Obituary Details

Daniel Joseph Tomczak

November 7, 1948 - January 14, 2018

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Viewing

Location:
Renaissance Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center
Date:
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Time:
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Mass

Location:
St. Luke the Evangelist R.C. Church
Date:
Friday, January 19, 2018
Service Time:
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cemetery

Location:
Arlington National Cemetery
Date:
Friday, January 19, 2018
Time:
Immediately Following Service

Notes

Daniel Joseph Tomczak, 69, of Raleigh, passed away Sunday, January 14, 2018 surrounded by family.

Dan, a native of Michigan was a Sergeant in the US Army, 4th Battalion 173rd Airborne Brigade (“Sky Soldiers”) 503d Infantry Regiment and received the Purple Heart after suffering wounds in the Vietnam War. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in a combat zone. Dan later shared his experiences in a book he wrote and published, Damn It, I’m Hit!

The near-fatal injuries suffered by Dan, including the loss of his right leg, required lengthy physical therapy at Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania. Shortly after returning to Michigan, Dan married the girl next door, Denise. Dan, who had wanted to be a carpenter like his father, turned to college and the up and coming I.T. field. Instead of building houses, he would create software programs. He graduated from Oakland Community College with an Associates Degree in 1974, and then attended Oakland University, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1976.

Moving his family to a St. Louis, MO suburb, Dan began working for FDS in 1976 before being transferred to Raleigh in 1984. Dan joined CP&L’s Information Technology team in 1990, and retired from the company in 2013.

Dan’s passions included his family and family history, remembering and honoring fellow veterans every November, tennis, sailing, the Carolina Hurricanes, playing the accordion, bluegrass music, his Catholic Faith, his Polish heritage, and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program.

Dan leaves behind Denise, his wife of 45 years, and sons; Timothy (Mary), Kevin (Kim), and Benjamin (Emily); his grandchildren, Kimmie, Michael, Natali, Niko, Cecilia, Justin and Brian; his siblings, Judy Davis, Darrell, Richard and Jim. Dan is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Bernice, both of Linwood, MI. Dan, who never met a stranger, will be fondly remembered by many others including brothers and sisters in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and fellow veterans.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Program Durham VAMC, www.projecthealingwaters.org.
Posted by:
Archive
Posted on:
January 16, 2018
New Album Name: Dan's first river trout on a fly rod.
Posted by:
Archive
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
New Album Name: Dan, center, at Project Healing Waters. Laughing in the Rain
Posted by:
Ken Hebel
Posted on:
February 24, 2018
I am so sorry to hear of Dan's passing. I was is Dan's Class in school at Avondale. We really got along well, and we always stayed good friends.
Posted by:
Richard Merkt
Posted on:
January 22, 2018
"Dan was one of the finest, friendliest -- and funniest -- men we have ever met. An incredible family man, Dan focused all of his attention on the positives in life. We were very proud to be his "co-grandparents", and we will miss him greatly."

Suzanne and Richard Merkt
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
Thank you, Mark. Project Healing Waters was a true gift for Dan. He was so blessed to have spent time with all of you. Project Healing Waters is aptly named.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
Thank you, Joe. Dan's faith and especially his Faith Family at St. Luke's, were very important to him. The gifts he made for the vets were truly a labor of love for him. Thank you for your service. If it weren't for Dan, I'm not sure I would ever have understood the extent of your sacrifice.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
Thank you, Richard. He was truly kind, cared about everybody and loved to laugh. The love of my life.
Posted by:
Richard Smith
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
I worked with Dan at Carolina Power & Light/Progress Energy for many years. He was always a kind, caring person who was quick to share a laugh. I thank Dan for his service to our country and for being a friend. Dan will be missed, but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers to Dan's family.

Richard Smith
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
Thank you so very much, Holly. It sounds like Dan was Dan, whether at home or at the office or anywhere else. You sum him up well: Passionate, caring, joyous.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 19, 2018
Chick, Dan told me about his first attempt and how you taught him to cast. A lesson he appreciated as applying well beyond fly fishing.
Posted by:
Joe Huray
Posted on:
January 18, 2018
My sincere condolences to Dan's wonderful family. I met Dan early on when I began attending St Luke's, and his love for our Church shown through his many efforts to serve, as he did when he enlisted for military service. As a Viet Nam veteran, I always appreciated the Veterans Day gifts he spent many hours making for the rest of us veterans. He would shake your hand, smile, and thank you for your service. That was how I first got to know him. I read his book.

He would dress in a suit, dress shirt, and tie on Sundays when he was serving as a Eucharistic Minister. Again, always proud to serve. I never heard him complain about his tribulations. He bore them like a true Catholic soldier. So, he showed all of us how to let our faith in Christ be our light and source of courage. I will miss Dan.

Godspeed buddy, and, Welcome Home.

