Memorial notes

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2004: Aug: Aug 21-04: Memorial notes
Dan Urbanski    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Jim Gallie

By Jim Gallie on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 07:58 am:

(Editor's note: Our regular weekly Shoebox Memory will return later today. Here are some notes from Jim Gallie about our mutual friend Dan urbanski, whose memorial service is being held this afternoon.)

It was eight years ago when my friendship with Dan and Patty began. I had moved to Silver City the previous year, yet I had only met them in passing. Up to that point, my hiking and exploration had been limited to the Porkies, but that soon changed after meeting Dan. My first experience of spending time with Dan was a trip to the Norwich Bluffs south of Ontonagon. Dan, Patty, Sara, Cosmo and I spent the afternoon tromping around the bluffs, examining the remnants of the old abandoned minesite. This was the start of a wonderful friendship.

I have always been a history buff, but Dan was amazing. Here was a guy who didn’t just sit and read about the history of the area, he went out looking for it! From then on, every trip with Dan was an eye opening experience. I learned about area history, geology, botany, legends, colorful characters and tall tales. With Dan, exploring an area wasn’t a passive pursuit, it was hands on. If he didn’t know what a particular wildflower was (which rarely happened), he made a point of looking it up in a field guide and commiting it to memory. He was always examining exposed bedrock, trying to determine if it was rhiolyte or andesite. Often on our trips we would spend a great amount of our time trying to determine “why” something was the way it was. “Why did they put a mine shaft halfway up that cliff?” “Why is the rock in this area tilted in such a manner?”

In this way, we spent day after day exploring the Ontonagon area. Some of these experiences made it into Dan’s Wilderness Diary--the “Hole in the Wall”, the search for the Trapper’s Shack, the countless trips to the Presque Isle Gorge, the Mother’s Day snowstorm--but many didn’t. Not mentioned were the short hikes along the Union Mine Trail in the Porkies, the cross country ski trips behind Dan and Patty’s house, looking at the rings of Saturn through his telescope(our hands going numb), grilling in the backyard and even a trip to Duluth to see some good live music. All of these, wonderful times. But probably the thing that sticks out imost in my mind was (having just returned from an adventure) sitting in the dining room, pouring over Dan’s extensive topographic map collection and wondering where we should go next. We were always planning and the experiences we had were always special.

While studying European History in school, I remember learning about the “Renaissance” man, a man who seemed to have extensive knowledge of almost everything. This definition fit Dan. He seemed to know a bit about everything and if he didn’t, he was going to learn. And, of course, his art was spectacular.

Dan, my friend, you are going to be greatly missed. You have touched the lives of many people. I consider myself to be lucky to have been one of them.

Patty, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I thought that since Dan was always behind the camera, I would share a few pictures of him at work and at play.





Kevin Peltola, Ripley, MI on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:19 am:

um, first post? having the 'first post' seems so unimportant now...

if i could repeat my post from late last night, If I may add my 2 cents... I think that a calendar may be a great idea, but I think, to preserve his memory... and his legacy... We should start a scholarship fund, for budding shutterbugs or local art students. Or, a nature preserve in his name. He deserves nothing less.

Dan, your vision has carried so many of us through. And you will continue to do so. I never got a chance to know you, in person, but in my eyes you have always been a friend...

love ya man

By Patt - Mid - Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:20 am:

Jim, Thank you for sharing your stories & friendship with Dan. Though we attended the same catholic grade school & public high school I knew him not since he was 2 yrs. younger than me and in those days that was like an eternity. I only began to know Dan these past 3 years through this wonderful web sight and his work was indeed stellar. May he rest in peace in the arms of the Lord.

By Jean on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:43 am:

May I suggest that Dan's Wilderness Diary would be a good read I went back last night and read them again, I had forgotten how good they are.

By bt,tc on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:02 am:

what an awesome tribute to an obviously GREAT friend! Thank you for the pics...showing Dan at work...or maybe he considered it play :-)
He was a great guy with a heart for the UP.

By Brenda, NY on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 09:47 am:

I'm sorry I never got to meet Dan, his work has touched me in so many ways. I have used his photographs so many times for wallpaper, what a gifted photographer! I recently found out he was married to my best friend from childhood and we got back in touch. It was so amazing, I thought I'd one day get to meet this wonderful, talented
man, but God often has other plans. Dan, RIP; Patty, I love you and all my prayers and sympathy are with you and your family.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:47 am:

Mornin', hope this is a good reflective day for all. We miss you Dan.

By Mary Lou on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:51 am:

Dan....thank you, for opening my eyes to the beauty around me. We live in such a beautiful world and it is so easy to just take it for lived a short but full life with love..and the respect of touched us all with your lovely will be missed.

By Kate, CA on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 12:24 pm:

Seeing the photos of Dan's on the introductory pages to today's pasty cam makes one realize just how much of a gifted photographer he really was. Those photos are testament to his gift, and I'd like to thank for sharing them with us. They are stand-outs! And thanks to Dan's friends for giving us a glimpse into his life. He will be sadly missed.

