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  • "Played many rounds of golf with Harlan at TCCC. Every one..."
    - Mack McGetrick
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Einan's at Sunset
Harlan Laverne Denning, born May 3, 1924, in Kimberly, Idaho, to Clyde Farrell and Ethel Grace (Barr) Denning, passed on July 13, 2017, in Kennewick, WA. He married Dorothy May Hilty, November 10, 1945, in Nampa, Idaho. Harlan spent his early school years in Twin Falls, and high school in Burley, Idaho, where he played American Legion baseball. He entered the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello, Idaho. From there, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Within one month of graduating from flight school and receiving his wings, he was in the Pacific flying combat missions, and served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1945. He piloted B-25s in the Pacific, flying 58 missions during WWII. He was very proud of the fact that he never lost a man or ship, nor had a crew member wounded. While on furlough from combat, on August 3, 1945, he visited his high school sweetheart, Dorothy, in Caldwell, Idaho, & they became engaged. Following their marriage, their first home was in San Leandro, California, where Harlan joined the family grocery business. He and Dorothy moved to Washington in the early 1950s where Harlan worked as a butcher and was a partner in various grocery stores in Othello and Tri Cities, as well as Hermiston, Oregon. Harlan was a Mason, a member of the VFW, Kiwanis, and Tri-City Country Club. He was President of the 38th Bomb Group Association WWII, for two years. As President, he organized a bomb group reunion held in Little Rock, Arkansas. In his youth and through middle adult life, he was an avid bird hunter. He was an enthusiastic golfer, having achieved 6 holes-in-one. He also enjoyed fishing and gardening. A dedicated husband and father, Harlan put family first. He always enjoyed entertaining and cooking for family and friends. Conversations around the table at family gatherings were always filled with laughter, thanks to Harlan's wit and humor. Harlan is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Dorothy, and sons James (Colleen) and Brian (Amy), son-in-law Joe Esparza, and grandchildren Christina (Mike) Thomas, Joe (Michele) Jensen, and Eric (Susan) Esparza, Nathan and Michael Esparza, Laura, Devin and Taryn Denning, and great granddaughter London Ann Esparza, and seven nieces and seven nephews. Harlan was preceded in death by his parents, and his siblings Barr (May) Denning, Ken (Barbara) Denning, Chet (Jean) Denning, and Ara Mae (Frank) Preston, Alma (Stuart) Taylor, and his daughters Gail Allison Denning, and Ann Katherine Denning Esparza. Interment with Military Honors will be conducted on July 29, 2017, at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Richland, WA, at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at Einan's Event Center. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the VFW, Salvation Army, or other local charity of your choice. Express your thoughts and memories on our online Guestbook at www.einansatsunset.com
Published in Tri-City Herald on July 23, 2017
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