Dennis Van Harnish Jr.

April 25, 1971May 7, 2022
Obituary of Dennis Van Harnish Jr.
On April 25, 1971, a force of nature was born. Dennis Van Harnish, Jr., was born to Dennis Van Harnish, Sr., and Gena Mae Bowden in Dallas, Texas. He grew to be a man who provided constant entertainment for all who encountered him – be it through his pranks or his kind eyes and infectious smile. Dennis’ spirit was never to be matched: he loved collecting masks to scare his children, and was forever playing jokes on family and friends. He fancied himself a rough and macho guy, sewing patches onto his clothing that said “Desperado” – a moniker he gave himself. One day he was playing in a pool with his step-son, and Hayden intended to yell, “Hey Dennis, throw me the noodle.” It mistakenly came out as, “Hey Doodle, throw me the noodle,” and Dennis has been known as “Doodle” ever since. It was a term of endearment he wore with pride, and even his coworkers and motorcycle buddies referred to him as such. Doodle worked for Ward Idealease as a diesel mechanic. He loved his job, and loved his coworkers. Doodle was an extraordinarily generous soul – he would do anything for anyone. He loved all things water, and loved fixing things, notably, the things he had broken himself. This includes the lo-ride-er golf cart he engineered and provided as a mode of transportation for his family around Orange Beach. Doodle was, above all else, a family man. He loved his wife and his children with all his heart. Doodle would do anything for his children, but also taught them how to do for themselves. He was their go-to: he could fix anything and make anything better. To guess what he was up to next was like trying to capture a firefly, and being delighted to see its light. We lost Doodle too early. He passed in the evening of May 7, 2022 at his home in Mobile, Alabama. If you speak to his family and friends, you’ll feel the jolt of electricity of his spirit living through them – for that’s who he always was: coy, wise, energetic, and the center of attention. He was an amazing husband, father, brother, son, and friend, and will be missed by anyone who ever crossed his path, because a man like him will never be forgotten. Dennis was preceded in death by his mother, Gena Mae Cardenas; and his Aunt Marie Grove. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Monica S. Harnish; two daughters, McCall Davis (Caleb) and Macy Harnish; step-son, Hayden Sullivan; granddaughter, Macie Davis; father and step-mother, Dennis Van Harnish, Sr., and Jeanie Harnish; brother, Del Harnish (Tiffani); sisters, Katie Harnish and Leah Harnish; nieces and nephews, Morgan Bruce, Jaxon Forrester, and Hunter McCaskill; as well as a host of numerous friends, coworkers, and other family. Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 15, 2022 from 1-3 at Pine Crest Funeral Home on Dauphin Island Parkway in Mobile. We will celebrate Doodle’s life beginning at 3 p.m., and the family asks you to join them for food and fellowship after the service. Come prepared to share your favorite stories of Doodle! In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

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Past Services

Sunday, May 15, 2022


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Memorial Service