Dennis's professional career was in the field of urban planning. He served as Director of Planning for the City of Elkhart and Elkhart County, IN, for many years. The last 16 years of his career were spent as Executive Director of Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council, before he retired in 2012. Among his many professional accomplishments, he was awarded the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash award in 1994 by Governor Evan Bayh.

Dennis was a lifelong learner. Watching Jeopardy with him, it was apparent that he loved to read and absorb knowledge about any and every subject. He was an avid Notre Dame fan since he was a child, and spent as many games as possible cheering them from the stands. Perhaps that was partially due to his intense pride in his Irish roots, and dedication to family genealogical studies to discover exactly when and where in Ireland he came from. Dennis's pride and love for family were always apparent--in the way he spoke about his wife, Kathy, and their two kids; the love he had for his two siblings and their children; and the way he played with his grandsons.

Dennis was known far and wide across the Midwest in many a used bookstore. His book collection, assembled with care over 40+ years, is still talked about by professional book sellers across the country. He had a unique love for books and art, the history of them, how they impacted our culture, and their beauty. He could often be found crouched down by a stack of old books no one had noticed before, finding gems and taking them home to be saved.

In addition to his other interests, Dennis was an extremely talented artist. His natural talent was one he passed on and shared with his two kids. His favorite medium was watercolor, and his carousel animals, flowers, and landscapes were appreciated by all who saw them.

Dennis's quick Irish wit and his compassionate heart will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife Kathy, son Michael (Suzanne), daughter Jennifer (Alexander), and grandsons Finn and Cian Harney and Conor Ingle.

The Harney family will be having a Celebration of Life for Dennis on October 2, 2022 at the Eagle Library Branch in Indianapolis, from 2:00pm - 5:00pm. All are welcome.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
-Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)


Jennifer Harney wrote on Aug 12, 2022:

"We will be having a Celebration of Life for Dad on October 2, 2022 at the Eagle Library Branch in Indianapolis, from 2:00pm - 5:00pm. We hope everyone who loved Dad can join us in remembering him together."

Lisa McIntyre Stone wrote on Aug 2, 2022:

"I will always remember Uncle Dennis with joy and laughter. His jokes and stories about childhood with Mom and Uncle Dick were always my favorite part of time spent with him. The bond of family held us close, even across many miles. I know there was an amazing family reunion in Heaven over the weekend. I love you all. Lisa"

John Miles wrote on Aug 2, 2022:

"I'm sure Dennis is at the first Vintage Book Store he found at the Pearly Gates, checking the rare heavenly finds in a deep political discussion with God on the social issues plaguing society and winning the discussion and argument... ??my friend!!! - You've bravely fought this battle for such a long time - I hope you're finally at peace! You'll be remembered fondly... Very glad for the quick moments in time we were able to spend together..."