Daniel Richard Lunsford
1971 - 2001
"Out there, thataway!"
Lunsford was born in Riverside, California in 1951. He lived life
to the fullest and never did anything the easy way. Dann graduated
from Highlands High and from Sacramento State with degrees in
math, physics and philosophy. He taught at Sierra College and
then started his career as a computer specialist with the state
of California. Dann began at franchise tax, then moved on to the
state data center, and finally on to the California Department
of Transportation, Caltrans.
His knack for problem solving served him well in his job working
for Caltrans, where he traveled the state performing his wizardry
on their computers. When he needed sick leave for a bone marrow
transplant his fellow employees donated eight months of their
own vacation time. He loved his job and the people he worked with
and worked until just a few days before he passed away.
Dann lived for solving puzzles and attacked every problem with
the same verve and joy. It made no difference if he was fixing
a bug in a 5000-line program or playing a "find the hidden
images" puzzle in the paper.
His booming laugh could brighten up anyone's day. When he was
diagnosed with multiple myeloma and given a very poor prognosis
he attacked the problem head on and fought bravely to the end,
gaining several more years than had been expected.
Dann liked habanero pepper sauce and icy snow cones, teaching
children basic math and debating obscure physics problems, classical
music and the "Three Stooges", noisy casinos and sitting
quietly by a brook, historical recreations and science fiction
conventions. He loved his family and helping others, and he will
be missed both by family and friends. He leaves behind his wife
Pamela, mother Dorothy and father Daniel Lunsford. His brother
Doug, niece Heather Lunsford, nephew Steven Lunsford, and brothers-in-law
Steven and Thomas Quiring will also miss him.
Dann was a lifelong space fan and when he learned about Celestis
site a month before he passed away he was immediately sure that
this was the perfect thing to do. Dann's lifelong passion for
space will be fulfilled with the Celestis launch of his remains