Daniel Douglas Harkness, 62
Jan. 20, 1954 — Sept. 24, 2016
Daniel “Dan” Douglas Harkness, 62, died Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in his home after a courageous lifelong battle with depression and severe arthritis.
A celebration of life service will begin promptly at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Milwaukee Athletic Club (758 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202). Family will receive guests at the reception immediately following the service. Memorials may be made to Prevent Blindness Wisconsin (759 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee, WI 53202) and the Grand Avenue Club (210 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee, WI 53202).
Dan was born a fifth-generation Californian on Jan. 20, 1954, in Los Angeles to Ralph and Barbara Harkness. His family moved to Milwaukee when Dan was 6 months old. They considered the east side of Milwaukee their home. Dan spent 30 happy years in West Bend, but vowed to return to Milwaukee, which he did in 2013.
A proud graduate of Campus Elementary, he was a three-sport letterman excelling in wrestling, track and football at Shorewood High School. He continued his football career at Occidental College. Dan received his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a proud Badger the rest of his life.
Dan had an independent spirit from an early age. At age 12, Dan forwent tennis at the Town Club, took his paper route earnings, bought a small sailboat and joined the Milwaukee Yacht Club, where he became and avid sailor. This membership would pay off years later when he met a young woman named Mary Beth at a Badger alum event held at the club. On Nov. 12, 1983, he married his best friend Mary Beth Kircher of West Bend at Old Saint Mary Church in Milwaukee. Their reception was, of course, at the Milwaukee Yacht Club.
Dan began his career at W.H. Brady before earning his MBA. He spent the next 12 years of his career at Arthur Andersen. He took this formidable and extensive I.T. experience and parlayed it into an independent consulting business. He consulted at many leading companies, including Harley-Davidson, Manpower, ExxonMobil, CUNA Mutual and Motorola. Dan was known throughout the industry for his integrity, leadership and tireless work ethic.
Following in his father’s footsteps, he recently began volunteering his time and experience to Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.
Dan always gave his clients his very best and led by example, as he did with his family. He was a devoted husband, loving father of three, and proud “Papa” to his grandchildren, Cal and Liv, who became the lights of his life.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth; his two sons, Cullen and Sandy Harkness; his daughter Dana and son-in-law Chris Minning; and his grandchildren, Cal and Liv Minning.
Dan is also survived by his sister, Ainslie (Keith) Peoples, and brothers, T.J. (Barbara) Harkness and Scott (Genevieve) Harkness. He is further survived by his in-laws, Barbara (Daniel) Sasso, Tom (Sis) Kircher, Bob Kircher and Mark (Karen) Kircher, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Barbara Harkness, and in-laws, George and Claudine Kircher.
He loved his family, friends, a good party and The Beach Boys.
“Sail on, sail on sailor.”