dan before we met
as he grew older, dan felt himself called to the roman catholic priesthood, and went to st. charles college (today charlestown retirement community) for high school, and then on to st. mary’s seminary for college. he was a member of the first class of the north american college of the gregorian university in rome to return there after world war II, and there completed his studies for the priesthood and received his license in sacred theology. he received an apostolic blessing from pope pius XII, and was ordained on december 8th, 1951. he returned to the archdiocese of baltimore and gave many years of service to the people of the city.
after about 12 years, dan realized there was no escaping the realization that he was gay. the church being what it was at the time, he felt it was hypocritical for him to remain a priest, as he would be expected to preach against the “evil” of homosexuality.
so dan left it all behind and headed off on a trip across the country to the land of new opportunities, california. he worked as a bartender for awhile, then found his way to the university of california, berkeley and the university of san francisco, where he completed degrees in education. the compassion for and love of others that had led him to the priesthood led him to work with the mentally retarded and mentally ill. he had completed the coursework and was writing the dissertation for his third masters degree, in human behavior, when he was called back to baltimore to settle the estate of his father (his mother had died some years earlier).
dan eventually ended up at his final occupation, executive director of the southwest baltimore community organization “communities organized to improve life” (“coil”). in coil, dan found the fulfillment of his lifelong desire to help others. he was made executive director as coil was just getting off the ground, and his previous experience at writing curricula gave him the inspiration to create coil’s programs. he created a seniors center, a housing program, and an adult literacy center which is the national model. when i met him, he was launching a new program. realizing that the children in the neighborhood were getting into the drug trade at the ages of 5 and 6, he created “the children’s hours”, a program to instill respect for self and others in children ages 2-4.
when dan’s sister and i went through the house, we found a copy of the following resume. i don’t know what year it’s from, but it gives you a good idea of what dan had done in his life in terms of education and occupations:
|QUALIFICATIONS||Thirty years experience in people-oriented services: counseling, teaching, and public and community relations.|
|CERTIFICATION||General Teaching Credential, Secondary (Grade levels 7-14).|
|CURRENT COMMUNITY SERVICE||
dan after he met me
in the fall of 1993, i put a personal ad in the baltimore citypaper, and dan was one of several people who responded. he was the second person i met through the ad, and after i met him i threw the other phone numbers away. dan had just been abandoned by someone after a ten-year relationship, and was a little hesitant at first to commit himself. as time went on, however, we grew to love one another very deeply. dan was the best friend i’ve ever had, and we were completely devoted to one another. we had the most wonderful times together.
so far as i know, this is the only photograph of dan and me together:
after dan’s death
dan died of a heart attack on june 12th, 1996. i loved him, and miss him terribly.
i’ve also added to these pages: