Donald M. Danner

My Dad never complained and was slow to anger and quick to forgive. He was the funniest guy around: he could make anything funny. I got upset because he had hardly any groceries that were decent in his refrigerator and we'd bought salmon fillets to make for him. He had no dill: that upset me. He had no lemons or lemon juice, I got even more upset. He had no olive oil and no real butter, just margarine. I got so upset. "Dad, my God, we have to go grocery shopping again. I had no idea mom and you let things go this badly. Dad, we can't really make the salmon. There isn't even olive oil. Dad, olive oil is so good for you too. Where is it? How can you be out of olive oil Dad? Oh my God..."
He looks at me with the Dad look and calmly says, Susan. What? Are you an olive oil salesman now" Break out laughter, as always with Dad. Me, I hop on the bike and ride to the mini mart down the road from his house and buy him olive oil and lemon juice. That was Dad.
He had a rough, heartbreaking childhood - tossed between two people who did not want him and did not deserve him.
He had a smile that lit up any room. He held in his pain. Sometimes he would share a story but not too long, about the hurts of his past. His mother shipped him off to Florida to be with his father. He father soon dropped him off at a truck stop in Florida and said, "hitch a ride back to Pennsylvania with a truck driver." My dad was a kid. He sat on a bench there, alone, tossed away by his mother and his father. Finally a truck driver said, "Kid, what are you doing here?" And my Dad told him and that truck driver brought my Dad all the way back to Pennsylvania.
My Dad had quite a few experiences like that. He caught himself starting to go down the wrong side of the tracks as a teenager, hanging in pool halls with a rough crowd. He was smart. He lied about his age and joined the Marines. The Marines taught him integrity and honor and self esteem and they saved his life. He did 13 years in Military service. He married a very very selfish mean woman and loved her to the end: she caused his death through means that were so convoluted no one could ever convict her of it... she died 6 weeks before him but made damn sure he was going with her.
All he had to say through the long ordeal that stole his life was "she's suffering" "I should have hugged her on that last day?" Hugged her? I thought to myself, when is the last time she embraced YOU? Cooked for YOU? etc. I so wanted to take care of my Dad after my malignant mother was gone but God had other plans. He died one week to the day before I had booked a trip to see him for 10 days and to discuss the easiest way to combine households and move in together.
I wanted so much to take care of my father. I wanted so much for him to be on the receiving end for once in his life. He'd had a hard life and had gone through so much hell. I told him that near the end, "Dad, you've had a lot of hard times in your life". Dad's response, "Oh, I don't know. There were a lot of good years Sue."
After he died I went to view his body privately before cremation and I stroked his hair and told him how much I loved him. He looked so peaceful and full of joy and serenity.
I wish I could be happy for him but I loved my Dad so much that I cannot imagine living without him in my life anymore.
I love you Dad. Forever and for always.

Comments for Donald M. Danner

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Aug 27, 2015
by: Anonymous

My mother was in pain all of her life for many different reasons…on all levels. I judge her no longer.
My father was right: she was in pain and his loyalty to her and love for her was and remains a great lesson to me.
Thank you Dad

Jun 06, 2013
note to commenter
by: Anonymous

June, the email address u sent me a few months ago was wrong. sincerely,
susan (don danner's daughter)

Apr 01, 2013
Remembered always
by: Joeline

Happy Birthday Don, you will always be thought of
in the kindness way. You are forever a part of my history, and will never be forgotten.
May God bless and keep you always, and ever.

Your Friend

Apr 01, 2013
Thank you Susan for answering me.
by: Joeline

I have felt so sad since I read of his passing last year. I know it is his birthday, thats why I
came in this morning to say happy Birthday to my friend. I was Dons pen pal when he went into the Marines, somehow we lost touch, but through the years he has always been in my thoughts. For some reason more so then ever last year. Don was a special person to me. We are the same age, and I was hoping we would run into each other one day.
Unfortunally that will not happen.
I live in Whitehall PA., and would like much to
talk to you about him. I will leave you my email address, and hope you will write me.

Thank you again
Bless you and yours

Mar 31, 2013
Don's daughter (writer here)
by: Anonymous

the expression of joy on his face when I had a private 10 minutes to pray over my father's body told it all: Don, my father, was a wonderful man, a man of integrity, honor, love, humility, humor and compassion.
Thank you so much for your comment.
He is laid to rest at Indiantown Gap National Veterans Cemetery in PA if you ever get out there, do please stop by the grave.
His birthday is tomorrow - April 1. and he would have turned 77.
I was blessed so very blessed that he was my father.
Thank you for commenting.

Mar 29, 2013
by: Joeline Laudenslager

Donald and I worked together, right before he went into the Marines. We were good friends. He was the niceiest guy you would ever want to meet.
I thought of him often through the years, and hoped that he had found happiness. I am very sorry to read that his wife was so mean, He deserved better. I hope he is finally at peace
God Bless him.

Sep 23, 2012
Donald M. Danner
by: Doreen U.K.

I am sorry for your loss of your father. Your father had a sad life. He was turned around by going into the marines. His life as a marine you say taught him the values he missed by not having the nurturing every child deserves. You will feel the sadness of having heard of the suffering your father went through. My father had a very abusive childhood. He is still alive at 91yrs. I can see the marks of sadness on his face. He wants to die. He has lost the quality of life and dignity by being in care. We can't take away our father's pain. We feel the grief for what they experienced in life. We also carry the grief of our mothers and how they didn't fulfill their role in life. We see things on the outside and they may not appear to be as they should. We see and hear the cruelties. But yet the love that our fathers have for our mothers is something we will never understand. Some couples LOVE so deeply that they are able to overlook the faults of their spouse whilst we the children look on with anger, and hurt, and pain. WE are the ones that then have a battle to understand it all. Unresolved conflicts will raise its ugly head during our grief. We will then have to find a way to FORGIVE what we can't understand in the lives of our parents and how it has affected us. There is much we will have to let go of in our journey of grief to find our own PEACE.

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