We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Platte Chapel
A graveside service for Daniel J. Baltz, 78, will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, September 9, 2022 at the Prairie Rest Cemetery near Guernsey, Wyoming with Reverend Rex Martin officiating.
Daniel Baltz passed away on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at his home in Guernsey.
Dad always wanted the last word, so he wrote his own obituary. We are sure you will be able to picture him and hear his voice as you read this.
Born on Monday, the 14th of February 1944 in Hemingford, Nebraska. He was the oldest son of John and Evelyn (Shimek) Baltz. His younger brothers and sisters will tell you stories about how he treated them, but most of it is highly exaggerated. Dan attended every school up and down the valley and graduated from the school of hard knocks.
In his younger days he worked on a few ranches in Wyoming and the Bradbury Land and Cattle Company in Colorado. He even did a little sheep herding and broke horses. Done a little rodeo’en before getting a real money paying job. Worked some road construction and worked for the CF&I in Sunrise, Wyoming.
He was drafted in 1965 into the United States Army. Served in the Army AVN as UH-1B (Huey) helicopter crew/chief/door gunner. Was sent to Vietnam, staying for seventeen months. He was awarded the Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters (2 with “V” device for valor), the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, Aircraft Crewman Badge, and a handful of other medals and ribbons. Dan also served in the Wyoming Army National Guard for 23 years.
He met Donna R. (Bray) Baltz, and they were married on the 25th of May 1967, and they reared three children: Robin, Ben, and Byron.
He worked for the state of Wyoming at Camp Guernsey as a facilities technician and retired with 21 years of service. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 4471), the Disabled American Veterans, and the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association.
In 1977, he was selected for Outstanding Young Men of America and Who’s Who in America. He was very active in the VFW serving in all chairs of the post, District, and up to Senior Vice-Commander for the state of Wyoming and served on many national committees. He was selected by his comrades as Outstanding Young Veteran for two consecutive years, for the State of Wyoming, and selected by the National Convention as Outstanding Young Veteran of the United States of America. He also served as National Aide-De-Camp for the VFW four different years and one year for the Disabled American Veterans. At the National VFW convention that was held in New Orleans, Mr. Baltz was awarded his certificate for Outstanding Young Veteran of the USA by then President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan.
He was appointed chairman for the state of Wyoming by Governor Ed Herschler to get as many Vietnam Veterans as possible from Wyoming to the Vietnam Memorial Dedication in Washington D.C. with $10,000 from the general fund. He was appointed by West Virginia’s Secretary of State, A. James “Joe” Manchin, as an “Ambassador of Patriotism Among All People”.
Dan was also Past President of the Guernsey Jaycees, a member of the National Pony Express Association and council, served on the Platte County Parks and Recreation board, and on the Guernsey Town Council and Civil Air Patrol.
Dan was a member of the Autry National Western Heritage Museum and the Smithsonian Institution. He also served ten years as Scouting Coordinator for the scouting activities in the Guernsey, Hartville areas. Dan loved the Pinewood Derby programs. He helped his two sons build their derby cars as long as they were eligible. They brought home 1st and 3rd place trophies twice from the Cheyenne Scouting Pinewood Derby Racing Program. After the second year, they were told they couldn’t come back. After that Dan took his boys to Scottsbluff to race, building and designing new cars each year and they finished in the top three each year for the rest of their eligibility. That is where Dan had the honor of meeting the great Jerry Deshong, owner and operator of the Channel 10 TV station. After the introduction and sharing a few “stories”, they decided to build their own cars and race in the open class. Dan won the first year and Jerry said he was going to have upcoming years televised. As fate would have it, Mr. Deshong won that race, but they remained lifelong friends. After that second race in Husker country, the boys moved up to Boy Scouts, Dan and his two sons still helping out with the program.
Dan was also a very good auctioneer. He performed many charity auctions, selling stuff at the annual fireman’s auction, golfers, demolition derby drivers and their cars, the Hartville annual auction (helping to buy new/used firetrucks), cakes at the Pinewood Derby races, runners at the Army National Guard 4-mile run, and many others. He continued to auction cakes built by Cub Scouts and their fathers, but he knew for a fact that they had help from their moms and big sisters.
Well, I, Daniel J. Baltz am dead.
Dan was preceded in death by his wife, Donna; grandparents, Gertrude and Vern; parents, Evelyn and John; aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is survived by his three children, Robin (Greg) Porter, Ben (Terry) Baltz, and Byron (Jessica) Baltz; six grandchildren, Alec, Ashley, Colton, Drew, Jordan, and Samuel; three great grandchildren, Ahriah, Jayden, and Makayla; sisters, JaNora Baltz and JaNell Canaday; brothers, Kenneth (Judy) Baltz, Floyd (Mary) Baltz, and Jackson Baltz; nieces and nephews; and Bray in-laws, Fred, Herb, Mara, and Lemuel; and numerous children and cousins.
Memorial donations may be made to Lake Guernsey VFW Post #4471 or to the Wounded Warriors Project, https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com