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Life Story / Obituary
Age 58, died March 13, 2017 in Gobles. Jeff was born September 11, 1958 in Pontiac, the son of Gerald and Norma (Kennedy) Danhauser.
During his childhood Jeff was never seen without his dog by his side. He loved to go camping with the family, play board games with his Mom, Norma. And he loved riding his bike all over Suttons Bay. As a teenager, his interests expanded into running, biking
and shooting hoops. In short, he was the fun, outdoorsy, athletic type.
After High School, Jeff proudly served his country in the U.S. Marines (CPL) and Navy (PC2). It was during this time he acquired lifelong disciplinary and organizational skills, as well as a talent for resourcefulness. He loved the sea and spent several years
aboard the USS Klakring, traveling the world and meeting new people. But the greatest day of Jeff's life, the greatest person he met while on leave in his hometown of Traverse City, was Carol Sue Tinklenberg.
On December 17, 1985, a year before exiting the Navy, Jeff and Carol were united in marriage. Jeff immediately became a father figure to Carol's existing sons, Paul & Jason. Soon after, Jeff and Carol had a third child together, Derek. Jeff adopted Paul in 1992. Being a parent came naturally to Jeff. He taught by example and allowed his family freedom of character and individual pursuit. Never overbearing, but always present. After his father died, Jeff made frequent trips to Traverse City to be with his
mother, Norma. He loved his family and would drop anything at a moment's notice to help them. This love extended to pets as well, from his German Shepard, Buster, to his Lab/Chow mix, Honey Dog.
Jeff was a career truck driver for several reputable companies including Hoekstra's Meat Company, Bareman's Dairy and Hotline Freight. Jeff's work ethic was unequaled, making him a rare treasure for most employers.
Some of Jeff's favorite hobbies included rowing, riding/fixing motorcycles, driving/fixing old cars, exercise and driving his tractor. He loved the outdoors and spent a great deal of time perfecting his 8-acre plot; planting trees, renovating his home, washing and
fixing his cars, cutting wood for the wood burner that heated the house, and riding his motorcycles. He was very interested in World War 2 and politics. He also loved music, big cities, the ocean, woodworking, antiquing, television and movies.
His favorite movies included Despicable Me, Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Terminator, Alien, Indiana Jones & The Outlaw of Josey Wales. His favorite television shows included Seinfeld, Glee, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy.
He appreciated any event that marked an achievement in his or a family-member's life, such as getting certified to drive a new kind of truck, or Carol's opening of her own restaurant (Reflections on the River), or his children's high school/college graduations, weddings, or the birth of his grandchildren. One of his happiest moments was when be bought his 2011 Camaro convertible. This past August the entire family, including his granddaughter Lainey and daughter-in-law Sara, rendezvoused at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for a fun weekend of roller coaster rides and quality family time.
Jeff was a compassionate, gentle soul who always saw the best in people. He enjoyed conversation and was always open to changing his mind about things. He was funny and easy-going. It’s hard to narrow down what he loved because he just loved life. He will be dearly missed.
Surviving family include his wife Carol; their 3 sons: Jason, Paul (Lindsey) and Derek (Sara); 2 granddaughters: Lainey and Willa; and his mother, Norma Danhauser. Preceded in death by his father, Gerald.
His body was donated to the University of Michigan Medical School. A celebration of life gathering is being planned for the summer. Memorial contributions may be made directly to the family or the American Cancer Society. Please visit Jeff’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo 269-375-2900.