I'm so happy that I was able to be with him on Saturday, visiting with him and his wife Ellen, celebrating his birthday, laughing, and hugging, and telling him how much I loved him.
It was Dan who gave me the confidence and opportunity for real expedition, and to find my passion in distance paddling. He was one of the the first friends I wrote about when I started this blog, see Friends in Need, Friends Indeed.
He's has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in WaterTribe, even after a shoulder injury left him unable to participate as we had originally planned. We'd also always planned to return to Newfoundland to finish that part of our original 2004 trip beyond Burgeo where we were fogged out. He hated that we wouldn't be able to do the trip; I will never do it without him.
It was only 3 months ago he learned of the horrible stomach and liver cancer that would quickly take his life. For the past month he has been home in hospice care with Ellen and his dogs, and his family and friends. He was amazed and happy to realize that so many really cared. If you knew him, you knew a curmudgeon, yet to know him was also to love him.
I take comfort in thinking that Dan is now paddling around the clouds, and waiting for me. For now, he'll be expeditioning with the angels.
Some history about Dan from his family:
After a lifetime of adventure, Daniel Colodney died peacefully at his home on the Yeopim River, June 24 - two days after his 67th birthday.
Although he thought of himself a curmudgeon, that was his perception only! With his lifetime of activity, he was anything but! Dan brought joy and laughter to the hearts of all who were lucky enough to know him. He will be missed terribly.
He was born in Bronx, New York in 1940 and lived in White Plains, New York through high school. Dan served two years in the Air Force. He earned two college degrees, including a Bachelors Degree from Allegheny College, as well as a Masters from the University of Rhode Island. His professional life began as a research scientist at Colgate Palmolive Company. Dan developed the technology for clear gel and tartar control toothpaste.
After making significant contributions to Colgate, Dan and his wife Ellen moved to Edenton in 1996 so that he could play full time.
Dan was a man of passionate interests which he loved to share with others - if they could manage to keep up! He was certainly a gifted athlete. He participated in marathons, major wilderness backpacking and canoeing adventures in the US, Canada, and the Northwest Territories. He was an avid bicyclist. He did some very intense sea kayaking excursions off the coast of Florida, Maine, and Newfoundland.
His less adventurous, but no less passionate hobbies included a fish room for his African and New World cichlids, being surrounded by his dogs and cats, and a good cigar.
Dan is survived by:
Mother Beatrice Colodney
Wife Ellen Jennifer Colodney
Son Michael Colodney
Daughters Jill Colodney and Debbie Debias
Sister Marion Marks
Brother Rich Colodney
Dogs Mickey & Jessie
Predeceased by Father Bernard Colodney
A celebration of Dan’s life will be held at his house in Edenton on
Saturday, July 7 at 1:00 pm. All are welcome.