Douglas Alan Harms

Douglas Alan Harms of Harrisburg, SD, died August 5, 2023, the result of a car accident near Rock Springs, Wyoming, while on a camping trip with his beloved wife, Joyce.

Doug was born July 7, 1948, to Wes and Irene Harms. He was a member of the first graduating class of Lincoln Senior High School of Sioux Falls, SD, in 1966. He attended the University of SD-Springfield, where he met the love of his life, Joyce Vilhauer, of Tripp, SD. He graduated with a certification in diesel mechanics. He and Joyce were married May 17, 1968, shortly after Doug joined the US Navy, where he served as a member of the Seabees in Vietnam and Hawaii. Joyce joined Doug while he was stationed in Hawaii, and it was there that their first child, Jeffrey Douglas, was born. After the Navy, the family returned to the Sioux Falls area, and their second child, Vicki Jo, was born.

Doug had his own diesel mechanic business in Sioux Falls, and then became a US Postal Service employee, repairing postal equipment across the eastern half of South Dakota. Doug could repair almost anything from bicycles to diesel engines, from Lionel train sets to pinball machines. He was a quiet, humble man who enjoyed helping people because he was kind and because it was the right thing to do.

He loved hunting, camping, spending time with his grandsons, having a drink with his friends, reading, doing crossword puzzles, and playing Playstation Golf with Joyce almost every afternoon.

He is survived by his wife Joyce, his daughter Vicki, his son-in-law Chris Sommerich and their sons Eli and Ben Sommerich, his sister Donna (John) Kluczny, his sisters-in-law Esther Weber, Carol (Bill) Smith, Lillian (John) Larsen, brother-in-law Glen (Darla) Vilhauer, numerous nieces, nephews, relatives, and a host of friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Dave, and his son Jeff.

The funeral service will be held at Anderson, Jones, Corcoran Funeral Home in Harrisburg on August 26th at 11:00 am.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service with family present  to greet friends.

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11 messages have been left

  1. Ryan and Lori Petersen on August 16, 2023 said:

    Much love and many prayers to Joyce, Vicki, Chris, Ben and Eli. Uncle Doug will be greatly missed!

  2. Kadow Family on August 16, 2023 said:

    Lots of sympathy to the whole Harms Family. Fortunately Doug left all of you with a lot of great memories because of his kind-hearted actions in life. No doubt he passed that life lesson on to many people while here with us on earth. What a great legacy.
    With Love The Kadow Family

  3. Janice Mueller on August 16, 2023 said:

    To all the Harms family- my Uncle Doug was a phenomenal man in so many ways. I cherish all the moments that I had with him. I will miss him terribly!

  4. Aaron on August 16, 2023 said:

    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  5. Sarah & Thad on August 17, 2023 said:

    To Uncle Doug,
    the beauty shown in your family represents the love, investment, care and adventures that occured while you breathed. While those still living carry your precious stories and memories, may you rest in peace with the love ones who are now in your company. Thank you for setting an example you will be missed.

  6. Corey and Auch family on August 20, 2023 said:

    Joyce, Vicki and Family

    I/we are so, so sorry for your loss. When I got the texted Doug had passed I almost drove off the road. I can still remember being in middle school and hunting with him, dad and Jim. He was a great man, loved hunting with him and just talking with him! No one else I would rather be in the duck blind with!

  7. Teri and Bill Rose on August 21, 2023 said:

    Uncle Doug, thank you for the dance. May your soul forever rest now nestled in God’s hands. Aunt Joyce, frousins Vicki and Chris, and dear Eli and Ben- may you feel the love that embraces you from each of us that will hold tightly onto you during this incredible time of suffering. We love you and cry with you.

  8. Phyllis Harris- Nelson on August 21, 2023 said:

    My sincerest sympathy Joyce and Vicky! Keep those Happy and treasured memories close!

  9. Renee Roth on August 26, 2023 said:

    I’m writing this on behalf of the Women of Living Word Free Lutheran Church. We want you to know that we are holding you close in prayer during this very difficult time of grief and loss. As your sisters in Christ we commit to love and support you; to offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on; and to mourn with you in the hope of Christ. May you sense God’s presence and peace today and in the days to come. He alone is our source of comfort, strength, and joy in the midst of trial.🙏🏻

  10. Mervin Guthmiller on August 31, 2023 said:

    Hi Joyce, I am so sorry to learn of Doug’s passing. I have been thinking of you and praying for you and your family. I trust Doug had a strong faith and believed Jesus is who He said He is in the scriptures and is with Jesus now. I would have liked to see all your sisters, you, and Glen at the celebration of Doug’s life, but was scheduled to speak at our church. I often think of the good times we had when our family would visit your family when we were growing up . Aunt Erna always prepared very good food . Maybe a Vilhauers family reunion is in order . Mervin Guthmiller

  11. Becky on December 4, 2023 said:

    hi Joyce. thus is Becky- the “egg lady”. I just saw the passing of doug. I hadn’t heard from him & had the gut feeling something had happened. I just read the obituary & I am so terrible sorry. I enjoyed our conversations about hunting, family, his grandsons & just anything in general. he was easy to talk to. again my sincere condolences. my prayers are with you & your family.