Coping with Grief
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Daniel Otterbein Struble
Our wonderful and amazing Dan is now in the loving arms of Jesus Christ, Our King and Savior. Some may say, “taken too soon” but Dan knew it was his time and if he could have taken charge this would have been a couple months ago.
Taking Charge! That is Dan, all the time - right on time, lead right or get out of my way. If you lie to me, we’re done – if you tell me you screwed up, I’ll fix it all and nobody else with know. I’ll show you I have your back without a single word, and it’s okay if you don’t have mine…I’ll give you time to learn how to be that man. This world is so messed up because you can’t pop someone in the nose anymore when they’ve harmed another. Let kids be kids, I still want to be a kid. Cancel all our commitments this month, pack a bag, get your belt on, it's time to go hit up all our favorite mountains, we’re leaving in two hours – sooner if possible.
Dan, Dan, Dan, he captured your heart, captivated you in conversation and had charisma unmeasurable. You could watch him stroll into a fancy black-tie event in one of his unforgettable tuxedo’s and steal the room, and the next evening he was in his denim mountain jacket, Levi’s and Buckeye shirt holding court at the local diner. The man who put everyone at ease and destroyed negativity in less than five words.
Dan’s vast knowledge of people, places, war history, education, engineering, finance, sports, mentoring our youth and paying it forward were all his life passions, but what was paramount was his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes! Even his marriage to Ruthie was based off two concerns, The Buckeye’s play-off game schedule and leaving enough time to catch a flight to Arizona if they made it in.
A giant of a man from smalltown southern Ohio. Dan was born in Lancaster, to Clarence and Alice Struble, the unexpected fifth child, Dan proudly shared being their “only” child that was born in a hospital. After graduating Pomeroy High School, he attended Ohio University for one year while he wrote letter after letter to receive an appointment to the United States Military Academy, where he graduated class of 1963.
Duty, Honor, Country our Dan was a great defender of freedom. He voluntarily served in combat during the Vietnam War, a war Dan seldom spoke of. Never shy about his West Point Diploma, he also held the high honor of belonging to fearless 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles. But above all this his two most treasured military awards were his TROOP “B” HANGMAN Certificate, it will be the roughest looking item on display at his funeral – because it went on many journeys with him, and his sharp shooter soldier. Some of his favorite Friday evenings were at the Ft. Myers Beach VFW, the place he felt most understood, where he could hug his brothers and sisters, sing some karaoke, do his line dancing, drink a few scotch & sodas and laugh the night away. He could serve some food, build up the morale and hold the hand of a grieving widow.
After returning home from combat and having made Major in less than six years of service, he was told he could pick a place to serve – Dan always dreamed big so he said I want ROTC at The Ohio State University, he got it.
Dan’s Executive Corporate life soon followed, and led to the following:
In 1973 Dan was hired as Quality Assurance Project Leader at Ross Laboratories, a division of Abbott, Columbus, Ohio. While at Ross he also held positions of Director of Manufacturing, Division Vice President of Quality Assurance, and Divisional Vice President of Operations. In 1985 Dan was named Divisional Vice President of Operations for Abbott Pharmaceutical Product Division, North Chicago. In 1987 Dan was elected Vice President of Corporate Engineering by the Board of Directors and retired as a Corporate Officer in 1995. During this time, he earned his MBA degree from the University of Dayton.
Dan not only a leader at Abbott but in the business world beyond he served or is a member of: Member and Past Chairman of the Manufacturing Council of the American Management Association, Member of Advisory Council of Environmental Affairs - The Conference Board; Member of the Business Advisory Council of the University of Illinois-Chicago; Member of the Most of Management in Manufacturing, Advisory Board Chair at Northwestern University, Board of Directors United Way, Lake County, Board of Directors Victory Memorial Hospital. Additionally, Dan founded AMIE, and during its 25th Anniversary he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his Unwavering Support and Tireless Promotion of Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering. It is important to note that Dan would often say, “I never could have accomplished this without my corporate wife Marty Butler.” They remainder close friends until he left us.
In his private life Dan’s passion, second only to The Ohio State Buckeye’s, was constantly growing in his spiritual life and education, which he eagerly impressed the importance of to everyone he met. “If you have your education, you can have anything you want in life.” He paid it forward for many, and until the last weeks of his life he was still encouraging and hoping others would pay it forward too. Passionate for golf, mountains, his Bible Study Group, Family Gatherings, a house full of friends, his koi fish, and sports, sports, sports.
Dan gave more than he ever used for himself, and he never wanted more than what he had. Always sharing his belief that there are takers in this world, be a giver and avoid the takers.
Our good-looking Dan, who never seemed to age, blessed with a great voice, a gentle footfall, a strong personal presence, a heart sometimes too big, a laugh that made you cry, a hand that made you feel safe and a smile you will never forget. Dan never wanted to leave anyone behind, under any circumstances, and you knew that!
Dan is preceded in Heaven by his parents Clarence and Alice Struble, his granddaughter Harley Struble, his previous wife Jean Ann Wolff the loving Mother of his children, Siblings and many of his West Point Classmates and Combat Veteran Brothers. Dan is survived by his devoted wife, Ruthie, son’s Alexander (Gabrielle) Hepperlen, Steve (Cheryl) Struble and James (Casey) Bonyata; his daughter Danean (Dennis) Tornes; Grandchildren Adalyn Hepperlen, Mason and Jameson Bonyata, Josh (Emily) Anderson, Alaynee Anderson, Nina-Elizabeth Dodrill, Great Grands Sophelia and Noah Anderson; a large extended family and his dearest friends Jimmy Sibert and Charles White, Jr.
Please join us at our sweet country church for a gentle time to gather and love each other, Sozo Church, Thursday, January 18, 2024, 6pm
Under the Spiritual Care of Pastor Aaron and Jessica Fry.
McPeek Hoekstra Hoskinson Funeral Home is honored to care for Dan and his family. Please visit www.McPeekHoekstra.com to share a special memory or to leave a message of condolence for the family.
A special thank you to Kristin and Jim, Riverside Methodist Hospital and Dr. Alex Campolo for their loving care of Dan.
In lieu of flowers, if you desire, donations gladly and payable to:
Sozo Church, 94 West Ave., Pataskala, Ohio, 43062, please announce in check memo Youth Mission Programs; a fully charitable contribution. Link:https://www.sozochurchcolumbus.com/
94 West Ave, Pataskala OH 43062