Daniel was born on July 5, 1991, in West Covina, California. As Daniel grew one of his many adorable characteristics was his loving inquisitive nature towards animals. Sundays Daniel would attend church. Following the service, he would seek out the “church cat” who maintained a residence of sorts on the church grounds. Watching the two one wondered if the cat sought out Daniel if Daniel sought out the cat. Daniel would sit on his haunches and stroke the cat. The cat would lay still while Daniel stroked him. Often it seemed the time the two spent together was an hour or more.
Daniel would watch every movement of the cat. He could be seen conversing with the cat at times. The cat and Daniel obviously created a loving bond. The people who knew Daniel well throughout his life sensed his loving heart. All could sense his innate love for humanity. Love defined Daniel’s life.
Daniel was extraordinarily gifted in many ways. His habit was to take any item out of a box and assemble it without reading the instructions. Daniel learned much in school. However, his multiple disabilities hampered his academic performance in conventional classrooms. Teachers became more concerned with Daniel’s penmanship than his learning prowess.
As time progressed Daniel was slowly marginalized, both in the educational environment. Daniel knew much but did not conform to cultural norms. Daniel, with his disabilities, discovered he was on the edges of community, experiencing denegation by a self-proclaimed privileged group of community members.
Daniel’s opportunities appeared promising. People recognized his quality of discerning an empathetic connection with all persons. Daniel was able to bound with a person quickly and provide emotional support for any person in need. Daniel’s soothing communication skills were phenomenal. The State of California, after assessing Daniel’s capabilities, agreed to finance his education in Psychology, including a Ph.D. Degree.
However, Daniel followed another path. He walked through a museum of American folk artists. Daniel saw a tribute to Arlo Guthrie, including his days of traveling. Daniel turned to his Dad, saying “I have got to try this” So, Daniel began to live the life of a vagabond, “for a couple of years, Dad.”
On August 26, 2013, Daniel’s friends reported him missing in Portland, Oregon. Daniel surfaced in the Willamette River on August 31, 2013. No person knows how Daniel entered the river, or why. We do know he did so from he Steel Bridge which crosses the river.
The memorial service for Daniel was a standing room only service. Persons from around the country came to say goodbye. In closing, people all agreed, Daniel had heart. All continue to suffer his loss, especially his family members.