ORONO – Daniel Anthony Placzek passed away at his home due to complications associated with pancreatic cancer on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004. He was surrounded by his family and friends over the course of his last few days on earth. Born in Westfield, Mass. Oct. 19, 1947, to Fred and Rose Placzek. He and his younger sister Jane grew up in the house their father built. In 1965, he graduated from Westfield High School. He attended the University of Maine, where he played football, and was fraternity president, New England champion in weightlifting, and wrestling champion. He graduated in 1970 with a BS in chemistry, and continued at the university, studying business, computers, and other disciplines. Danny was an integral part of the town of Orono. He settled here after college, eventually moving to his final address on Hillside Road in 1978. In that neighborhood, he had many friends whom he helped and in return helped him throughout the years. Danny was always there to help anyone who needed it. During the ice storm in 1998, he not only cleared away fallen tree limbs and helped to restore power to his neighbors, he was instrumental in keeping WVOM on the air by climbing the tower and breaking off the ice that was causing the tower to lean to one side. Dan started diving for scallops in 1981 and soon was working with his best friend, Jesse Leach, whom he met at U-Maine in 1966. He later bought a boat, the Beyond Extreme, and working with Ross Staples he traveled the waters of the Penobscot Bay diving for scallops. In 1998, his partner, David Cox, came out to Maine from Southern California to help his aged grandmother and met Dan. Dan showed him the wonders of the Maine winters and fresh scallops and taught him much about trust and selflessness. Danny’s last few days were full of fun and fond remembrances. Friends brought desserts and flowers, beverages and Pat’s Pizza. At the end, he was at his home, in his new room that he started and was completed by Bob’s guys from Harley the Plumber and Howie and his men from IM&M. He was sitting in his new cushy chair, surrounded by his mother and father, along with his sister, her husband, Michael, Nancy from Stonington, Jim and Tee and their dog, George from Jonesport; Lauren, Brian, Susan, and Donna from the Town of Orono, as well as our neighbors Chad, Jean and Doug with their dog Gus, Mary-Ellen and Ronnie, Tillie, Cameron and his girlfriend, Erin, Bruce, Leslie our town nurse, Jo Carol, Howie, and Gary; friends Jamie, Jason, and Bridget from EMAN; and good friends from the university, Jason, Linda, Sarah, and Chad; long-time friends, Jessie and Dedra and their sons, Stuart and Richard, Ross and Michelle and their son, Stevie, Patty and Sherman, Norma and Carroll, Ken, and Bill Litwack; and the ladies that had helped both Dan and Dave during this transition of Dan’s; Valerie “the bestest nurse,” Pat, Patience, Lisa, and Laurie-all of New Hope Hospice. He received telephone calls all day long from the people who weren’t able to come by. He made everyone check in with him, on that last day, with a kiss on the cheek, or if the visitor had lipstick, a big kiss on the forehead. He was with us in his usual Danny self almost to the end, teasing his friends and laughing along with us at all the stories we told about him. His last words were, “Gas on for me,” and he was diving one last time. Dave whispered in Danny’s ear that the gas was on for him and that everything will be okay, and Dan said, “O-kay.” He met death face-on, with his eyes open, watching all that was before him. Danny’s body is gone from us, but we all have our monuments in our hearts that we created for him. He will never ever be forgotten by any one of us who ever knew him. Please join us to remember this great man at Pat’s Pizza in Orono at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11.