By Marge, SW Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 12:25 pm:

As a frequent viewer of, I have always enjoyed Dan Urbanski's great photos. I have kept his photo of Bond Falls on my desktop since it appeared on on Feb 23, 2001. Several times I've changed but something about that photo always makes me bring it back.

Since learning of Dan's death, I have visited his site just to view his wonderful photos. What a tribute to his work....may that site remain for all to enjoy and remember him. There are photos I've put off purchasing and hope I can still order them.

My sympathy goes out to his family...You have lost someone very special to you who also meant a great deal to many others. Someone who will be recalled many times with special warmth and affection and who'll often be missed by those who'll remember along with you. Some people pass through our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.....

Several lines in this poem (I don't know the author) given to me after a death in my family, seem appropriate to remember Dan...

Remember Me To the living, I am gone
To the Sorrowful, I will never return
To the angry, I was cheated
But to the happy, I am at peace
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.

So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at the beautiful sea
Remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty
Remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity
Remember me.

Remember me in your heart, your thoughts and
Your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will have never gone...

By Donna on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 01:55 pm:

Wow....what incredible, wonderful tributes. All week long too! And fortunate you were to have had a true and real friendship with Dan.

You've been blessed, as have we all. Thank you Pasty.

Love and Light...

By Anita from the U.P, on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:05 pm:

Marge.....I think that poem says it all....beautifully. Thank you.

By Fran,Ga on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:19 pm:

Rest in peace,Dan.

By Doug Smith, Wixom, MI on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:20 pm:

Dan will still be roaming those mountains in the porkies, ever looking for that perfect shot. As I take a walk in the woods this afternoon in Dan's memory, I will pause for a moment or two and think 0f all those wondeful images he's shared with us all over the years. He's made us all just sit in wonder as we gaze into the window of one mans soul. We'll miss you Dan.

By Jim & Loretta-Lower Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:52 pm:

Patty, Sara and Jim,
Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and especially today at this moment. We may not be there at the Memorial Service, but you all must know that we are with you in our thoughts and prayers. Through Jim, we also got to know Dan and shared some fun trips with Dan, Patty, Jim, Sara and Cosmo. Jim would call home and share stories of the trips he and Dan went on and their exciting discoveries. We haven't seen Dan and Patty for a couple of years, but we did keep up to date on the happenings and Dan and Patty's ordeal. I know Jim and Sara will miss a great friend and mentor and Patty will miss a husband, friend and partner. We will think of you often and hope to keep in touch.

Our best to you, Jim & Loretta Gallie

By darrell oinas/Saint Johns Michigan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:55 pm:

Dan will be missed, all of our days are numbered on this earth so we should enjoy each day as though it were our last. My sympathy goes out to the family and close friends.

By Helen Upper Peninsula of MI on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:13 pm:

The Memorial Service for Dan was absolutely heart warming. Dan was a very talented and gifted photographer.He lived life through the lens of his cameras. Everyone whom he had met over his lifetime knew it. The slide show of his work was just great.

He will be remembered as a great and giving person to those who had met or crossed paths with him. . There was other photographers there, whom thought of Dan as a mentor to them.

He will be truely missed, he shall be remembered through his photographs.

I am glad I had the opportunity to attend the Service.My condolences go out to Patty, Sara, Frank his Father and other family members and friends

By Jeff Laitila, Japan on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 08:48 pm:

Although I was never fortunate enough to meet Dan, his photography has had a great impact upon my life.

I first saw his work about 5 years ago and it inspired me to start on my own path of photography. This has turned out to be a very challenging, yet by far the most rewarding, pursuit in my life.

My deepest condolences go out to Dans Family and friends.

Dan touched a lot of people, many of which he was probably never even aware of.

By Love of My Life on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:49 pm:

Peace be with all of you. No words can describe the beauty and
the peace. There were about 150 people there, We started the
ceremony with Dan's favorite music, Van Morrison's "By His
Grace". Then Pastor Rosemary DeHut read from Genesis about
the beginning of time and how God made the oceans and the
seas and the stars and the heavens. She read about how God
made the land and gave us life and gave us the animals and the
birds and the insects and the fish in the seas. She spoke
eloquently about the love of God and his gift of the land and the
beauty of all that surrounds us. Then we started Dan's slide
program of his pictures from his Isle Royale Artist in Residence
that he set to classical music. Everyone cried.Then everyone got
up and spoke of their love and how much Dan touched them --
gave them Inspiration and taught them to look closer at nature
and how he gave them a gift of seeing the beauty of nature.
Then we played another of Dan's favorite songs, "Be Thou My
Vision" (also by Van Morrison). After that we continued with
eulogies and played the last song of Dan's favorites "Hymns To
The Silence" (also by Van Morrison). (((((Dan loved Van

It was beautiful. It was good and it was what Dan would have
wanted. All is right. All is good. And he is with us all now in
spirit and will be here at Pasty Central with me and with all of us
and living as a treasure. Love you all. Love you all. Love you all.



Dan Urbanski

By gpjsep - Lower Mi. on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:01 pm:

To Patty -

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Author Unknown

By Fran,Ga on Monday, August 23, 2004 - 09:37 pm:

Patty, thank you for sharing with us. It must have been a beautiful and touching service. I wish we all could have been there.

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