Deceased January 20, 2010
Dan’s death in Islamabad, January 20, 2010, during surgery long needed and researched on his right hip, shocked family, friends, and acquaintances at home in Alaska and in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Azerbaijan and Mongolia. Dan’s wife, Kristine, praised "a good man" who died happy doing work he loved. With children, Willow (28), Honalee (26) and Cedar (23), Kristin’s grief is laced with gratitude. His mother, two sisters, a brother, numerous nieces and nephews, also survive Dan.
Dan arrived Amherst via Philips Andover and origins near Pittsburgh, where he was later reported the youngest Eagle Scout in Pennsylvania. In college years Dan held Independent, curious, positive, confident, and yet unassuming, as he did throughout his 60 years. Fred Goggans shared that in 1970 The Student featured reports and photos of several cozy, exploratory conversations with Dean Robert Ward, prompted by complaints about Chelsea, Dan’s female Belgian shepherd, who attracted ‘town dogs’ to campus canine courting life and raised a howl! The Dean saw a catalytic agency in Chelsea’s charm, inciting sensitive, historic “town and gown” relations. Physics major, Dan grasped the underlying issues and negotiated well, being by nature cheerful, practical and thoughtful of the interests of various species. Those same attributes were demonstrated throughout Dan’s life and work: brokering business partnerships, Audubon and Sierra membership, Space Studies Institute, L-5 Society, Northwest Alaska Native Association, family and humanitarian commitment to doing good, even where others might rather not risk going. Chelsea remained Dan’s close companion for years; Kristine recalls early life with them both!
Dan earned a Wharton MBA (1973), worked in Alaska for the Juneau Dept of Transportation, then the US Dept of Transportation, and remained associated with Johns Hopkins. His leadership of Alaskan infrastructure management projects and international transportation projects enriched life; so did water color painting, sailing, gardening, reading and building. When Dan died he was helping Pakistani government set up partnerships with private companies to build public roads linking isolated mountain villages. Dan and Kristine built a Trimaran, sailed up the inner Passage, and then raised their timber-frame home on North Tee Harbor (1984), where they always returned following trips abroad. Worth noting is that Dan designed the home from an original Massachusetts Bay Colony pattern that he re-sketched. He is missed now. Peace.
Tom deBree '71