Daniel Philip Kusz, 80
June 28, 1940-July 12, 2020
CAMPBELL - Daniel Philip Kusz, 80, of Campbell, died peacefully on Sunday, July 12, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital from complications of cancer with which he had an on-and-off relationship for nearly 20 years. They broke up three times.
Daniel, who was better known as “Danny,” “Dan,” “Daddy,” “Papa” and “G-Pop,” was born June 28, 1940, in Campbell, the eldest of two sons of Daniel and Helen (Swiers) Kusz. He grew up in the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company Homes on Chambers Street and attended Campbell City Schools, graduating from Memorial High School in 1958. In his youth, he worked for Isaly’s and Lyden Oil Company. He was an agent for Western & Southern Life Insurance Company for 24 years and worked in the warehouses for both Tamco and Macy’s before he retired.
Danny was a golfer and a bowler and played in/on various leagues as a young man. He conducted impromptu softball practices for his daughters in the backyard, launching pop flys and smoking grounders at them so they wouldn’t be afraid of the ball on the field. He was an avid walker. In fact, he was up back up to walking two miles a day every day until the day he was admitted into the hospital. For years before that (and pre-Covid-19), he and his wife walked daily at Southern Park Mall.
Danny could be stubborn. He could be a picky eater and was not fond of chicken, ranch dressing and chocolate cake and disliked onion and garlic with a passion. He could but didn’t cook often, but he was a heck of a baker. His specialties were pecan tarts in which he sometimes substituted walnuts and kolachi (his mother’s recipe) in which there was no skimping on the nut filling. He didn’t say much, but when he did, he called it like he saw it, and whether it was pointing out to his son-in-law that the grass needed mowed or telling his nurse the night before he died she “talked too much,” he could be brutally blunt.
Danny had many interests. He collected stamps and coins for awhile and has a rather extensive collection of Ty Beanie Babies, the majority of which are on display in acrylic cases lining shelves in three rooms of his house. Danny loved “the thrill of the hunt.” And he loved to shop. Shopping was his hobby/sport, and he was an Olympic champion at it. And, he shared his deals and skills freely with family and friends, who joked the basement “pantry” was more a “mini mart.” The mere mention of a like, want or need could result in a year supply of peanut butter, grape jelly, laundry soap or Fig Newtons. His favorite haunts were Giant Eagle, Macy’s and especially the closeout section at Marc’s, where he bought many an interesting Christmas gift. He, however, was difficult to buy for. If he wanted something, he’d just buy it himself, and he always had the newest product, gadget, tool, small appliance, electronics. When he got tired of it, he’d offer it to one of his kids if he hadn’t already bought one for them.
He was a fan of the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Steelers and the old Detroit Lions (when they weren’t so Browns-like), and he liked Youngstown State, mainly because of Pete the Penguin. He liked penguins — and dachshunds. For years he refused to get a family dog so as to spare his girls the heartache of losing a pet. Until he fell in love with a friend’s overweight “slab of bologna with legs.” He took it the worst when he had to put his Heidi down 17 years later.
Danny leaves his wife of 55 years, the former Marlene Worrellia, whom he met on a blind date and married Oct. 12, 1963, at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church in Youngstown; two daughters Jennifer (John) Schatzel of Austintown and Jeanette (Marshall Blough) Davanzo of Boardman; four grandchildren Erica and John Eric Schatzel, both of Austintown, and Anthony and Melissa Davanzo, both of Boardman; and his great-grandson Nolan Schatzel Brosman of Austintown, whom he affectionately called his little “Noley Cannoli.” He also will be missed by his five fur grandbabies Rhino, LuLu, Princess, Dasher (aka Weenie) and James, who yipped, whined and wiggled with joy every time he visited.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gerald Rodney Kusz, and his beloved doxies Heidi Ho-Ho and Oscar Mayer.
As per Danny’s wishes he was cremated, and there will be no public calling hours or funeral in part due to Covid concerns and because Dan really wasn’t into being fussed over, crowds, parties or major productions. He likely even wouldn’t be thrilled with this obituary.
A private ceremony for his immediate family will take place at a later date, with Danny’s cousin, the Rev. Michael Swierz, officiating.
The family would like to thank the staff at Wasko Funeral Home for their care in handling his arrangements and the staff at St. Elizabeth Boardman, the Blood and Cancer Center in Canfield and Sayed Yossef Inc., Poland, for the excellent medical care, their dedication and their compassion, especially Drs. Chahine, Graham, Mihok and Apostalis; Fran Clark (APRN); and nurses Colleen, Lena, Liz and Carissa, the one “who talks too much.”
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