Tag Archives: Dan Freeman

R.I.P. Dan Freeman

Dan Freeman

From Suzanne Freeman, posted to Dan Freeman’s Caring Bridge page last night:

Around 7:30 this evening, my dad died.

As you all can imagine, while we knew it was coming, no one expected it so soon.  I arrived at noon to relieve Cynthia and he was about the same as yesterday – groggy but awake.  The hospice nurse had asked to speak with me and told me she’d seen a marked decline since her visit Saturday, but I knew that.  She said the nurses would continue checking on him more frequently which they did. 

He was pretty restless most of the day and very confused, but we watched a movie for a bit and he grooved to the Les Mis soundtrack in his wheelchair before asking to go outside for a while.  I had a nurse help me with his oxygen and we went to sit in the shade in the courtyard.  When he was ready to go back inside he didn’t want me to leave and get a helper, so the two of us somehow managed (mostly me) to get his wheelchair and oxygen tank inside the door, promptly after which he started feeling very ill.  The nurse helped him calm down and gave him some medications and a nebulizer, and he seemed relatively stable for a while.

Brett Reese called right around that time and then asked if he could stop by for a few minutes; meanwhile I was trying to communicate with everyone I could who was asking about his status today.  Brett arrived just in time to give me a shoulder to cry on.  Duane Everson came by to check on Dad and sang to him (as did some other friends earlier). 

Dave Topp and my brother Jeff arrived when Dad was feeling particularly antsy, and though he had a ton of meds in him he couldn’t settle into sleep.  Whenever one of us suggested he lay down he said, "No."  A couple of times I was successful in convincing him to rest, but then he’d sit up again and just rest his hands to his side or his head on his hand.

Sondy Berg Jensen came by to relieve me and help me schedule his helpers over the next several days (and to bring me some much-needed snacks), and soon Dave came out to where we were sitting to tell me that the nurse said I should get back to his room.  A few minutes later Dad took his last breaths.

My mom, Nate and Jeff (who had just left and had to turn back around from Richfield) and I gathered in Dad’s room, had some Brandy Dans with Nate and Jeff’s respective significant others, and cried a massive amount of tears.  Brett arrived for a visit and was as shocked as we were to find Dad no longer alive. 

Dad expressed his wish that the funeral take place at Valley Grove Church, so I’ll be contacting them tomorrow to find a day and time available this week.  That will likely be a private service since the church is so small.  We decided that we’ll have a public visitation and what I hope will be a big blow-out memorial event to honor my extraordinary father.

When we’ve decided on plans, they’ll be posted in the Northfield News, here, KYMN, Facebook and pretty much everywhere else we can think of.

Thank you to everyone who sent their good wishes, visited Dad, cared for him, and generally loved him. 

I’m rather numb as I write this, but I’m going to miss him more than I know right now.

Now raise a glass to Mr. Northfield, a rather spectacular guy.

On Jan. 25, Rob Schanilec wants you to step out for Mr. Northfield, Dan Freeman

Rob SchanilecDan Freeman benefit posterDan Freeman

Rob Schanilec (By All Means Graphics) stopped by my office at the Spur last week with a copy of the January Entertainment Guide. He showed me his full-page ad on page 23 for the Jan. 25 fundraiser at the Grand Event Center that he’s helping to organize. The text from the Guide’s calendar:

A tribute to and fundraiser for Danny Freeman, aka Mr. Northfield. Silent and live auction, raffle, toast-and-roast and, of course, a lot of fun and hijinx – we are talking about Danny, after all.

I blogged about Dan’s health problems back in October. Rob wrote in his email:

Dan’s had some health setbacks of late that drew several of us together to organize a fundraiser for him. Please mark the date of January 25 and spread the word. We’ll be gathering at the Grand to honor and support our friend whose done so much to support Northfield over the years. There is no admission charge, but a silent auction, a live auction, and “donations” of storytelling at the microphone will bring in money to make his life easier this coming year.

Please consider giving an auction item — anything from merchandise to creative dinner offers to tickets for games or entertainment venues, gift certificates, to whatever you can think of — as well as bidding on and buying an auction item that evening. Susy Immel is the contact for auction items; she can take them right now or right up to the last minute: susyimmel@charter.net.

