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Daniel J. Stechschulte, Sr., consummate husband, father, and physician died July 14, 2011, aged 74. His six children, Daniel Jr., Susan, Stephen, Mary, Ann, and Edward, will remember him for his pragmatism, smile, and unswerving love. He intoned them to, “Make a decision and move on. Don’t look back.” He lived and died in that manner.His colleagues from St. Louis University Medical School where he graduated in 1962, at Harvard Medical School where he was a fellow and faculty member for seven years, and at the University of Kansas School of Medicine where he was a Professor for 38 years, will remember his dedication, his dependability, his integrity, and his expertise. His patients will remember a man committed to their well being.
His dear wife, Helen, will remember a devoted husband, a perfect father, and her best friend for over 50 years.
Daniel was born in a farmhouse without running water outside Kalida, Ohio on August 20, 1936. He worked on the family farm through high school and dreamed of pitching in the major leagues. Pragmatically, he accepted the University of Dayton’s offer to play basketball and baseball with the stipulation that he could major in chemistry and hopefully attend medical school. That decision reflected his foresight, that science not athletics would be the foundation of his professional life. For him it was the most worthy goal, to make science and objective analysis a path that would lead to understanding and healing.
He was never dogmatic with his family or students unless to emphasize that hard work and intense thought were necessary for great achievement. For him, that goal was furthering the fields of allergy, immunology, and rheumatology. He valued personal growth as much as professional success, the latter only valid if one’s family flourished in the process.
He remained a devoted member of Cure of Ars Church, first as an original member of the Family Mass Program in 1973 and later as a Eucharistic minister until his disease, metastatic carcinoid tumor, physically overwhelmed him. True to form, he grappled with his illness until the end.
His ability to give was boundless. He was always there for his patients, his students, his colleagues, and especially his wife and his family. Dan will live on in his children and eighteen grandchildren.
The strife of our world would be lessened if we could emulate his selflessness, his joyfulness, and his humility. He tamped down ego, jealousy, and vanity to build a sanctuary and community for his family, friends, colleagues, and patients. From those who knew him, his family asks that they honor him by living a productive, unprejudiced life, free of malice, full of love.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Cure of Ars Catholic Church at 9401 Mission Road, Leawood, Kansas on Saturday, August 20 at 11am with visitation from 9am to 10:45am at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sister Servants of Mary in Kansas City, Kansas, the Vianney Fund for the Poor at Cure of Ars, and to Harvesters.