this is a copy of the article i wrote for a special issue of the coil “bugle” devoted to dan. scans of the original newsletter are here.
Most of the people who work for COIL and its programs, and many of you reading this, had the privilege of knowing Dan for many more years than I did. I feel terribly cheated that we only knew each other for less than three years when I had looked forward to so many more years of his company. And yet, despite the relatively short time that I was able to be with him, we grew so close and shared each other’s hopes and frustrations. Because of this, I’m able to provide an aspect of Dan’s relationship with COIL that no one else can: the way he lived and breathed COIL on a daily basis, whether he was at the office or not.
I hadn’t realized at first when Dan passed away that to a certain extent I would take on the role of family historian for his sister and her family. As the one with him day in and day out for the last couple of years, I was the only one who could fill in some of the gaps of the last chapter of his life. For COIL, I can play somewhat the same role, being the one who spent the days with him when he wasn’t down at the office. I can assure you that his mind was never far from work. Far more than a job, COIL was a part of who Dan was. Whether we were sitting at home or out driving the Maryland countryside, Dan was always talking about the latest crisis at COIL and racking his brain to find some way of getting the money to keep it going for just a little longer. The chance to create and maintain programs that could truly help people in need meant everything to Dan. COIL was at the heart of whom he was, and I’m always told that he was the heart of COIL.
Dan was one of the kindest, gentlest men I’ve known, and the programs he created are a projection of his generous spirit. They remain his legacy.
Dan’s sister Barbara and I would like to thank everyone for their support and generosity in this most difficult time, and to extend our wishes that all of the people who make up COIL will continue to realize Dan’s hopes for a better life in Southwest Baltimore for many years to come.
— Jeff Covey