We got the call at about 3:00 am, when I woke up to my cell phone ringing and Sean’s mom crying on the other side of the line - I knew that life was changing.We found out then that Sean’s uncle Dan had been killed in a tragic car accident .
Dan was a big part if a large electrical company that was having a grand opening party at a casino - after spending countless hours on the building project. No one knows why he was on the road that night, as he was supposed to have stayed at the casinos hotel, which had been reserved for him for the work party. I guess God had other plans for him that no one else can understand right now.
I’ve personally had Dan as an uncle for the past 9 years. As I said in Heathers wedding blog entry, the moment that I stepped into their house that Christmas eve 9 years ago, I felt like I was truly part of that family. The love in that house and with my entire family is amazing; it’s just so warm and real. Dan was an amazing person. Not just in a typical way that people say when they feel like they should. But he was honestly one of those people that was always smiling, and always so happy to see you when you walk into his home. He had such an amazing heart, no one could say that they have ever heard one bad thing come out of his mouth. He was the type of loving husband that would get up at 5 in the morning every day to have a glass of water and a hot cup of coffee ready when his wife Debbie would get out of bed. He was the type of father to Heather and Michael that he would be there for them for anything they could have ever wanted, coached their sports teams, and was a true friend to them. As I have said before we have a fun loud family, holidays are always so fun and busy – but I can honestly tell you that Dan would make it a point to pull us to the side and just make sure we were okay in our busy lives. And would always make sure to remind us that our dreams were valid, and that we will do what we are working so hard to do in the future.
A few other things that I would like to tell you about Dan (from experience, and from the stories that I have heard over the past couple weeks) is that he was (and always will be) the worlds biggest Charger fan, a truly great friend, an inspiration to keep going (even after defeating cancer), a very hard and persistent worker, a mentor to so many, and an amazing husband, father and son. Dan’s personality reminded me so much of my dads and that’s a pretty cool thing.
The memorial service was held this past Friday February 27th in Santee, CA, there was a beautiful reception afterwards, and then the really close friends and family met back at their house for a nice night together. It was a perfect service that represented him perfectly, and an even better way to spend the rest of the day together.
Oh brother, I guess I really could go on forever about how much love I had for Dan (oh and all the stories I have...), but I will let a few pictures do the rest of the talking. Here are just a few photos from the day of his memorial service (some not so personal ones), and then a couple of the Dan that I will always remember from a few months ago at his daughters wedding. None of the pictures are edited in any way, because I just feel like the way they are just represent the day best.
Heather and Jen waiting for the service to start in the side room as hundreds of friends filled the church .
This is my favorite shot of the day becasue it really feels like the moment felt.
This flower arrangement was supposed to be the Chargers bolt, but it did not really turn out so well ;) . Every one got such a kick out of it and said that Dan would have gotten the hugest kick out of it. Some people said it looked like a dolphin, a rat or a pig but we eventually rearranged it to look like it should have.
Maronee (a good friend of the family) had these stickers made in memory of Dan.
I was so excited to put it on my new car right away. They are perfect for Dan!
All of Dans good friends and family wrote little messages to him and attached them to balloons (chargers colors of course) , and sent them up to heaven to him.
Dan giving giving Heather away at her wedding 6 months ago.
(the most recent photos I have of him)
Dan giving Willy a hard time while giving Heather away .
So even though no one can understand how such a truly amazing man could possibly be taken from us at 52 years old, I can tell you that Heaven has to be a truly amazing place with Dan and my dad there.
(p.s. I did not post a lot of photos from the memorial serivice posted here (I did not want to post anything too personal out of respect for the Lovins), but I do have a little book of most of the photos that I made for the Lovins. If you are friend or family member that would like a copy , please send me a e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link to order your own copy)