Daniel W. Owens

Jun 20 2019 | 10:10 AM

    Daniel W. Owens, 85, of Frankford Township died Sunday, April 28, 2019. Born in Newton, the family lived on Kelsey Avenue where Danny met his best friend Jack. He was a
    1951 graduate of Newton High School; the yearbook was filled with positive notes and that he was always with the girls. He lived in Upper Lake Mohawk on Sagamore Trail. While attending Ohio State College, he claimed his #1 title and never settled for #2. Danny proudly served in the Navy for six years - U.S.S. Ticonderoga - and enjoyed attending reunions. He worked at Picatinny Arsenal, retiring in 1988 after 30 years of dedicated service.
    Loved by all, Danny is survived by daughter Janice, son Jeffrey, grandson Sean, grandson Anthony (Faraone), brother Brian, nieces and nephews Amy, Beth (Owens), Howard, Colleen, Lisa, (Winch) Tracy, Trudy, Art, (Burckes), Matt (Mason). He is predeceased by his wife, Mary S. Owens, and by his nephew, Michael Mason.
    Danny was one in a million. He could laugh and the entire room would be laughing with him. He would start conversations with those he knew or those you thought he knew for years, but actually just met. We never got tired of hearing "Down on the Farm." His life was rich with friendships that remained loyal and cherished during his lifetime. Once you met him, he was someone you wanted to spend more time with. He could stop by your house, usually unannounced, tell you how to fix things or what you should do and then offer to lend a hand. The next thing you know you are on an adventure with Danny's practical solutions. He didn't run errands; every trip was an opportunity to run into someone he knew.
    If you stopped by his house, he was always happy to see you. You would see the changing of the seasons/holidays by the fake flowers he proudly displayed and saved year after year. When you entered his home any time of day, there would be a very old movie or a Western on the kitchen TV. He would say I've seen this 100 times, but I just love this movie.
    As a child, I would bake cookies in my easy bake oven. He got home from work, hung up his coat, and I would hand him the plate of cookies he would eat as if they were delicious. He was such a good sport. He never went a day without chocolate. You could find four kinds of ice cream in the freezer any day of the week. He woul't say he had diabetes; he would say he had "sugar."
    He was so proud of Camp Oma Gash in Upstate NY and had parties and celebrations with or without a holiday inviting the entire town. We would wake up to the smell of freshly cooked burnt bacon at 5am. Nobody could cook bacon as great as Danny in our eyes. He would stock pile wood as if the family would be stranded (or hoping for a reason to stay) for weeks on end. If the oil tank got too low, he would fill it to the top. He wanted the home to be toasty warm. We would be in shorts inside all Winter long even if outside temperatures were in the teens. You had to put snowmobiling clothes on really fast and run out door or you would be sweating in a matter of minutes while Mary would try to find you the warmest mittens. In later years, he would have a bag packed for four days at all times waiting for the call to say "let's go up North," even on a day's notice.
    He talked to all the animals and some listened. There was a chipmunk in camp he convinced to walk back out the front door on its own. He welcomed all the strays, except for the boyfriends I brought home; he didn't think they were worthy enough for his daughter. He wanted only the top breeds around me. It was very hard for anyone to fill those shoes of the man I looked up to and admired.
    During holiday get-togethers, you could find Danny with the kids. He didn't mind; he usually was the one to get yelled at. The nieces and nephews loved when Mary would yell at Danny “don’t hurt those kids. Meanwhile he was at the bottom of the pile and the kids had him pinned. They would laugh and he would say "you got me in trouble again" and all would be laughing. He loved having fun.
    He loved giving speeches, even if he didn't have all the answers (before the internet). He was always prepared with the best of his knowledge with his notes I would type up for him. He was always wanting to make a difference with the NJ highways being able to accommodate the increasing traffic. He was instrumental in making the local park a reality for future generations. He enjoyed mowing the lawn and keeping it nice for the kids to play sports. He served on the Park Commission for Frankford Township from 1990-1999.
    He was involved in many hobbies. He was on the Burckes Ignition Bowling/Drinking League of Sparta Lanes in 1970s. He enjoyed his Ham Radio - WA2NEI, being on the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, Planning Board, Wrestling Coach, and Hunting Club.
    Who could forget his years with SCFHS, where he would spend months of details preparing for one week in August each year. He held roles as Assistant Treasurer, Manager, as well as overseeing the police and parking. He enjoyed seeing it all come together and the daily crowds while wearing his white cowboy hat.
    He donated numerous items to the Sparta Historical Society for all to enjoy his collections.
    His home was never without a Victrola and would play songs quite often. He joined the Seniors for their lunches and enjoyed the bus trip he wouldn't have done on his own.
    So many relatives have shared that their childhood was so much better with Danny in it. One cousin said he will always be superman to her. He was known to water ski while sitting on a chair. He was never without a pocketknife and found a use in any situation to save the day. He was pretty amazing.
    He made an impression wherever he went, even the hospitals. As we walked out of his room from his most recent stay, one nurse said, "it was truly a pleasure to serve you." He made us laugh and be grateful for all we have, cherish the friendships we make along the way, and always have a sense of humor. Some people are just unforgettable. His Navy discharge papers reinforce the way he lived his entire life. Thank you for your honest and faithful service. My dad was truly an inspiration and an example of a life well lived.
    Tax deductible donations can be made to Big Moose Ambulance Company, Inc. 1449 Big Moose Road, Eagle Bay, NY 13391 501(c)3.
    Graveside service was held Friday, June 14 at 12:30 p.m. at Hardyston Cemetery on North Church Road.
    Arrangements are under the direction of the Wood Funeral Home, 16 Main Street, Branchville. Online condolences may be made to www.woodfuneralhome.net.