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Daniel J. Burchstead Jr.
September 24, 1939 ~ September 16, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Large of stature, heart and mind Daniel Joseph Burchstead left a legacy of intellect and generosity when he passed on Saturday, September 16th, 2023, just a little over a week shy of his 84th birthday. He passed peacefully with his wife and three children by his side reminiscing about his legacy while trying to help his spirit be carried away on the hurricane winds lapping at the open window that his loving wife insisted stay open for that purpose. A studious sports fan, Dan waited until the whistle blew to sound the end of the Penn State football game playing on the television, which produced another win for his favorite undefeated college team. As a boy he regaled the men at the Elks club his father attended with his recall of any stat they requested from a stack of baseball cards. As an adult, he never passed on an opportunity to watch a sporting event of any kind, taking his children to many college, pro and minor league games, experiences that will always be etched in their memories. He was not the shouting and hollering fan, but was just as he was with those baseball cards, analyzing every detail and relishing it.
This analytical mind did not stop with the sports games, but was used for whatever he put his mind to. Daniel was the third son of Daniel and Violet Burchstead of Beverly, Massachusetts. He graduated from Beverly High School and went on to graduate as valedictorian of his class of 1962 at Northeastern College. After four years in the Army serving in the United States and France, Dan worked as an accountant in New York City and a financial executive for several companies in New York City, Connecticut, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Hunt Valley, Maryland before eventually purchasing and running York Sheet Metal in York Pennsylvania with a partner. His oldest son, David, joined him there before he sold the business. Unable to fully retire his intellect he transferred his business and financial skills to the nonprofit world. While at Maine’s First Ship, in Bath, Maine, he helped navigate the organizations’ finances to the goal of launching a replica of the first ship built in this country, an event Dan relished dockside when the boat was christened in 2021.
It was with the endeavors of his heart and his loving connection with that of his wife of 55 years, Marie, that Dan completed a richer and more whole experience of life. Together they raised three children, David Burchstead of Savannah Georgia, Jeffrey Burchstead of Wiscasset Maine, and Carolyn Harrison of North Conway, New Hampshire who all married wonderful spouses and raised 8 children of their own. Watching his children and grandchildren grow up and move through their adventures of life became Dan’s great joy. In fact, taking pride in the development of young people has always given him joy. He greatly enjoyed his role as the coach of several Little League baseball, recreational basketball and soccer teams in Wilton Connecticut and along with his wife, Marie, was a mentor for the church youth group at the Wilton Presbyterian Church.
Luckily, Dan listened to his wife when she advocated for them to retire in Phippsburg, Maine and use the inheritance from Dan’s brother to purchase a home in Sebasco Estates, Maine. Here he was able to enjoy his golden years playing tennis, pickleball and golf and hosting his children and grandchildren as well as many extended family members and friends. Soaking in the beautiful surroundings on this beautiful peninsula on the coast of Maine and watching his family engage with them gave him tremendous pleasure and many stories to carry with him. Marie will continue to enjoy the fruits of her union with Daniel and, from her smaller stature, be reminded by the visible inheritance of her 6’6” husband, in the clan of his giant children and grandchildren, some that exceed even his height. And most importantly, all of them will be reminded in each other of the great heights to which Grampa B asked them to aspire with their own hearts and great minds. For that inspiration, they, as we are sure many others who enjoyed a relationship with him will be eternally grateful. He will be truly missed and cherished.
A memorial for Daniel will be held on Saturday October 28th at 1pm at the Maine’s First Ship Dock at Bath Freight Shed 27 Commercial St, Bath, Maine.