Daniel Keith Vehlewald
September 8, 1963 to November 23, 2019
Dan was someone who truly knew how to enjoy each day, and who took immense pleasure in the simple things. He was an easy-going, fun loving person; with a warm smile or a corny joke, he would immediately put people at ease.
He loved being outdoors—whether he was working on his garden, playing with his dogs, or playing bocce ball. He was also an incredibly devoted friend and father. When his daughter Paige became enamored with theatre, he would go to her plays; when she was accepted to UC Berkeley, he became a diehard Cal fan; and when she moved to Ireland for grad school, he traveled to visit her, falling in love with the countryside (and discovering an unexpected love of falconry). He and his son Nick bonded over their many shared interests such as fishing, golfing, and rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals. However, sports became even more important to Dan as Nick excelled; you could always find Dan in a t-shirt representing one of Nick's teams, whether it was for Northwest Baseball, Garces, or CSUB.
Dan's life was a quiet, comfortable one, but it was also full of surprises. Friends were shocked to discover that, in September 1974 (when Dan was 11 years old), he broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive jumps on a pogo stick. He hopped for 2 hours and 1 minute, which equated to 12,170 jumps. When asked why he stopped, Danny simply told reporters, "I got tired."
"Danny" grew up to be an incredibly hard-working, persevering man, but not without his own hardships. A few years after his record-breaking ride, Dan's mother passed away, and he and his father moved to California from their home in Mexico, MO. Soon after his graduation from Kern Valley High School in 1981, he began working at WESCO, where he continued to work for the last 37 years.
Dan was excellent at fostering a community, and he loved the traditions that kept him close to his friends and family. On Monday nights you could always find him at the Red Pepper; every summer he would relax with his family on Catalina Island; and most days you could find him playing golf at the Bakersfield Country Club. There are many who will miss him, but none more so than his wife Bridget; his children, Paige and Nick; his brothers, Mark (wife, Lynne) and Tim (wife, Joan); his brothers-in-law, Matt (wife, Linda), Joe (wife, Teresa), and Jim; and all of their families. He is preceded in death by his mother, Fern Vehlewald (née Riechers), and Oliver "Ollie" Vehlewald.
Chuck Palahniuk wrote, "We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." Dan's life was too short, but it was incredibly full. His legacy is his steadfastness, kindness, and sense of humor, which lives on in every person whose life he touched. While he may have passed suddenly and unexpectedly, he had his family by his side, which is all any of us can hope for. Dan was deeply, deeply loved and will be forever missed.
There will be a celebration of life for friends and family on December 9th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Bakersfield Country Club.