Dan Freeman: reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated

Longtime Northfielder Danny Freeman walked into the GBM this morning at around 6:45 am to get a cup of coffee.  I’d heard that he was in poor health so I intercepted him to see if he had time to talk. He declined, as he had to get to his Sunday morning KYMN radio gig. 

But since he looked like hell and his voice sounded like shit, I decided to pester him further and so I went down to KYMN’s studios and knocked on the window. He let me in and we chatted for five minutes.

Dan Freeman, KYMN studios Dan Freeman
Dan told me he’s had a serious lung infection for several weeks and has been recovering at the St. Lucas Care Center in Faribault where he’s been on oxygen nearly 24×7.  He’s gradually getting better and expects to be back home this week in time for his 72nd birthday on Wednesday.

Revolutionary! A Brit brings 4th of July fireworks to downtown Northfield

Dan Freeman, Patty Henry 4th July 2010 Norman Butler 
4th July 2010 posterI took this photo of Dan Freeman and postal worker Patty Henry in the doorway of Monkey See Monkey Read yesterday afternoon, pointing to the 4th of July poster in the window.

Dan’s been doing fundraising once again for the 4th of July fireworks and this year, he’s got two fireworks shows for us citizens.  (See the PDF poster for the complete schedule of events, including a change of times for the Kiddie parade and Kiddie carnival.)

Norman Butler, proprietor of Butler’s Steak & Ale, the Contented Cow, Chapati, and the soon-to-opened Pan Pan, has bellied up to the patriotic bar with a donation that, according to this article in the Nfld News,

was substantial enough to fund an additional fireworks show in Ames Park on the Fourth of July, Freeman said. The additional show, scheduled for 10 p.m., will not replace the regular fireworks display that Freeman has helped organize since 2002. Instead, the Ames Park show — limited in its size and height because of safety regulations — will precede the larger annual show, which launches from Sechler [sic] Park this year, Freeman said.

Ross Currier has a complete rundown of 4th of July weekend events in his NDDC blog post, Fireworks Mark Busy Weekend in Downtown.

Photo album: Ramping up for the NAG’s Beaux Arts Ball

Rob Shanilec, Beaux Arts Ball co-chairBAMG/NEG head honcho Rob Shanilec invited me to a party at Jennifer and Chris Sawyer’s house on Monday to kick off the promo blitz for the big event of the Northfield Arts Guild’s 50th Anniversary season, the Beaux Arts Ball, coming up on Dec. 19 at Carleton College’s Great Hall.

Rob is co-chair of the event, as he was for the last big ball, the 2005 Sesquicentennial Governors Ball (photo album here, 2007 blog post summary here)

Dan Freeman, tuxedo guy, freelance undertaker, The event will feature music by the Bend in the River Big Band and information about ballroom dancing lessons will soon be leaking out.

Dan Freeman was at the party with his undertaker face and tuxedo on. It’s not too early to contact Dan about a tuxedo for the event.

And you can now purchase tickets online for the Beaux Arts Ball. Don’t wait too long, tho. Only 500 will be sold.

See the album of 21 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Dan Freeman again makes sure there will be fireworks and more this year for the 4th

Dan Freeman 4th of July poster
Dan Freeman has once again taken the lead on Northfield’s 4th of July festivities.  See the PDF poster for a schedule of all the fun. Note the new starting time for the Yankee Doodle kiddie parade: 12:00 pm in the EconoFoods parking lot.  And see the Nfld News article: Expect less pop on the Fourth of July.

See album of 100+ photos from last year, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

And if that’s not enough, see the albums from

Rescuing Northfield’s 4th of July celebration

In last week’s Nfld News: Fourth of July fest struggles for funds.

Dan Freeman thought fund-raising for a Fourth of July celebration would be like asking people to sign off on apple pie and baseball. But with less than three weeks to go before the festivities, Freeman finds himself less than a third of the way to his fundraising goal of $15,000.

What can be done? Can the CVB/Chamber step up to the plate? Individual donors? The City?

Below are the three photo albums from last year’s event.