Saying goodbye to Uncle Dan


A toy Oliver tractor in a floral arrangement at the funeral home last night. A second model Oliver anchored the floral arrangement on Uncle Dan’s casket.


Today we’ll bury an honorable man in a tiny church cemetery across the road from his farm. Where he can keep an eye on things. Because that’s the kind of guy Uncle Dan was.

It’s easy to picture him as the main character in a country song, if people still wrote authentic country songs about real life. He graduated in the last class of his township high school before it was consolidated. He put in 25 years at General Electric before downsizing came along, though nobody called it that then. Through it all he was a quiet farmer, driving his beloved tractors  from the time he was 19 years old to last week, the day before Aunt Ellen found him on the kitchen floor.

For more than 20 years we worried about Uncle Dan’s heart, but he pulled through every procedure, survived every scare. Then after his heart transplant a little over two years ago, it seemed like he got a new lease on life. Maybe we let our guard down a little bit. All I know is, I was stunned when I got the call.

Dan was a calm, reassuring presence in our family. He took care of things, helped people with their problems, and never mentioned his own. We’re going to miss him very much.

Uncle Dan and my mom in April 2012, four months after his heart transplant.

Uncle Dan and my mom in April 2012, four months after his heart transplant.

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4 Responses to Saying goodbye to Uncle Dan

  1. I’m very sorry for your and your family’s loss. I’m sure he will be greatly missed, and very often remembered by all of you.

  2. Sorry for your loss. He sounds like a strong person who rolled with the punches.

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