Rene’, bless her generous heart, has once again served as my Ace Reporter. Here’s what she wrote about Dan:
“Dan was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. and moved to Cedar Rapids as a very small child. He mostly grew up in the Cedar Hills area, and then in an neighborhood closer to LaSalle High School.
Dan attended St. Jude School and LaSalle High School. He was a football player, a wrestler, and in band. Wrestling and band are his favorites. He coached wrestling at St. Jude Junior High when his father retired from the position. He was a coach for many years and only quit when he had to move to Tennessee.
Dan attended college at the University of Iowa, and music was his major. When his first year was over, he got a summer job at Amana Refrigeration. That summer job was just his cup of tea. He loved it so much that he stayed and is still working there today. Amana moved him to Tennessee about seventeen years ago. We all left behind our family to move to a strange place. It was a very teary goodbye.
Dan and Rene’ met in school at St. Jude’s. When she was in fourth grade and coming back to class from band, she slipped and twisted her ankle. Dan, being the gentleman that he is, lifted her and carried her back to class. For her, it was love from then on. They attended school together after that, with a 4 year difference in school years.
Because of a certain mother, that is related to most of the family members reading this blog, they never dated during school. When Rene’ graduated, the dating began. Over some bumpy roads, they got married in 1982.
During Dan’s junior high days, the Jesuits visited his class to explain vocations. Dan was very interested, but really wanted a family. In 1993, he enrolled in the deaconate program in Cedar Rapids. Because of his move with Amana, that had to be put on the back burner. After getting comfy in Tennessee, he restarted the program in the Al. diocese. In 2000, Dan was ordained a deacon, and has been enjoying it all these 12 years. He has baptized his grandchildren, and three of his own children. In sadder times he has done some funerals. He participated in his parents funeral, and Paul Spaight’s funeral. He stays very busy with his church activities.
Dan is the father of seven children and grandfather to 3 children. He is very good at both these positions also. All his children and grandchildren adore him. Also anyone that knows Dan knows that he is a firm believer in Santa Claus, and ALL that Christmas stands for. It is his favorite time of year.”
Thank you, Rene’. And it shouldn’t strike anybody as odd that Christmas is Dan’s favorite time of the year. After all, he’s named after one of the Magi. Melchior, along with Casper and Balthazar brought gifts to the Baby Jesus in the stable. And Dan brings spiritual gifts to everybody around him. Come to think of it, just being in his company is a gift.
But, hold on, this isn’t Christmas. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, so let’s see whether the birthday boy can provide a little entertainment for the occasion.
Happy birthday, Dan!