ILWACO — Daniel Walter Sass, 74, died Sept. 25, 2018, at his home in Ilwaco, Wash. He was born May 4, 1944 in Des Plains, Illinois. Dan grew up helping his mother and father, successful farmers of onions and horseradish. All his education was in Lutheran schools. He developed an interest in music in high school.
He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., began piano and voice studies and was a soloist for the famous St. Olaf Choir. He continued his music education and received a master’s degree at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
His profession was as a music teacher in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and lastly in El Paso, Texas. He taught all levels and founded the New Mexico Children’s Choir and the El Paso Children’s Choir.
He was a lifelong Lutheran and a lifelong member of the American Choral Directors Association. He was very pleased to have served as a choir director to the Center Chapel 1 at Fort Bliss, Texas, and within the past nine years he provided music for services to the Ocean Park Lutheran church, Naselle Lutheran church, and the Chinook Lutheran church.
Daniel was a gifted and very talented teacher with a quick wit especially with words, he presented challenges to all students. He loved teaching and with an enormously warm, very kind and large presence connected easily with all those he touched.
Dan is survived by his loving wife, Leanne; his son, Jesus; his daughters, Ana (Steven) Balka and Emilie Sass; his sisters, Diana (Richard) Mehlhop and Dolores (Douglas) Rood; granddaughter, Sophie Scoggins and numerous extended family members.
Daniel’s funeral service will be held Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m., in the Chinook Lutheran Church. Family requests no flowers; instead, a gift donation to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chinook music fund would be welcome — he would be very pleased.