Daniel “Danny Boy” Kluth, Jr. experienced many things in his lifetime that showed him the importance of appreciating what he had. He understood what it meant to fight for a cause and to persevere through difficult circumstances. His years of dedication allowed him to touch the lives of many.
The 1950s marked a quieter, more stable time in American history. It was a good time to grow up in America, and because of the Baby Boom, neighborhoods and schools were bursting at the seams with children. Daniel Kluth, Jr. was among those children. Born on September 14, 1950, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was one of eight children to Daniel Sr. and Shirley (Brice) Kluth.
Danny Boy, as he was called, attended the area schools and spent much of his leisure time outdoors. He liked to bow hunt, and often hung around with his buddies in the “Corner Street Group.” Like most teenage boys, Danny Boy was a car fanatic and was so excited the day he bought his first car, the family’s used yellow 1968 Impala. He later got his first new car, an Olds Cutlass, which he also kept in meticulous condition. Danny Boy was still quite upset when he found out that a scratch on one of his cars was actually inflicted by his brother, Rick, when Rick finally took the blame for it 40 years later.
Danny Boy left school after the 10th grade, though he eventually went back and got his High Scool Equivalence. Then, like many young men of the time, he received his draft notice from the U.S. Army and proudly served his country during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Germany during his tour of duty and worked in the Motor Pool. By the time Danny Boy received his honorable discharge, he had attained the rank of Specialist Four.
After the war, Danny Boy returned home to his family and went to work as a machinist for a while. Tragically, a day after his 23rd birthday and shortly before his wedding, Danny Boy broke his neck while putting up siding on a barn, leaving him paralyzed and wheelchair bound. After the recovery period, Danny Boy was married, though it did not last. The first 10 years after his accident were very difficult for Danny Boy, and it took a lot of adjustment and healing, both inside and out. But then, Danny Boy’s great sense of humor began to emerge again, and he started to have fun, which made his family very happy. He also became involved with the Wisconsin Paralyzed Veterans and Beyond the Boundaries (Joe’s Lodge, Inc.), which is a non-profit organization in Black Creek, Wisconsin that provides opportunities to disabled people to learn and participate in outdoor activities. A great part of his happiness in recent years was the addition of Nakita, his beloved dog, into his life. Nakita was Danny Boy’s true friend and the two were almost inseparable until September 20, 2007, when Danny Boy lost his dear friend and companion.
One of Danny Boy’s favorite pastimes at home was watching the Home Shopping Network and QVC on his very large 70 inch TV, which he had his brother, Rick, install for him. Danny Boy used his dining room table as a “receiving station” for all the goodies he bought on TVand from his computer; his favorite items to buy were watches and gadgets. He was quite a shopoholic!
Danny Boy touched everyone’s life that he came into contact with and he will be greatly missed.
Daniel “Danny Boy” Kluth, Jr. died at his home in Greenfield, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 20, 2009, at the age of 58. Beloved son of the late Daniel Sr. and the late Shirley (nee Brice). Loving brother of Karen (Bill) Biewer, Dennis, Barbara, Debbie (Jorge) Rueda, Rick (Chris), Cheryl (Lenny Holewski) and Scott Kluth. Further survived by 14 nieces and nephews, numerous great-nieces and great-nephews, other relatives and friends. Visitation will be on Thursday, June 25, from 11:00 a.m. until time of the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. at the Wisconsin Memorial Park, Chapel of the Flowers, 13235 West Capitol Drive. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Beyond the Boundaries, Joe’s Lodge, Inc., 7640 N HWY 47, Black Creek, WI 54106. Please visit Danny Boy’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you may share a memory/thought with his family or sign his online guest book.