Joe Huray
Posted by:
Mark Massengill
Posted on:
January 18, 2018
I met Dan a few years back at Project Healing Waters, Dan was a inspiration to all of us and I thank him for his service to this country.
Rest in peace Dan,
Mark Massengill
Posted by:
Chick Palermo
Posted on:
January 18, 2018
I met Dan the first time he came to Project Healing Waters. I had the delightful time teaching him to cast with a fly rod. After a brief time he and I were always talking, laughing and fishing together.

I loved his sense of humor and easy laugh. I will miss his 'pulling my chain' and the laughs we shared.

Chick Palermo
Posted by:
holly Ivel
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Dear friend and mentor, I was so saddened to hear you are not walking among us anymore. You helped me to understand deeply what it is to have passion and care and joy - for people, for life and for one’s work. I am grateful to have met and worked with you at ole CP&L. Your lessons and life live on in those who were lucky enough to know you. May God wrap around your family and comfort them.

Love and praise for a life well led and shared,
Holly Ivel
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Denny. Dan spoke of fishing at Cherokee and shooting the breeze with the guys on the motel balcony. He had such love and respect for you!
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Harry. God brought you into Dan's life at just the right time. He so treasured your friendship!
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Dan with Greg, laughing through the rain. Pretty much says it all. Thank you for the photo, Bud.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Bud. Although Dan couldn't be with his fishing buddies, we enjoyed many hours of your fly fishing videos (many more than once). Your drone footage of Clearwater with the lovely music put us right there with you and Dan's PHW friends. Just lovely.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Patty. We will always cherish him in death as in life.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Mark.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Shelly. The day you met Dan was the day a bright star of love named Kim entered his life.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Greg, for this photo. Dan was so happy that day!
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Joey
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Sandy. As you say, family was very important to Dan. We will always treasure and continue his tradition of sharing family stories and oral history.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Mark.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Shelly. The day you met Dan was the day a shining star entered his life.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Greg. Dan was so happy that day.
Posted by:
Denise
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
Thank you, Joey
Posted by:
Joey Martin
Posted on:
January 17, 2018
I am sorry to hear of Dan's passing. I will always remember the times we got to work together. I will cherish the times he was willing to share his thoughts and opinions with me. My sympathies are extended to the family during this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers
Posted by:
Shelly Rivers
Posted on:
January 16, 2018
Lit a candle in memory of Daniel Joseph Tomczak
Posted by:
Mark Ludlow
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
Sgt. Tomczak was my buddy. We sat next to each other on the plane ride to Vietnam. There we were assigned to different companies in 4th BN of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Hell will not not stop me from being present at Arlington National Cemetery when he is interned. Daniel will rest in peace with other soldiers - He was so proud of being a Paratrooper - scrappy fellow that he was!

With great affection.

Former Sgt. Mark Ludlow, 'C' Co., 4th BN, 503rd INF, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Vietnam 1969-1970).
Posted by:
Sandy Bonkowski-Koelzer
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
Denise and family,
Danny was Mom and Dad's ring bearer and a cousin who always had a smile and kind word for us "out-of-towners". We saw each other at family reunions over the years and always had something to talk about. Family was important to him. I hope that you all find comfort in the coming days sharing memories you have made over the years. Danny may be gone but never forgotten. RIP

One of your many cousins,
Sandy Bonkowski-Koelzer
Posted by:
Patty Visco
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you cherish all the memories that you have of Danny.
(Cousin) Patty Visco and Family
Posted by:
Bud Onstad
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
Dan was well suited for fly fishing. It is a peaceful sport, except when you catch a fish. When fishing at a Project Healing Waters event I would always lookout for Dan's little red pickup and then move around to where he was fishing just to visit a bit and be part of that peaceful place on the lake. Dan was a veteran who loved veterans. We miss you brother.
Posted by:
Harry Cleland
Posted on:
January 15, 2018
Dan and I were both from the same combat unit, always considered him as a brother. We both enjoyed fishing and being together. He will be greatly missed, although never forgotten.
We would always say AIRBORNE, and the reply was “ALL THE WAY”.
He will live input minds forever!
Posted by:
Denny Curtin
Posted on:
January 14, 2018
Dan, my friend and fellow Brother of the Nam. I was so happy that I spent that Sunday afternoon at your home a short time ago. What a great time that Mike and Cleo and us had on the balcony of our motel while fishing at Cherokee. Among you, Harry and my brother Terry as Warriors of the Herd. I have tremendous respect for y'all. God Bless and I will miss and love you. Denny Curtin. Semper Fidelis
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Viewing

Renaissance Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center
7615 Six Forks Rd
Raleigh, NC 27615
919-866-1866
View Website

Mass

St. Luke the Evangelist R.C. Church
12333 Bayleaf Church Road
Raleigh, NC 27614

Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA 22211
877-907-8585
View Website