Daryl F. Dankert passed away at 2:45 am on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at Greenleaf Health Campus in Elkhart, Indiana after a 3 year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Daryl is survived by his wife Stoney (Rebecca S. Stone) Dankert of South Bend. Daughters Kristi A. (Lyle) Knutson, Jessica K. (Lee) Stevens, Samantha C. Dankert, and Amanda M. Dankert. He also has 6 grandchildren Olivia Knutson, Evan & Landon Stevens, Deisol & Baine Kado, and Dominik Baker. He is also survived by a sister Shari (Kenneth) Bickel of Manchester, Tennessee, and a brother-in-law Donald Ray of Niles, Michigan. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
We take great comfort in knowing that he was greeted by those who preceded him including his father Clarence J. Dankert, mother M. Irene (Gillin) Dankert Nicodemus, step-father Charles K. Nicodemus, sisters Arlene J. Dankert & Connie E. Ray, and granddaughter Emma R. Stevens.
As a graduate of Washington High School in South Bend, Indiana he took great pride in his days playing football especially for the 1969 state championship team.
Daryl was a project and design engineer by day, and a professional musician by night. He was a well-known and talented bass player amongst local musicians. He began playing professionally at age 15 in local establishments. As a member of numerous bands he made many lifelong friends who he thought of as brothers. Many of these ‘brothers’ are now reunited in Heaven. His engineering expertise was awarded four patents for his work in the mass transit window industry.
In 1975, Daryl married his high school sweetheart Diane (Zakrzewski) Szulczyk and welcomed daughters Jessica and Samantha. In 1989 he met Karen (Smith) Madou while doing what he loved, playing music and later welcomed daughter Amanda. In 1992 he married Rebecca ‘Stoney’ Dankert and gained step-daughter Kristi (Gwin) Knutson.
Daryl was an avid Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame fan. He enjoyed auto racing and spent a lot of time at South Bend Motor Speedway in his younger days. Thanks in large part to his father, he loved all things trains. He had a vast model train collection that he took great pride in expanding continually, which has now been passed down to his grandsons. His music and movie collection would make most collectors jealous. He loved old movies and television shows. He would spend countless hours laughing at The Three Stooges, The Munsters, or Home Improvement to name a few. He was a skilled woodworker. He could imagine and create beautiful designs. His artistic eye helped him to create numerous pieces including treasured toy chests for several of his grandchildren. Unfortunately, the Parkinson’s would not let him complete the final two for his youngest grandsons. He was lucky enough to be able to do most home improvement and remodel projects on his own. He completed several renovation projects involving extensive plumbing, electrical, and construction work.
There will be a Celebration of Life at River Valley Community Church on Saturday, August 22, 2020 from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm where friends and family may come to pay respects. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or to the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden of Michiana.
Daryl will be remembered for many things. Many will fondly remember him as a gentle giant, others will remember his quiet yet powerful presence. Some will remember his hugs that always left the scent of his Stetson cologne. No matter how you remember him, remember that each and every person he encountered left an indelible mark on his soul. He loved without reservation, you always knew where you stood, and he lived for loving his family and friends.
Elkhart Cremation Services is entrusted with his arrangements.
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