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In Memory of Daniel Hart


October 21, 1959 - September 3, 2020

Daniel J. Hart Sr., also known to his friends as Big Jug or Big Lug, age 60, of Esko, MN formerly of Lac Courte Oreilles, passed on the evening of September 3, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, MN.

 Daniel Joseph Hart was born October 21, 1959 in Hayward, the son of Joseph and Mary (Butler) Hart. His family comes from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. Dan lived and worked for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School as a bus driver for many years and also in Duluth as a Maintenance Engineer for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project until his retirement.  Odjig-Anung was selfless, kind, and had a huge heart that will live on in spirit. To all that knew him, his sense of humor brought smiles and laughter. Dan could rebuild a car from bumper to bumper, but there might be a few parts left over. He would fix your brakes for the cost of the parts plus $20. Dan’s love of the woods, fishing, and card games is where he enjoyed spending his time with family and friends. He was always happy to share those joys and teachings with loved ones. Dan wrote the following words that he wanted to share with family and friends that were read as his remains were placed at his beloved childhood home: 

“To my family, thanks for always being there for me. Life is what we make it, we almost don't get what we want but by asking we get close. Do we really want to settle for that? I think not, so we in our lives work hard for that respect, love with a lot of humility, and effort by ourselves and others around us. Hart’s back in the day were great healers, this new generation needs to earn that back with honesty, humility, and respect to stand your ground and stop abusing and feeding that addiction and start living a clean sober life.  Challenge the young generation to stand up and speak respect. Let the abuse stop here! We have lost enough already. I love all of you.” 

Dan would want our thoughts, prayers, sorrow, and tears to turn to celebration and funny stories. Please honor him in that way. 

He is survived by his sons Daniel Hart Jr. & Ryan Hart, and their mother Joyce Miller; step sons Jesse (Hanna Dahl) Begay & Wyatt (Kaya) Begay and their mother, and longtime companion, Martha Lippitt; grandchildren Dante Thayer, Elliona Staves, and Brighton Hart Begay; brother Todd Hart; aunt Ann Hart; many cousins and friends.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents Joseph & Mary Hart; brother Troy Hart; grandfather James Hart; and grandmother Eileen White; & uncle Ray Hart.

Private family services were held.


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