Monday, December 17, 2012

Good Bye For Now Dan - My "Junkin" Buddy

Janz, Daniel

Daniel P. Janz, 66, of Schofield, passed away peacefully at Wausau Manor, December 12, 2012 with his wife and friends by his side.

Daniel was born to Gerhard and Marcella (Hanke) Janz in Port Edwards. He served in the Navy from 1965 to 1969 as an Operations Department Yeoman and later attended school in Milwaukee. It was in Milwaukee where he met his wife Sue, and later they moved to Wausau and married in 1977. He was employed for many years at Scenic Signs as a screen printer, where the owners and family treated him like a son. Dan loved the outdoors and was an avid walker up until his recent illness. Years ago Dan went to many auctions and later switched to rummage sales and flea markets. He had a way of easily making friends at sales, of which many became like family. Dan loved following the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers, golf, and NASCAR races. He and his brother talked sports frequently. It was always a good weekend when the Packers won.

He was an avid animal lover and cherished and loved the cats they had over the years. He was always heartbroken when they aged and passed on.

He is survived by his wife Sue of Wausau, one brother David (LoAnna) of Prescott Valley, Arizona, one sister Bonnie Skerven of Nekoosa, and many nieces and nephews.

Daniel was preceded in death by both his parents.

Dan's wife sue would like to extend her gratitude to Aspirus Nephrology Clinic, Oakview Care Center staff, Wausau Manor, and ascera care hospice. Their support and kindness will never be forgotten.

Memorials can be given to the Marathon County Humane Society.

Visitation will be Monday, December 17, 2012 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, Schofield. Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is serving the family. Online condolences can be expressed at

This was my good friend Dan.  He and Sue have had a special place in my heart for 25 years.  I am sad to write this post, however I do so in memorial of him.

I first noticed Dan in 1987/1988.  I started working with my friend's auction business and he would come to the auctions.  I noticed him at estate sales, rummages, thrift and antique shops.  It was at one such antique shop that we finally talked.  I was newly married and looking for things to decorate our home with.  I was shopping and Dan kept looking at me and I kept looking at him - till finally we both looked at each other and said "hey, what is your name?"  Funny, Dan and I share many of the same personality traits.  He was very outgoing, liked to talk and visit and a tad OCD with junk.  Over the many years and the many flea markets we set up with was not uncommon for Dan to be busy talking while Sue would set the whole booth up.  It was funny to watch. 

Dan and Sue have always been a part of my adult life.  Every experience I had as a young wife and mother, hobby farmer, auctioneer, antique dealer, flea market promoter, estate buy outs, estate sales, private "invite" sales, curb side shopping, graduations, Anna's cancer, loss of other friends and family and sickness....Dan and Sue have been there.   I am thankful for that.
I have so many memories of Dan.  I will share a few with you.
This one estate sale in Wausau holds one of my best memories of Dan.  I got up early, coffee in hand and set out to the sale.  When I pulled down the street, there was Dan, first in line.  I checked the paper and saw that the address was for the house next door.  When I walked up to the correct house, I yelled..."Dan you are at the wrong house."  He just looked, with that twinkle in his eye..."sure I am, you just want my spot to be first in line."  I said, "no Dan, really, you are at the wrong were here first, you can be first in line over here."  He still thought about it....till Duane pulled up and walked up the sidewalk to where I was standing....we both said "you are at the wrong house..."  When he saw other "dealers" pulling up he ran across the grass.  I let him be first.  Actually, that was one of the BEST estate sales I have ever been to!  I still have MOST of what I bought and still dream about it.  When the family opened the door, Dan went one way, Duane and I each to different rooms.  With arms  full, hats stacked on my head, quilts draped over my back....the three of us met back in the main room....all of our eyes were "as big as saucers"...I looked at them and said "wanna know what I like best about you two....neither of you like the same stuff I like."   Dan and I had to check out because people were trying to take quilts off my back and the hats off my head.  As I went with my first load back to the car, my parents pulled up..."Dicky Bird, you look like you are floating across the yard" my Mom yelled out.  I was...I was junk drunk.  Both Dan and I went back in for round 2.   

Dan taught me a lot about the "business" what to look for and what to buy.  Oh, we both have learned some lessons the hard way.  One time Dan and Sue, Bruce, my sister Lynn and I bought out an estate together.  There were many good items - a whole house with generations of goodies.  We boxed it all up and took it over to Bruce's house.  We went through it all, marked it and had a huge sale.  There were many vintage Christmas items.  One such item was what I now know as a German, die cut paper, glass spun angel tree topper and ornaments.  We sold them all for like $1.  Dan marked those...boy, when he found out how much they sold for later....well, let's just say we looked everything up after that.  I'm sure that we let alot of deals go at that one...but, overall we each made a huge profit!

When we started the Ringle Harvest Day, it was here at our farm.  Dan and Sue loved the barn cats.  Sue would hurry and set up so she could go and pick out the kitty she would play with all day.  One year, they actually took one of them home - Pokey.  

At that time, my mom had a booth too.  She made pies.  People would line up in the driveway waiting for my dad to bring her out with the pies.  Dan would always be first in line to not only pick the first pie, but to let my mom "love" on him; a big hug and kiss on the cheek.

There was a time when diggin in the garbage - "curb side shopping" wasn't the "thing" to do.  Wausau has a huge 2 week Spring clean up.  During that time, each day either I would call Dan or he would call me...."what did ya get, anything good."  We would talk about the good garbage we found and who we would sell it too....yep, any good picker has a list of customers who are willing to buy "garbage."  We lived by the phrase - "one man's trash is another man's treasure!"

My family loved Dan!  His funny jokes, smiling face, love of junk...will be missed!   So, good bye for now my dear friend.  I hope heaven holds many a good pile of junk for you to dig through - the type of treasures you and I appreciate.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.
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