Mar 6, 2012, 5:15 PM
Post #5 of 25
Re: [skydivecpa] Dan Potts, Houston, Texas
[In reply to]
I received a phone call from Paul (DZO) Saturday afternoon, about 45 minutes after it happened, it felt like a wrecking ball had hit my chest. I could not believe what I was hearing, Dan is gone. I considered Dan one of my closest friends, his advice saved and improved my life, forever grateful to you dan.
Dan was a great Daddy and husband, hard working and brutally honest, never saw him say anything in anger or speak ill of anyone (even if deserved) He leaves a beautiful family, a wife of 27 years by his side, a Navy SEAL family and a Skydiving Brotherhood that will truly miss him
I will never forget your words.... "Hey buddy, you know its all about the kids, they are God's way of saying I love you"
I didn't know Dan as well as some did, but every jump we were on together was a fun dive. He was even nice enough to make fun of me in full on competitive swooper getup while competing and running competitions at the old Skydive Houston in Waller. I appreciated the good natured joking and his earnest questions about that aspect of our sport.
Blue Skies Dan, you were a mentor I sincerely looked up to. I didn't know you as well as many others did, but I know you were a true warrior. Your advice both saved my life and helped me deal with some past demons and limiting beliefs.
Just read this. Blue Skies Dan. All Around Good Guy. Thank You for your service to your country. It was a pleasure knowing you. Thank's for helping me through the little rough skydiving period by turning me on to the Synflex. It really worked and allowed me to continue jumping. Your inspiration helped many others and you truly achieved the purpose in life that God set out for you.
My condolences go out to your family, Your extended Navy SEAL family, skydiving family and friends.
Blue Skies Forever.
(This post was edited by freakyrat on Mar 7, 2012, 6:43 PM)
Dan contacted me three weeks ago about a memorial dive for Terry Goode. Now we have to do one for Dan. He was actively supporting a local charity golf tournament to raise funds for wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars. We will miss the "Brick." Butler
Donations to help the family can be made at any Amegy Bank - Dan Potts Memorial Fund, Janet Potts, trustee.
Obituary from Dan's wife, Janet:
Daniel J. Potts, 61, of Houston, Texas died March 3, 2012 in a skydiving accident in San Marcos, Texas. He was born January 4, 1951, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jerry and Alma (Tittle) Potts.
Dan enlisted in the US Navy in March 1969 during the Viet Nam war and volunteered for duty to serve in combat with the UDT/SEAL. Dan qualified for and completed training in BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Team Training) Class 55 and served in Vietnam with UDT 12 and UDT 13 until July 1972.
Dan moved to Houston in 1980 and became a self-employed master plumber and spent his entire career as a self employed independent businessman and had an excellent reputation for quality work and dedication to his work. Dan was an active member of the national UDT/SEAL Association and served as President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the UDT/SEAL Association from 2000-2006. He was an active member of the Republican Party, the Holley Terrace Civic Association, the National Rifle Association and the United States Parachute Association.
It has been recently said of Dan that he “Lived Out Loud!” Yes, Dan knew how to “live” and he invested his time in the things in life that he valued most. Dan was a man of deep moral conviction. Every person that knew Dan, even casually, knew the level of his faith. Dan was a devoted man of God and he tailored his life around that conviction. Dan’s life was a public demonstration of service.
Dan loved God and determined early on, to live a life of service to the Lord. That service not only included an unfailing dedication to the family that he so deeply loved and committed to his care but, Dan’s level of service went well beyond. Dan loved his country and was deeply committed to serving this great nation, not only in words and deeds right up to the day of his death but, going back to his military days fighting for our freedoms on the battlefields of Viet Nam, with the US Navy UDT/SEAL; an organization he dedicated his entire adult life to supporting.
In short; Dan Potts was a man of immense moral conviction that was liberally demonstrated though a life without compromise. He did not compromise his faith in God, his love for his country, his love and dedication to his family, nor his love and dedication to his friends. To be a friend of Dan Potts was a special bond, for Dan knew how to be a friend, and just like everything else he did, he demonstrated his friendship as “action.” Yes, Dan did “Live Out Loud,” and for those that had the privilege of knowing him deeply, know just exactly how loud his love and devotion were.
Dan is survived by his wife, Janet Potts; sons, Aaron Potts and Wesley Dees, wife, Monica; daughters, Samantha Meli, Sarah Potts and Vanessa Potts; grandchildren, Brady and Carter McIntyre, Parker and Grayson Dees, and David Meli; his mother, Alma Potts; brothers, Thomas Potts, Matthew Potts and Andrew Potts; and numerous nieces and nephews. Dan was preceded in death by his father, Jerry Potts and brothers, David Potts, John Potts and Timothy Potts.
