I first met Dane when we interviewed him for our developer position. He was working on final touches on a product upgrade to be completed before he left for his new position. Avid Pasco County bicyclist is mourned by family, friends
By Camille C. Spencer
, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Wednesday, September 2, 2009
ST. LEO — Dane Harmon had become an avid bike rider in the past two years.
When he lived in Tampa, he rode his Trek 7.3 bike to his sister's house in Dade City. And more recently, he started training for a 100-mile ride.
Harmon, 24, was excited about exploring the Washington, D.C., area on his bike later this month when he was scheduled to begin a computer job at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Saturday morning, he rode along State Road 52. Near the entrance to Saint Leo University, a car struck his bike. Harmon died the next day. His organs, including skin and bones, were donated. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Thursday at Hodges Funeral Home in Dade City.
"He was a brilliant mind," said Valerie Hammen, Harmon's sister. "I am so sad for the world. He had so many positive contributions to give."
• • •
Harmon was the youngest of three children in a military family and was born in Kentucky. His father, James, was in the Army.
From an early age, Dane picked up on things easily. He was cooking his own eggs at age 3. When he was 10, he read Last of the Mohicans
during a family trip to Florida from a Maryland military base where the family lived.
Sometimes, Dane did his older brother James' homework. He would charge him 50 cents.
The Harmon family eventually settled in Florida, and Dane went to Wesley Chapel High School. He graduated in 2003.
Joe Geier, a former yearbook teacher at the school, never taught Dane but remembered him as being a helpful kid who always had a smile on his face.
"I became friends with Dane after he graduated, and I was doing freelance graphic design work," said Geier, who now lives in Pittsburgh. "He put together a Web site for me. If you needed help, Dane was there. He was an awesome individual."
Dane Harmon went to the University of South Florida, where he was president of the Math Club and USF Senate. For a while, he was a DJ for the college radio station.
He graduated with a math degree in 2008, and took a job at IMAPP, a Tampa real estate company, as a computer programmer and software developer.
"We took him out to lunch one day, and he was an amazing kid," said Mary Sheridan, one of Harmon's co-workers. "Just really smart and personable. Very easy to talk to. He was headed for a nice life, and it ended."
• • •
About 11:36 a.m. Saturday [August 29, 2009], Harmon was riding west in the bike lane on State Road 52, said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.
J. Emanuel Beinkampen, 65, of San Antonio was driving his 1991 sedan west on 52. Beinkampen veered into the bike lane, hitting Harmon, Doll said.
"It didn't appear that speed was an issue," Doll said. "The driver didn't appear impaired."
Sean Ashburn has known Harmon since fifth grade, when they attended San Antonio Elementary. Ashburn, 24, said he remembers Harmon always willing to pitch in and help others.
Once, during hurricane season a few years back, Harmon was working for Ashburn at his home decoration shop in Dade City when they tried to board up the building before a storm.
"We were out in the middle of the storm with an electric drill trying to board up windows," said Ashburn, now a law student. "We were such idiots for being out there, but he stuck to it."
Ashburn said Harmon was someone he expected to age with.
"I expected him to plan our reunions," he said of their college and high school years. "I knew he would be one of those friends."
Ashburn posted a note Monday on his Facebook page filled with things he would miss about Harmon that he called, "Dane Harmon-Good Memories-Great Friend."
The end reads, "You always being there, in good spirits, no questions asked. Always there to help. You will be devotely loved and missed by scores of people. RIP Dane." Camille C. Spencer can be reached at cspencer (at) sptimes (dot) com or (813) 909-4609.
Link to article: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/avid-pasco-county-bicyclist-is-mourned-by-family-friends/1033000#