Danforth (Dan) B. Hoag, age 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Oct 8, 2022 at the NJ Firemen’s Home in Boonton. A “handsome,” upright, true man of class, who was always willing to lend a helping hand or give advice, take that ride to keep you company sharing his many stories, and of course stopping for breakfast and lunch along the way if you had time. You never saw him without a smile on his face and that “twinkle” in his eyes. He taught everyone the value of a good work ethic, to always help others, the value of a firm handshake, and to do what you love as long as you can. He was the patriarch of our family.
Dan was born on December 17, 1927 in Englewood, NJ to Daniel and Eleanor (Alarie) Hoag. His father was an original partner of Stillman & Hoag that opened in 1908 where they bought and assembled Buicks from a distributor in Jersey City later becoming a Buick franchise in 1917. Dan attended McDonogh School, a military boarding school in Maryland where he attained the rank of Lieutenant prior to graduating, and studied Auto Mechanics & Equestrian Riding. He entered the United States Marine Corp after high school at the rank of Sergeant. During his time in the Marines he became qualified as a Rifle Marksman (1946), Rifle Sharpshooter (1947), and an Expert Rifleman (1948). He was stationed in Kodiak Alaska, and Camp Lejeune, NC. While in Camp Lejeune he attended Navy Demolition School studying Basic Engineering & Demolition. He served honorably from 1946-1951 when he was released from active duty. After the Marines he went on to graduate from Nichols Junior College in Massachusetts with an Associates Degree in Business.
While at college, Dan met Gordon Cameron who introduced him to his sister Bette. On December 18, 1954 he married Bette Cameron whom he would be married to for 67 years. From the words of Bette, Dan was the perfect husband. Together, they would raise five children in Sparta, NJ. He was the proud owner of Danforth’s Snack Inn– “Where People Meet to Eat, Home of the Extraordinary Hamburger”. Patrons would be seen enjoying the “Danforth burger” topped with homemade coleslaw, and every meal was accompanied with a tiny cup of sherbet. He purchased their first house up on the hill of “old Route 15” and below that sat the Valley View Motor Lodge that he built and managed with Bill Smith . “If your idea of overnight lodging is quiet, gracious comfort–you will find the Valley View Motor Lodge ideal.” Patrons would stay there in the process of moving to Sparta waiting to move into their new home, while others enjoyed a night or long weekend away for as little as $10-$14 a night. They enjoyed fine dining at the Bull & Burgundy restaurant inside the lodge taking advantage of the salad bar with all you can eat shrimp. From 1960-1967 he volunteered his time as a Firefighter for the Sparta Township Fire Department. He owned Danforth’s Trailer & Auto in Ogdensburg from 1969-1983 which he would sell to his son Drew. After selling the business, he began fabricating blenders for oil refineries with his brother-in-law Gordon. In 1984, he continued his love for travel, driving coach buses for several different companies, shuttling patrons all over the east coast, traveling mostly to Washington D.C. and New York City.Dan’s favorite thing was spending time with his family and friends. Every Christmas Eve he would be sure to gather everyone to take a family photo. He had a passion for many things. He enjoyed flying his planes, purchasing his first, a Piper Cub, and later owning a Piper Super Cub, Luscomb Silvaire (which he was most proud of as it was his first and only all-metal airplane), and a Piper Tri-pacer. He traveled all over the United States too many times to count on his Honda Goldwing and in later years his scooter. He had a love for Toyotas, drinking “mean” Manhattans, eating his burgers “black and blue”, and puffing on cheap cigars with the white tip.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his half sister Dorothy Boswell in 1930. He is survived by his wife Bette; his five children, Dan & Dee Hoag, Drew & Tracy Hoag, Scott & Diane Overmire, Art & Donna Kapetanakis, Dean & Maria Hoag; his grandchildren, Sarah Hoag, Danny Hoag, Kenny & Amie Baker, David & Brittany Hoag, Ashlie Overmire, James Overmire, Stephen Kapetanakis, Michael Kapetanakis, Amanda Hoag, Cameron Hoag, Mallory & Mark Uhlig, Cassandra Snook, & Miranda Snook; his great-grandchildren, Julien, Daniella, Kayla, Brooks, Alexa, Brayden, Julia, Logan, Nathan, & Leo.
A funeral service and celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced in the Spring of 2023. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation in his honor to the NJ Firemen’s Home, 565 Lathrop Ave, Boonton, NJ 07005.