Saturday, July 15, 2017
2:00 PM EDT
Portage United Church of Christ
2731 W Milham Ave
Portage, MI 49024
A lunch will be served at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive immediately following the service.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
CLL Global Research Foundation
Unit 28, PO Box 301402
Houston, TX 77230-1402
Checks may be made out directly to the family in care of Sarah Pouliot.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Daniel Pouliot taught others so much throughout his life on this side of heaven, but perhaps the greatest legacy he leaves behind is to not worry about what comes next but to instead fully rely on God. He faced everything this way, even when his health blindsided him, but in true Dan form, his diagnosis of Leukemia became just something else to overcome. Dan was resilient, strong, and courageous, and in everything he did he gave it his all. With a zest for life that was truly contagious, he was deeply devoted to his wife, his parents, his brother, and everyone he held dear. Life will never be the same without Dan here, but his family finds comfort in knowing that he is perfectly healthy with God in his eternal home.
It was as the promise of spring began appearing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that Mitch and Gretchen (Schrock) Pouliot announced the birth of their son, Daniel John Pouliot, on March 14th, 1991. Born at Bronson Hospital, he joined his three-year-old brother, Dave, and was a happy baby who was always content. Dan loved following his older brother around, and together the boys enjoyed playing street hockey and soccer as well as building with Legos and being outside. Although he was the younger one, Dan could be protective of his older brother at times, and they remained close throughout Dan’s entire life. He later became an amazing uncle to Dave’s two children, Rowan and Lana.
During his youngest years, the Pouliot family frequently moved, but they eventually made Portage their home, settling into the Amberly neighborhood. Outwardly, Dan was quiet but to his family and friends he was witty, humorous, genuine, and fun to be with. Dan was talented and intelligent, and when focused, was determined to succeed in everything he pursued. He was this way with sports as he played soccer, and later as he mastered the saxophone. While he was playing in the band at Portage Northern High School, the group was invited to play at Carnegie Hall. During his junior year, Dan placed in the top 12 in solo and ensemble performances in the statewide competition among all the musicians. Of those top 12, he was the only saxophonist to be selected in the prestigious 12, an incredible honor. After graduating from Portage Northern in 2009, Dan started classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. He initially focused in Exercise Science, but that all changed when he met the young woman who stole his heart. Her name was Sarah Larsen, and she was the reason he changed his major to Electrical Engineering and transferred to Western Michigan University.
Dan and Sarah met online. They first became friends on Facebook, and they later connected through Snapchat when Dan sent her a photo accidentally (or not so accidentally as it later became known). When they finally met in person, they seemed to hit it off immediately as they shared a common faith as well as a similar sense of humor and love for sarcasm. They even jokingly had a fake marriage ceremony while on their first date. These jokes continued as there were six informal/pretend proposals, which sported rings ranging from flower stems to electrical resistors. Finally, a real ring and proposal happened, and without hesitation Sarah said, “Yes!” One year later, they were married on August 20, 2016, in Lake City Michigan, just a few months after Dan received his BS degree, in Electrical Engineering, from WMU. The newlyweds settled into their home, complete with their goldendoodle named Decibelle. Dan secured his dream job as a controls engineer at JR Automation in Holland while Sarah continued her studies at WMU.
Throughout his life, Dan was a bustle of activity. He loved movies like Dumb and Dumber, Lord of the Rings, and Braveheart. When it came to television shows, he enjoyed Spongebob as a child, Smallville, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office among others. Dan and Sarah enjoyed being together and were known to binge watch shows on Netflix as they studied. The couple also liked weightlifting, taking walks, playing pool, dancing, playing card games with family and sharing inside jokes together. As a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, Dan was thrilled when he and Sarah went to Lambeau Field for his first at home NFL game this past Christmas Eve, as she had purchased the tickets for him as a wedding present. He enjoyed 90s music, electronic music, and groove and he often listened to podcasts from Ravi Zacharias. Dan was an amazing whistler, a skill he learned from his grandfather, and he was almost always whistling a tune, which reflected his happy personality.
It was while working out in 2013 that Dan first noticed something wrong with his arm. He was soon diagnosed with Paget–Schroetter syndrome, and more tests also showed that he had a form of Leukemia called CLL. After initially being monitored for progression of the disease, shortly after the wedding, his platelets started to rise, prompting the need for interventional treatment. Dan would make the trip to MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas, where they specialize in this specific type of Leukemia. Although his diagnosis was a bit of a shock, he was determined to fight the disease with everything he had, just like everything else he did. Dan was convinced that this disease wouldn’t control or defeat him. Just as 2017 arrived, Dan was notified that he beaten cancer, and was now in remission. A short lived celebration as just this past spring, Dan was delivered a new challenge about his health. On June 6 he was told he had Congestive Heart Failure and was in the process of securing transportation to California to receive a heart transplant when he died on July 5th, at the University of Michigan Hospital, with his family by his side.
When reflecting on the life of Daniel Pouliot, it is easy to see that he was a lover of life. He loved his family and friends without condition and firmly believed that everyone should be treated with kindness. Dan believed in living life with a smile, even when engaged in the fight for his life, and he exemplified how one can live while being both humble and bold. There was no greater gift in his life than his family, and it was when he was loving others that Dan was truly happy. An amazing man to know and love, he will forever be deeply missed.
Daniel John Pouliot, of Kalamazoo, died on Wednesday, July 5, 2017. Dan’s family includes his wife, Sarah; parents, Mitch and Gretchen Pouliot, brother, Dave (Kelsey); nephew, Rowan; and niece, Lana, and in-laws; Margaret and Win Larsen; brother-in-law, Nick (Tianna) Larsen. Visit with family and friends on Friday, July 14th from 7-9 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Portage United Church of Christ, 2731 W Milham Ave. A reception will follow back at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home. Please visit Dan’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the CLL Global Research Foundation, The American Heart Association or directly to the family through a gofundme page: Support for Daniel Pouliot. www.gofundme.com/support-for-daniel-pouliot