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Richard John Danko

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Richard John Danko, age 89 of Sterling Heights, died Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Medilodge of Sterling Heights. He was born August 14, 1927 in Detroit, son of the late George and the late Irene (nee: Adamkowski) Danko.

Revered as one of Michigan's premiere houses of education, Richard was proud to be a graduate of the esteemed Catholic Central High School of Detroit. Following graduation, it wasn't long before Uncle Sam came calling and the U.S. Army gained another willing soul to serve our country. At the young age of 18, Richard was inducted in October 1945 and served for just under 2 years having received his honorable discharge in February of 1947. A decorated veteran for duties extended, Richard also achieved the status of an M1 Marksman,…just in case the bad dudes came close. But rather than the battlefield, Richard's strengths were better served as part of the Army's Medical Battalion where he assisted in seeing to the many details that made a difference in the lives of his fellow comrades-in-arms.

So it is, with thanks and praise from a grateful nation, that we pay homage to Private 1st Class Richard John Danko for his service to our country during World War II. For his patriotism and bravery, and his willingness to stand in harm's way on our behalf, we extend our posthumous gratitude and honor Richard for answering his call to duty with pride and serving with that same "American Character" as did so many of his fellow countrymen before and after him. We enjoy our freedoms and liberties today because of what so many did back then,…so Thank You, Private Danko!

Three years later, Richard's life took on an entirely new and exciting perspective when he watched his blushing bride take that momentous walk down the aisle to join with him in Holy Matrimony. On July 7, 1951 in Detroit, in the eyes of family and friends alike, Richard took Miss Clara Kuhr to be his lawfully wedded wife and the two lovebirds flew off into the future to begin their lives together as one, a marriage that spanned over 66 years and one which experienced countless joys,…like the two beautiful lives they welcomed into the world, James and Kathleen.

To keep his family well taken care of, Richard set off each day to perform his job as a Tool & Die Maker in one of the many automotive affiliates in the area. With a career that spanned many years and included two different facilities, Richard was first employed with Heidrich Tooln& Die in Oak Park, then at Tru Tool & Die in Roseville. He truly loved what he did, was good at what he did, and was considered a hard worker by all. After many loyal and dedicated years of service, Richard finally accepted his well-deserved retirement and headed off into the world of his fellow Golden Warriors,…where, now, his favorite job was simply enjoying the benefits and highlights of grandkids and family.

When mentioning some of Richard's favorite pastimes, as with most guys, the most prominent was definitely his love of sports. For him, it was basically football and baseball,…with his loyalties lying with his hometown boys, the Lion's and Tiger's of course. And not merely a "Sports in the D" fan,…Oh No,…Richard (along with his son, Jim) was a longtime Season Ticket Holder for both teams for many, many years. Mind you, we're talking about the days when both teams played at the iconic Briggs Stadium on the corner of Michigan & Trumbull, and the two most supportive fans sat, year after year, in Section 17 – Row H – Seats 24 & 25. Along with the numerous stadium experiences and catching his sporting news from favorites Al Ackerman and Joe Falls through the years, Richard also had a history of being quite the sports participant as well. Back in his high school days, Richard played on the baseball team where he was noted for his talents in pitching,…especially his infamous "knuckleball." He also played on the team with a young man by the name of Art Houtteman. Not only teammates, but also classmates and locker mates, these two baseball dudes went on to quite different paths in life,…Richard as a Tool & Die Maker, and Art as a Detroit Tiger. That's right,…a major leaguer! It's often been pondered,…had Richard and Art stayed more closely linked along the way, might Richard have known some of the same outcomes as his buddy, Art? Yet he played the hand he was dealt and came away with countless blessings throughout his life, blessings that the "high life" might never have afforded him.

Along with being a Sports Fan, Richard was also known for being quite the News Hound, too. Long before the days of smartphones, iPads and Google, Richard was relegated to the mediums of the newspaper and television. Go Figure, eh? And he loved his newspaper, which for many years found Richard a loyalist of the Detroit Free Press. Then one day his favorite sports writer, Joe Falls, decided to jump ship and took a position with the Detroit News,…and Richard swam right over to the same to remain with his boy, Joe. When it comes to getting your sporting news the way it should be, loyalty-be-damned, right? As for getting his news via the TV, the one main criteria at the dinner table was "quiet" as dinner was always served at 6 pm,…that's right, the News Hour. Mama (that would be Clara) had one simple, daily request of Richard, and that was to be home from work, showered, and sitting at the table by 6 pm to enjoy the hot meal she had prepared for her workin' man. For Richard, all was good as that meant he was mere moments away from his nightly report from Al Ackerman.

And let no person tell you any different,…Ol' Richard was quite the "Schmoozer," too! With girlfriends all over town, he used to drive his beloved Clara bananas. Whether at the bank, the Dime Store,

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