Feb. 18, 1930 – Sept. 2, 2018
A loving and dedicated husband, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and a man of profound Christian faith, Mark William Daman, 88, of Byron died Sept. 2, 2018, at the Billings Clinic from cardiac arrest following several years of debilitation due to a stroke in 2013.
He will be remembered for his gentleness, honesty, loving heart, sense of humor, strength, varied knowledge — which he enjoyed sharing with people, integrity and his beautiful tenor voice of praise to God. He was a true and faithful friend to all who knew him.
Mark was born to Frank William Daman and Bessie Rosetta (Butler) Daman on Feb. 18, 1930, in Lansing, Mich. Mark was raised in Lansing and rural St. Johns, Mich. He attended elementary school through third grade, then Olive Grove Country School, before attending Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, where he enjoyed playing guard in football all four years.
After graduating, he entered a bricklayer apprenticeship program, which was delayed after a few months by service in the U.S. Navy from February 1951 to March 1954. Mark served during the Korean War in the Pacific Theatre. When boot camp was over he sailed on the USS McKean, a destroyer, as a gunner’s mate. Upon discharge, he completed the apprenticeship program and continued that trade working under various contractors for many years.
After a fall that broke his back, Mark turned to the trade of gunsmithing, attending the Colorado School of Trades in Denver, and earned an A.A.S. from Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colo., a program started by P.O. Ackley, who influenced nearly everything we know today about shooting and ballistics. He was an expert gunsmith and wood/stock carver. One year while in Rock Springs he took home the grand champion ribbon at the Sweetwater County Fair.
While there he met his future wife, Patricia (Richards) Daman of Montrose, Colo. He and his wife shared 49 years, 9 months of loving marriage. Mark and Pat were married Nov. 29, 1968, and the couple settled in Bath, Mich., to attend Michigan State University in East Lansing, and later moved to Lansing when Mark’s elderly father needed to live with them. They both earned a B.S. in industrial arts education; Mark also minored in agriculture. Being certified to teach masonry, electrical, plumbing and construction, he taught house construction in Dexter, Mich., for a year.
At that time, he was approached to become a chiropractor, and he applied for and was accepted to the famed Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. Mark and Pat relocated to Davenport and upon graduation in 1980 they loaded the trailers and continued west to Cody.
Dr. Mark had a practice there, but realized he was more mentally suited for the outdoors and accepted an offer from the owners of the Circle H Ranch up the North Fork to be a ranch hand. He learned about wrangling, shoeing and currying horses. He and Pat took several groups of “dudes” up the mountain trails for a day ride.
On one ride while up on top of Grizzly Mountain they could see an angry looking cloud approaching. Mark said, “Ride! It’s a cloudburst!” They made it down (praying all the way) and back to the ranch safely though thoroughly soaked. Later Mark and Pat rode back to the trail they’d come down, and there was no trail. Instead, there was an 8-foot wide chasm about 6-foot deep. They were thankful to God for their safety.
Shortly after that they were on the move again, this time to Rock Springs to share an office with an elderly chiropractor for a while. He once more returned to his favorite trade of bricklaying and traveled out of state for seven years returning home as he could.
By 1999 he retired, and they loaded the trailers for the final journey to settle in Byron because he wanted to be closer to the Crandall area he had so dearly enjoyed when living in Cody. Mark loved the outdoors, hunting and trapping in general, but his passion was elk hunting. He bagged some big trophies and told anyone interested where they could see one of the mounts.
He had gotten a Master Gardener certificate from UW in a Rock Springs extension course and promptly set to work the spring they arrived in Byron. The squash plants were so high folks would stop to ask what he was growing. He also had rows and rows of strawberries and raspberry bushes, plus the usual vegetables. He was also proudly a part of the NBH Search & Rescue team, CERT and for a time a Byron first responder.
He was an untrained singer, but people knew he was coming because he was always humming or singing. He told Pat that when he was a boy doing farming for others he would sing louder than the ole John Deere popper. Pat says she fell in love with him as they were going through the southeastern Colorado Mountains on a “color tour,” and he started singing songs to glorify God and she joined right in there with him. He sang with a few church choirs and even did a few solos and duets with Pat.
Mark also loved to read and in his later years spent many hours in his favorite chair by a stack of nutrition or hunting books and magazines. His everyday reading always included the Bible, Christian magazines and studies and several pages of John Calvin’s Bible Commentaries. He enjoyed Christian songs that glorified his awesome God, especially southern gospel and gospel quartet music. When they lived in Michigan they attended many live Bill Gaither concerts.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents and two infant children, Richard and Sheila; half-brother Silas E. Daman; half-sister Huldah Esther Pinch; and ex-wife Joy DeGroot (Joe) Mazurek. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of Byron; sister Ruth Elaine Brown of Poway, Calif.; brothers Gerald Franklin Daman of Mulliken, Mich., and Clyde Lee Daman of Mason, Mich.; children Shirley Louise (William) Bailey, William Arnold (Deb) Daman and Walter Allen Daman, all of Michigan; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mark’s life will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, with inurnment following with military honors at the Byron Cemetery.
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101