Daniel Scott Ashwander, 83, of Biloxi, Miss., passed peacefully on Monday, June 26, 2017, surrounded by his loving family and under the compassionate care of the Veterans Administration. Dan was born February 6, 1934, in Hanceville, second child and son of the late Earl John Ashwander and Lois Blackerby Ashwander Jones.
Dan was a high school athlete, playing football for Phillips High School in Birmingham. Dan attended the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. After graduation, Dan served his country honorably in the United States Army as a Military Intelligence Specialist stationed in Korea. After his military service, Dan chose to apply his university education to work in the field of cancer research.
Dan was a lifelong fan of the University of Alabama football. He enjoyed classic movies and was an avid radio listener, enjoying music of all genres. Dan, as his brother and sisters, grew up taking piano lessons, though preferring athletics over piano lessons. His most specific piano talent was playing boogie-woogie. Laughing, Dan would recall his return home from Korea by troopship. Dan's limited piano playing talent, but ease with boogie-woogie, was enough to get him assigned as a band member for troop entertainment, keeping him from Kitchen Patrol (KP) duty the entire length of the voyage.
For the majority of his life, Dan lived as a permanently disabled veteran. He lived for many years in the Gulf Shores area, working with his family to create one of the early coastal lodging opportunities for family vacations, Ashwander Beach Cottages. Dan was a long-term member of the Foley community, of which 13 years was as a resident of Live Oak Assisted Living. Most recently, Dan was a four-year permanent resident of the Veterans Administration in Biloxi, and, for the last week, under their compassionate and competent hospice care.
Dan was preceded in death by his loving parents, Earl and Lois Ashwander; his elder brother, Donald Ashwander; his brother-in-law, W. Don Moore of Gulf Shores; and step-father, J. Howard Jones of Bon Secour.
He is survived by his sister, Judy Ashwander Moore of Gulf Shores; Eva Lynn Ashwander Odom and husband, Michael J. Odom, of Elberta.
Dan enjoyed sharing the lives of his nieces, Sharon K. Moore of Fairhope; Megan Justine Odom of Dillon, Colo.; and his nephew, Austin John Odom and wife, Rebecca of Greensboro, N.C.; and great-nephew, John Michael Odom.
A simple man of kindness and care, internment will be held graveside through services entrusted to Pine Rest Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Foley, at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017. Pastor Steven Kurtz of the First Presbyterian Church of Gulf Shores will officiate.
Published on June 29, 2017