September 5, 1940 – July 3, 2018
Dennis G. Happel, 77, of Wadesville, passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at his home. He was born September 5, 1940 in Evansville to the late Clarence and Ella Marie (Martin) Happel. He worked at Bucyrus-Erie for 17 years as a machinist and retired from Country Mark Refinery after 23 years. Dennis was a professional motorcycle racer from 1963-1968. In 1966, he raced the Daytona 200 and was the Indiana Flat Track Champion. Dennis enjoyed camping with the International Brotherhood of Motorcycle Campers. He visited all 48 states and three Canadian provinces with his wife Linda on their motorcycles and enjoyed woodworking (especially making furniture for his family), fishing, and deer hunting. Dennis was preceded in death by his brothers, Herbert C. and Martin E. Happel. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Linda K. (Freels) Happel; sons, Donald G. Happel (Michele Harvey) and Andrew J. Happel (Angela) and their children, Mya and Jonah Happel; Linda’s son, Chris Huber (Rachel) and children; sister, Joyce Kohlmeyer, and several nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 9th, at Alexander West Chapel, 2100 West Illinois Street, officiated by Pastor Darrell Hillhouse with burial at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Wadesville. Visitation is from 1-4 p.m., Sunday, July 8th. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Condolences and remembrances may be made online at www.AlexanderWestChapel.com.
- Visitation Sunday, July 8, 2018
- Funeral Service Monday, July 9, 2018
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July 12, 2018
I met Dennis and Linda in 1999, when they joined the IBMC (International Brotherhood of Motorcycle Campers), 2 years after I had become a new member myself. I only know this because I looked it up, in my memory, it seems they have always been members. I can't remember any IBMC campout I was at, that they did not attend. Who can forget their pop up trailer, with the gigantic tarp, held up by 15-20 poles, kind of an architectural marvel? On a rainy day, you could find most of the group, elbow to elbow, underneath. I see Dennis cooking on the picnic table, a wearing a cook's apron, all business. At some point, a free breakfast was offered to all. When any kind of problem arose, Dennis was always first on the scene, especially if someone had a motorcycle problem. I remember once I was on a trip with them, and my shift lever broke. Had I been by myself, I'm sure I would have called for a tow. Dennis grabbed a few tools, and had me up and running in less than 30 minutes. Dennis was an early riser, (Linda, not so much) and many times I remember getting up, and he would already have a fire started, and the community coffee pot perking. At one of the last campouts, someone asked him why he was up so early. He said, “I heard the birds singing, so I got up.” I don't know why that simple phrase stuck in my brain, but even before he died, at odd momets, I would hear him say that. So Dennis, I promise you, when I hear the birds singing, I will get up.
July 12, 2018
My heart is broken from the loss of our dear friend Dennis. Both you and Dennis were special people to me. I pray now that you may find peace from this terrible tragedy and know that you are loved by all who surround you.
Love and Hugs,
July 9, 2018
Linda & Family,
Our deepest condolences on the loss of Dennis. You are all in our prayers.
Rev. Jason, Sarah & Austin DEan
July 9, 2018
I am so deeply sorry for your heartfelt tragedy, Linda. Denny will be severely missed but we are all confident he will be in Heaven.
I met Denny when I was 14. He would stop at our house while riding the "Loop" on his motorcycle. Often we would ride togeather.
Eventually, I got onto motorcycle racing thru Denny who gave advice, pointers and recomendations.
I remember Denny racing at Chandler and falling hard yet the bike stood up and crashed through the fence without him.
When Denny stood up, obviously in great pain
as he had a huge red bleeding abrasion on his right side where his leather jacket had slid up.
Denny smiled and waved at the cheering crowd and said, "Catch my motorcycle in Boonville!"
I always looked up to Denny like an older brother but now I have to look a lot higher!
May God Bless!
July 6, 2018
I remember when we were out at your house picking up popcorn and shelling it.a mouse ran up Mary Lou's pant leg and she stomped it to death.we had many good camping and boating trips together!😀R.I.P my friend and we will meet again! I'm deeply sorry for your loss prayers for you and your family!