Raymond Dennis Harrelson
Cambridge - On Saturday, September 12th, 2020, Raymond Dennis Harrelson, "Denny" to his family and friends passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 72 years old.
A graveside service will be 11 a.m. Friday, September 18 at the Cambridge Cemetery in Cambridge. Everyone is invited to join the family at the Cambridge Community Center following the service.
Denny was born on April 7th, 1948 to Dorothy Ann and Claude Ray Harrelson of Nevada, and became the big brother to four siblings who survive him, Claudia (Mike) Conrad of Missouri,
Ruth Willson of Ames, Randy (Marianne) Harrelson of Nevada, and Karla (Scott) Gealow of Alabama.
Denny's eventful childhood, as beautifully written in the memoirs his children encouraged him to write, was full of stories of life growing up in the 50's and 60's. His tales included the simple things he loved, such as riding to town with his mom on the back of her bicycle, fishing and camping with his family, adventures with his childhood friends, being taken care of by his favorite Aunt Addie and Uncle Ben, and pick-up games of baseball at the playground of the old North school ball diamond in Nevada.
Denny met Karen Lucile Aldrich in 1965 and the two fell quickly in love. One night in 1966, Denny asked for his class ring back. Karen was speechless and near tears until he pulled out the new engagement ring he had just bought her and proposed. They married on February 4th,1967 at the Methodist Church in Nevada and started their family later that year. Stephanie was born in November and their little family was just starting. Over the next several years, they welcomed 4 more children, Rebecca, Jennifer, Benjamin, and Cassondra.
Denny and Karen settled down in Cambridge, where they lived their entire lives together. Denny had many jobs in his lifetime and was a very hard and dedicated worker. He was employed by the Alleman Co-op for 22 years and retired from Heartland Ag Supply in Ames at the beginning of 2015. His tales of the odd jobs he did and the many close calls he had during his career - as well as those close calls he saved others from - are fascinating, and his children always thought he deserved a medal for his selfless acts of love and care of others.
Denny loved to fish, he loved NASCAR, and he loved his children and grandchildren…but most of all he loved his "Sweetie", Karen. He took such good care of her and was devastated by her death in April of 2019. The bond they shared was awesome. They fought hard sometimes but loved harder always. They loved to go on road-trips and visit casinos and love on their grandchildren but, in the end, what they wanted most was to just be together.
We will forever be thankful for the extra year and a half we had our father after Mom passed and, though it was not near long enough, we know he is now where he has wanted to be since she left, and that is in the arms of his true love.
Denny is survived by his children, Stephanie (Brian) Cozad of Maxwell, Becca (Jason) Hasbrouck of Maxwell, Ben Harrelson of Ames, Jennifer Harrelson of Stanhope, and Cassie (Josh) Crannell of Huxley, as well as his grandchildren, Ethan, Logan, Lilliana, Brennan, Caden, Landen and Hailey.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and Claude and his best friend, confidant and stepdad, Ervin Yancey.
Denny will be greatly missed by all who knew him. We will miss you at the games, we will miss your pop-by visits and your "dad jokes" and the music videos you loved to show us. We will miss your laugh and your smile and most of all your hugs. You gave the best hugs. We love you Dad. Go in peace and tell Mom we miss her.
Memorial contributions may be made to Every Step Hospice in Des Moines, or the Story County Animal Shelter in Nevada.
Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home in Nevada is handling arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.rasmussonfh.com