August 17, 1948 - August 22, 2022
Danny was born on August 17, 1948 in Claremore, Oklahoma. Danny grew up wearing cowboy boots, hunting, riding around in his grandfather’s police car and generally getting into any mischief he could find. As a young boy, he remembered being with his dad and seeing a helicopter land in their small Oklahoma town. From that time on, he knew he wanted to FLY!
Danny graduated from Bishop Kelly High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree and a master’s of science degree in health and physical education from Memphis State University. He completed a master’s degree in aerospace safety at Middle Tennessee State University.
Danny loved to learn, to educate and to be involved. He graduated from barber school, worked in an iron foundry, and attended Spartan School of Aviation. Danny was a Hash House Harrier (runner) and a boxer. Danny taught high school chemistry and coached sports. In addition to being a certified armed security guard, he was a certified home inspector. This highly ranked life guard was also a Fred Astaire dance instructor and an adagio lift expert. The State of Tennessee employed him as a Child Safety Instructor. A “Refuse to be a Victim” instructor for the NRA, he was also a trained member of the Sherriff’s Posse in Pinal County Arizona. Danny served as a Precinct Captain in his district for the Republican Party and was an active Lions Club Member.
Danny learned to fly anything that was available – from small airplanes at fairs to seaplanes. He became an instructor on everything he ever flew. He flew fire contracts in Alaska and to/from oil rigs in the Gulf. Danny was a Captain for Atlantic Southeast (ASA) until he received his “big break” and was hired by Flying Tigers. As an engineer for “Tigers,” he flew around the world delivering freight, working with many history-making pilots who had flown in WWII. When Flying Tigers was purchased by Federal Express, Danny proudly worked for FedEx for 25 years until his retirement. While at FedEx, Danny was a Captain on the 727 and worked in the Flight Training Department as an Instructor Pilot and an FAA Designated Examiner.
A man who loved God and his country, Danny served with pride and dedication. For 21 years he flew as a US Army helicopter pilot, serving on active duty with both the Tennessee and Mississippi National Guard. He was a Master Aviator and highly decorated Flight Instructor Pilot. Although his career and military service kept him very busy, Danny was a great stepdad to Scott whom he kidded incessantly and lovingly raised. Danny loved his mother-in-law and family, hosting many great birthday/holiday parties – always buying barbeque to serve. He has had so many friends who have loved him, enjoyed his jokes and long stories, and shared so many memories.
Danny and Julie retired to Gold Canyon, Arizona. Danny lived his life well. He was a loving and generous husband to Julie for 32 years (below in photo, San Antonio Reunion 2022). On August 22, 2022, at the age of 74, he peacefully passed away at home, holding his girl’s hand.
Danny loved the Lord and is now sitting on his lap, probably telling some jokes and long, long stories. He will be missed.
Danny is survived by his wife Julie and his family: Rose Strange, mother-in-law; Diane Garrard, sister-in-law; Ralph Strange (Sheri), brother-in-law; Marie Davis (Phil) niece; Lauren Strange, niece; and extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Pauline and William J. Minnick, his sister Jacklyn Minnick Moore, and his stepson, Scott.
Memorials can be made to Danny’s church: Grace in Motion, 563 S. Holmes Road, Apache Junction, AZ 85119.
Coleman Funeral Home in Olive Branch, Mississippi has arranged a service for Danny on September 1 at 1pm. Visitation starts at noon and the service at 1pm. More can be found at their website: Colemanfuneralhome.com
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