I hadn't seen Dan for a while, but I never would have imagined he had died.

We'd see each other and catch up maybe every 6 months or so.  Each time, Dan was his normal smiling self.

I could talk to him for hours, about all kinds of things, he was such a good listener with such a gentle way.
A longtime Columbia Heart Beat reader, Dan knew the story about Alison's breast cancer and how, so far, we had it licked with many prayers and great care.  I learned about the love -- and loss -- of his life when he told me about Becky Cooper, his fiance who passed away a young 43 in 1995.
The marketing director for KOMU TV, Becky was a public service force in CoMo, on the boards of the United Way and Salvation Army; and chief organizer of events like the Helping Our Kids Campaign and Columbia's hosting role in the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships.

Becky faced death the same way she approached life, Dan explained.  Her courage and spirits were something to behold.  She'd see other sick people and call herself lucky.  Through her example, she helped teach Dan to look onward and upward, always.
"It was nothing for her to be here when she was really hurting,'' Tom Gray, station manager at KOMU, told the Columbia Daily Tribune for a story about a balloon race named in Becky Cooper's honor.  "She really stayed at it.  I tell you, Becky really had guts.''

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