Kent Co. businessman dies in backyard accident

9:01 PM, Aug 23, 2013   |    comments
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  • Jack Harkness

ALTO, Mich. (WZZM) -- The community is mourning the loss of a Kent County businessman after a freak accident at his home in Alto.

Jack Harkness, 77, died Wednesday when he was clearing brush in his back yard on McVean Lake. Harkness had a cable attached to a tree and a bulldozer. As he was attempting to clear the area, that cable snapped and hit him.

Harkness was a husband, father, and grandfather. He was best known in the community for his business ventures; he was once the owner of Harkness Toyota, which is now Betten Toyota on 28th Street in Kentwood. He was also the owner of the popular Comedy Den in Cascade, which closed in 2000.

His family says Jack was extremely active and probably had 20 more years to live; he even played on a hockey league every week.

Grandson Cassidy Brigham says, "He played hockey and he loved the Red Wings. He was a big construction guy, always doing something on his feet or with his hands. Any machinery he could use, he was doing it. But, yeah, he was an active grandpa."

A celebration of life open house will be held on Monday, August 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the VFW Hall on 3124 Alden Nash Avenue in Lowell.

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