Daniel David Howard (Dan or Danny) of Brainerd, MN went home to be with the Lord on June 4th, 2017, following complications of pneumonia. He was born to Ron and Marlys Howard, also of Brainerd, MN. Dan was the youngest of 3 children, having an older sister and brother. He underwent open-heart surgery on September 25, 1965 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN to repair a plugged pulmonary artery in his heart. At that time, he was the youngest baby ever to have survived heart surgery. While the surgery was a success, Danny developed an infection, requiring an additional surgery. In December of that year, while still recovering, he contracted spinal meningitis, which ultimately caused significant, life-long mental and physical challenges. It was only by God’s grace that Danny survived the ordeal. In January 1966, he came home from the hospital, joining is 2-year-old brother and 4-year old sister.
From birth, Danny demonstrated strength and an ability to continually overcome challenges he encountered throughout his 51-year life. The Howard family acknowledged Dan’s challenges but insisted he live with his family doing everything the family did, opting not to send him to live in a state institution, which was quite prevalent at the time. As a result, Danny experienced a full life, visiting all 50 states, Mexico and Canada. His father Ron’s military career kept the family moving for a number of years, requiring the entire Howard family to remain flexible and open to new experiences. Again, Danny proved remarkably resilient, taking on new learning experiences to the best of his ability.
In 1986, Danny moved into Oakridge Homes in Brainerd, MN, where he lived with 3 other roommates. At first, he worked for Quality Enterprises (QE) and later Blue Sky, both Day Training and Habilitation Programs serving individuals with barriers to employment and activities of daily living. In his leisure time, Danny enjoyed spending time outdoors, watching football on TV, listening to music, bowling, eating out and attending the Crow Wing County Fair, where he displayed many of his art projects over the years. Given the many challenges Danny overcame, his life has been an inspiration to many and can truly be called a “life lived well”.
Danny is preceded in death by his Maternal Grandparents--Marlin & Florence Peterson of St. Peter, MN, Paternal Grandparents--Eugene & Angie Howard of Winnebago, MN, Michael Birr (cousin) of Kasota, MN and Ramona Klooster (aunt) of Adrian, MN.
Surviving him are his parents- Ron & Marlys Howard, Merrifield, MN, Sister-Rhonda (Al) Zimmerman, Albany, MN, Brother-Steven (Patricia) Howard of Wyoming, MN, several nieces and many aunts, uncles & cousins.
A "Celebration of Life" for Danny will be held on June 27th at 11:00am, First Baptist Church, Baxter, MN with Pastor Dave Grotzke officiating.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to WACOSA, 310 Sundial Drive, Waite Park, MN 56387.
Halvorson - Johnson Funeral Home