Dennis Clayton Harmon


Dennis Clayton Harmon died on May 22, 2021, from complications due to a fall.

If you had the pleasure of knowing Denny, you know that he rarely stopped moving. So, it makes sense that his career at Sumner Memorial High School moved from physical education teacher to cross-country, soccer, basketball and softball coach, and on to athletic director.

And while some might have seen retirement as a time to relax, Denny didn’t seem to get that memo. He continued to umpire and referee soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. He loved everything about the games — helping kids learn a sport, working with good people, interacting with fans and simply being involved in the schools and on the fields.

When he wasn’t busy ribbing coaches and fans — OK, umpiring — you’d still find Denny outside. Usually at his camp on Green Lake. Often with a chainsaw in his hand. And a ridiculously well-trained dog at his feet. From driving a tractor to a four-wheeler to a motorboat — if it was moving and outside, Denny was in. He was also an enthusiastic, if not particularly successful, hunter and fisherman.

The only thing that rivaled Denny’s love of sports and the outdoors was the deep caring he felt for people. Just don’t expect him to talk about it! Always more of a doer, Denny’s kindness was demonstrated by his tireless good deeds and commitment to others. He thrived in the company of family and friends; if there was a reunion or party afoot, you can be sure Denny was the instigator. No gathering was complete without his laughter. And no gathering will ever quite be the same.

Denny is survived by daughters Tracy and Denise, brothers Robert and Ronald and their families. His devoted wife of 40 years, Pam, predeceased him in 2011. He leaves his fiancée, Cathy Lewis, and his constant companions, his beloved dogs.

A gathering of family and friends will be held at the Franklin Veterans Club on Sunday, May 30, at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the new Pam Harmon Art Room at Sumner High School. (

Know when to pay your respects.