Daniel Peters was born John Daniel on Dec. 21, 1936, in Carroll County, on the Launspach farm near Lanesboro, to Roger and Mary Catherine (Finn) Gilligan, and died Aug. 22 on an acreage near West Branch at the age of 82 years, eight months and one day.
Dan’s funeral was held Aug. 29 at the United Methodist Church in Rippey, with the Rev. Paul Burrow officiating.
Honorary casket bearer was Neil Ericson.
The casket bearers were Shannon VanHorn, T.J. VanHorn, Josh Peters, Tyler Jensen, Jessica Ericson, Nick Rhame, Abby Peters and Jake Peters.
Elta Summerson was pianist and Dick Bardole sang “Amazing Grace” and “In the Garden.” Dan’s son, Doug Peters, sang “Danny Boy,” and everyone sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
His burial was made in the Rippey Cemetery.
He was born into an Irish family and had eight brothers and sisters: William, Anna, Gertrude, Catherine, Roger, David, Pauline and Michael.
Dan, at the age of 5, was placed in a home in Grand Junction along with four other siblings. In 1942, when Dan was 6, he was sent to live with Jake and Wilmuth Peters, of Rippey. When Dan turned 21, he was adopted by Jake and Wilmuth.
In the Rippey school system, Dan enjoyed sports and excelled in basketball and baseball. Dan was one of the starting five seniors that took their undefeated basketball team to the Iowa Boys State Basketball tournament; Rippey had not been to the state basketball tournament since 1925.
Dan was recognized as the top Rippey player for most points, and placed on the IDPA honor roll for one of the high scorers in basketball for the state of Iowa.
He also stayed busy with band and played the trombone, achieving a Division 1 in state music contests. Dan enjoyed singing bass in chorus and mixed double quartette. He loved driving his 1940 Ford; “Gone With the Wind” was his favorite movie. He enjoyed Glenn Miller bands and his favorite song was “Stardust.”
Dan graduated with the class of 1955.
Dan and Karen Louise Cain had their first date in April of his junior year. In June after high school, he was one of three boys chosen out of 60 in Marshalltown during a baseball camp tryout, which the Milwaukee Braves sponsored. He then went to Milwaukee to try out as a catcher with the Milwaukee Braves baseball team.
After tryouts, Dan was the first one signed by the Milwaukee Braves to a 1956 contract with the Eau Claire, Wis., Class “C” club.
Dan returned to Iowa and decided to attend Morningside College in Sioux City. He had planned to major in physical education, but was introduced to a lab class that changed his mind and major to medical laboratory technologist. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in medical laboratory technology.
On Jan. 20, 1958, Dan married his childhood sweetheart, Karen Louise Cain. Dan worked at Lutheran Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Sioux City. While living in Sioux City, Kathy, David, Jane, Donna and Julie were born.
In 1964, Dan was offered the job as chief medical technologist at Mercy Hospital in Fort Dodge, where Doug was born. Then Dan became the head of the laboratory department at Humboldt County Hospital.
Dan began riding and showing Tennessee walking horses after he moved the family to Humboldt.
In 1984, Dan and Karen were divorced and he married Jan Peterson in 1991.
Dan and Jan moved near West Branch, where Dan worked at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City until he retired. In November of 2000, Dan had to have open heart surgery to have an aortic valve repair and a three vessel coronary artery bypass graft and was also diagnosed with diabetes.
Jan and Dan enjoyed traveling to Apache Junction, Ariz., where they rode their horses on the trails. In 2011, Jan passed away.
Dan also enjoyed attending University of Iowa football and basketball games with his family.
On Aug. 22, Daniel passed away at his home in West Branch at the age of 82.
Dan was preceded in death by his birth parents; adopted parents Jake and Wilmuth; wife Jan; Karen, the mother of his children; grandson Neil Ericson; brothers and sisters: William (Wanda) Gilligan, Anna (Monty) Thor, Gertrude (Jerry) Naber, Catherine (Donald) Thomas, Roger E. Gilligan, Pauline (David) Schuessler.
Dan is survived by his children: Kathy Jensen (George), of Waukee; David (Shari), of Humboldt; Jane Ericson (Ron), of Pueblo West, Colo.; Donna Peters, of Lakewood, Colo.; Julie Georgiou, of Denver; and Doug Peters (Ann), of Burlington; foster brother Lloyd (Helen) DeMoss and foster sister Sheila Burdett; precious grandchildren Tyler Jensen, Colton Jensen, Joshua Peters, Nicholas Rhame, Jacob Peters, Shannon Van Horn (T.J.), Ashley Jensen, Jessica Ericson and Abby Peters; brothers David (Jean) Gilligan and Michael Gilligan, both of Mountain Home, Ark.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins; other relatives; and many, many friends.
Memorials to anything to benefit Rippey may be sent to Hastings Funeral Home, Box 204, 1417 2nd St., Perry, IA 50220.