Daniel George Strawser Sr., of Newcastle, was born at noon on Aug. 7, 1943, in Robesonia, Pa., just in time for lunch, his mom used to say.
Dan, as he was called, grew up in Berks County, Pa., where he attended Conrad Weiser schools until he graduated in 1961. He attended Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Dan began his 33-year career with Publix Shirt Co., based in New York City, starting in the pattern-making department, working his way up to director of quality control.
In 1968, Dan took an adult education class focusing on the folk art of the Pennsylvania Germans who immigrated to the Berks County area as early as the 1700s. He was enamored with the wood carvings of that era, so began teaching himself to carve wooden figures using only a pocket knife, as did the early Pennsylvania German settlers in his area. Thus, began his 50-plus year career in folk carving.
Dan has been written about in many magazines and newspaper articles, and you can find his carvings in several historical societies. In 2016 Dan was honored by Conrad Weiser High School, receiving its Distinguished Alumni Award. Carving was truly what kept him going, especially in his later years.
Dan was predeceased by his parents, Guy W. and Margaret (Weidman) Strawser; as well as his brothers, Melvin and Robert Ruth; a sister, Phyllis Dissinger; and grandson, Benjamin Luke Strawser.
Dan is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Donna Mikulak Strawser; son, Daniel Strawser Jr. and wife, Debra, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; daughter, Dawn (Strawser) and husband, Scotty Seiverling, of Bethel, Pa.; stepson, Nathan P. Kennedy and wife, Angel (Shouse), of Brentwood, Tenn.; stepdaughter, Alison (Kennedy) and husband, Jeffery Hanley, of Newcastle; seven grandsons; one granddaughter; and seven great-grandchildren.
Affectionately known to his family as Popi, his gentle and loving spirit will certainly be missed by all who knew him. Luckily, his wonderful carvings will be a loving tribute to all that he has meant to family and friends.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, May 26, 2023 from 4-7 p.m. at the Cheverus Hall of St. Patrick’s Church, 380 Academy Hill Road in Newcastle. A prayer, and oral tributes to Dan, will take place at 5 p.m.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home at 612 Main St., Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.