Dan will be brought home by his fellow Navy SEAL’s to St. Jerome Catholic Church, 8825 Kempwood, Houston, Texas for the funeral service at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 16. Rev. Msgr. Dan Scheel and Father George Henninger will celebrate the funeral mass with a reception following in the Father Raye Center. A memorial fund has been established for the family. Please send donations to:
Amegy Bank Janet E. Potts, Trustee Dan Potts Memorial Fund
Mar 17, 2012, 11:22 PM
Post #15 of 25
Re: [maxmadmax] Dan Potts, Houston, Texas
[In reply to]
I have been to several funerals in my life, but never something so emotional and beautiful as Dan's service. Dan was a simple man who led an extraordinary life. He left a big empty hole in all of us.... He was a humble man, a loving man, an honest man and a hero to his family, his country and to many of us. People always say nice things about the dead, but in this case it was no exaggeration, Dan was the real thing.
I estimated a whopping 400 to 500 people in attendance at the funeral. I've never seen so many people at a funeral before. The attendees included family, and friends from church, work, the military, and skydiving. Dan had an amazingly wide circle of friends, all of whom held him in great respect. Skydivers were present from Skydive Houston, Skydive Spaceland and Skydive San Marcos.
At the guest book sign-in, orange and white ribbons were available to be pinned to shirts - those were Dan's skydiving jumpsuit colors.
It was a full three-hour service, and no one who attended could help but be emotionally moved by it.
It started with a Catholic mass service, with waving of the smoke pot, taking of bread and wine, singing of hymns, saying of prayers, etc. The priest spoke at great length about his personal experience with Dan, such as the day he fixed a breakfast for everyone when the church was under construction.
Pictures of Dan looked down upon us from big screen TV's mounted high on the front walls.
About a dozen people stepped forward to give personal testimonials about Dan. Both of Dan's daughters spoke, Samantha struggling through tears which made me cry for her pain, and Vanessa who was amazingly composed. Vanessa used to come to the drop zone with Dan and hang out with us. She said later she's planning on making a jump. Two of the testimonials were from skydivers: Marcello Garcia and John McDonald, and both were well done, spot on and very touching. A number of talks were given by Dan's Navy Seal friends. One asked all the Seals in attendance to stand, and about 30 men stood up. There were about 10 in uniform who were located by his casket, and who also served as his pallbearers. Another dozen or so sat together up front in civilian dress, and then another couple of handfuls were scattered randomly throughout the crowd. One Seal speaker had everyone shout out a traditional "Hooah Dan Potts".
With that done, Dan's casket was wheeled to an outside courtyard and an American flag was draped over it. A bagpiper played. Seals stood in formation at attention. Two crusty old Veterans wearing white removed the flag and folded it into a triangle. The flag-folder had an interesting technique where he would manipulate the folded flag triangle, flipping it in all directions in his hands, examining it from every angle to make sure it was absolutely perfect. The Vet marched over and handed the flag to a Seal, and the Seal in turn marched over and presented the flag to Dan's wife.
The casket was wheeled away, and everyone gathered in a reception hall for snacks. The skydivers moved around to different groups to chat with friends, some of whom haven't been seen in a while. After a while, we departed, and I ended up with a small group at a bar and grill, where more talk of Dan took place.
Many people were deeply moved by this service and the examination of Dan's life, and have taken it as a motivation to lead their own lives by the example in which Dan led his. There was a theme that Dan led his life "out loud", but I didn't really see him that way. He was a quiet and humble man. He didn't brag about his Seal service, didn't talk about his time in Vietnam or his brushes with death in combat, didn't push his religion on anyone - he just led his life, leading by example, treating people with respect, honesty and friendliness.
It was only about three months ago that I did a demo jump with Dan, which he organized for a benefit to raise funds for Wounded Warriors. He collected about six military veterans for the dive, and we were all honored to do it with him, and for the cause which meant so much to him. I never imagined that just a few short months later, that the roles would be reversed; that Dan would be gone, and it would be us now paying homage to him.
Goodbye Dan. You are greatly loved, and will live on in our memories.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Mar 19, 2012, 4:35 PM)
Photos from the funeral, courtesy of Russell Webb.
1) Dan's family, with a SEAL in the lead. 2) The casket is escorted outside the church by SEALs. 3) SEALs remove the flag from the casket. 4) Veterans fold the flag. 5) A SEAL presents the flag to the family. 6) A veteran plays taps, with an honor guard. 7) Some of the skydivers in attendance.