Daniel Astleford was born October 21, 1944 and passed away on October 6, 2022 in Battle Creek, Michigan – a peaceful end to his valiant battle with Alzheimer’s.
He was preceded in death by his parents Lile and Regina Astleford of Freeport, MI. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 55 years, Catherine (Bruce) Astleford of Marshall, MI; his two children, Kasey Churchill of Aurora, CO and Charles Astleford of Albion, MI; his beloved grandchildren, Parker, Ally and Zach Churchill and McKayla, Emry and Alaina Astleford; his siblings, Mable Denniston of Hastings, MI and Bert Astleford (Annie) of Linton, IN; and sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews and lifelong friends from his Morley-Stanwood Class of ’62, his 40 years of work as an electrical engineer at Sparton Electronics and his contract work at SeaLandAire in Jackson, MI.
Dan worked his way through college as a park ranger and graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1966. Dan could solve just about any problem, build, or fix anything that needed it. He and Cathy built two of their family homes by hand – one in Napoleon, MI where they raised their family, and the other in his hometown of Big Rapids, MI after his retirement. For the second home, he even cut down his own trees from land he had farmed with his father, used his sawmill and planer to create the boards he used to build the beautiful hardwood floors and the sturdiest staircase ever. He was a strong example of “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right,” to always step up to help others and to always do the right thing. Dan continuously had a project going in one of his barns and could often be heard singing. He served on the Mecosta Township Zoning Board of Appeals. He enjoyed his time in the HAM Radio Club (wa8aen), communicating with other operators and being involved in local events needing communication support. He also spent many years building and flying model airplanes.
Dan made sure his kids knew how to change the oil in their cars, taught them how to drive stick shifts, about engines (inspiring Charlie to rebuild a VW bug) and photography (with Kasey) and how to work through things logically. He was a wonderful role model of responsibility, hard work and continual support. His grandkids remember time with grandpa on the trampoline, nature walks through the woods, his patience and love, his singing in the kitchen – particularly American Pie, games of Yahtzee and Sorry, building bridges, digging holes, dune buggy rides, the go kart and tractor rides and trying to teach them to drive a tractor, his curiosity, and his constant tinkering.
Dan’s family would like to send a special thank you to the staff at Brookdale of Battle Creek and ProMedica Hospice of Kalamazoo for their care, love and attention to Dan during his final months.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome contributions to the Alzheimer’s Foundation alzfdn.org/support-us/donate , or time spent volunteering in your community in Dan’s memory. A memorial service will be held at a later date with interment at Banker Cemetery in Hoxeyville, MI.
Arrangements were entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, MI 49068. To share a memory, leave a condolence or sign the online guestbook please visit https://kempffuneralhome.com .