A memorial service/party celebrating the unique individual that was Daniel J. Noland will be held at Llywelyn’s Soulard (1732 S 9th St), 4-7:30 pm on Saturday, May 26. We’ll be toasting to his life of nearly 62 years and sharing loving memories, much to Dan’s chagrin.
Dan was born in St. Louis, Mo., on June 28, 1956, to Gordon and Gretchen Noland. He had the privilege and unbelievable luck of having five sisters and no brothers. We believe it was this blessed situation that inspired his sarcastic sense of humor, bottomless well of patience, and special talent of being able to tune people out at will.
He is survived by those sisters, Tori (his fellow redhead), Molly (his drinking buddy), Beth (his favorite one to tease), Tina (his biggest competition for their mother’s affection), and Meg (his biggest competition for his dog’s affection). He was the World’s Greatest Uncle to Brian (Kim) Schlereth, Lisa (Eric) Bayer, Mark Busch, Laura Schlereth, and Caitlin (Michael) McClanahan. He was also the World’s Greatest Great-Uncle to Kate and Emily Schlereth and Isabella and Alyssa Bayer, who, once they got over his scary Frankenstein impression, loved him for always enriching their day with silliness and giggles in the same priceless way he did for his first round of nieces and nephews. He was also a fun and loving father to his two bull terriers Spanky and Yogi, who predeceased him and who have been, no doubt, waiting for him with his parents in heaven. Though Dan believed the first thing Yogi would probably ask him is: “Where’s Meg?”
He wasn’t a religious man. His idea of church was enjoying one (or several) Budweisers at Hessler’s. But he did believe in taking care of those around him. Any fuss or “thanks” for buying your lunch or loaning you money when you’re in a tight spot was always waved away with a “don’t worry about it” and change of subject. It was this easygoing and laidback generosity and his wisecracking wit that won him numerous friends/co-workers from his nearly 30-year-long career as a mailman (for many of whom he served as their favorite “U-Man”) as well as several friends/co-patrons at Hessler’s (most of who knew him by his given moniker of “Mailman”).
He was a truly loved son, brother, uncle, great-uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, co-worker, etc. But the best thing about Dan was that you really didn’t need to know him well for him to have a laugh with you or buy you a beer if it looked like you really needed one. No matter how dark the situation got, he always found humor and could make us laugh (and not just because for most of his adult life he bore a striking resemblance to Will Ferrell’s Gene Frenkle character in the SNL cowbell sketch). In fact, even when someone insulted him to his face, his typical response was: “Man, if I had feelings, that really would have hurt.”
Adverse to grudges, resentment, or self-pity, his outlook on life seemed to be based on the principle of perspective. In fact, on the day he was told he didn’t have much time left, he said he wasn’t worried about himself, only his family, and he continued to remind his family, friends, and nurses that there were a lot of people who’ve had it worse than him.
As true as that may be, anyone who knew Dan knows that he’s left behind a big hole that can never be filled, and we’ll miss him like crazy. We love you Dan/Mailman/U-Man. Cheers to you and all the incredible memories you’ve left with us so that you’re never truly gone.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that expressions of sympathy and tributes be made in Dan’s name to Stray Rescue of St. Louis or the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF).