Daniel A. Blacksmith
Daniel Alvin Blacksmith, a true entrepreneur who experienced a full life, died early Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, 2013, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 87.
Born Aug. 25, 1925, in Asbury Park, N.J., Dan was the son of Alvin and Louise (Hendrickson) Blacksmith.
Following his graduation from high school, Dan entered into active service in the U.S. Navy on Aug. 23, 1943, and proudly served his country during World War II as the official photographer aboard the USS Wasp (CV-18) in the South Pacific.
Holding the rank of Photographers Mate, Dan was aboard this aircraft carrier when it was commissioned on Nov. 24, 1943. It soon witnessed and endured combat situations as part of Admiral Halsey’s fleet, including several Kamikaze attacks, one of which Dan captured on film as the Japanese fighter was shot out of the sky by gunners aboard the ship. A tragic moment captured by Dan was when a fighter was returning from a mission and then crashed and exploded on the flight deck. On March 21, 1946, Dan received his honorable discharge from the Navy and returned home to New Jersey.
On May 18, 1946, Dan married Blanche Flower at the United Reformed Church in Somerville, N.J. During their 66 years of marriage, the Blacksmiths lived in many places throughout the United States. They ultimately settled in Cooperstown and enjoyed living in their home just outside of the village.
An entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, Dan had a keen sense for business, and even talked business up until the day he died. A scenario writer, he wrote scripts and produced many documentary films including award winners.
He was also proud of the fact that he was the originator of the only metal sports cards sold through Halls of Fame throughout the nation.
In his leisure, Dan had many hobbies, including stamp and coin collecting, as well as keeping up with the latest technology. He was also an avid golfer, and enjoyed teaching his grandson, Matthew, how to play. Over the years, they enjoyed many rounds of golf together.
Raised in the Reformed church tradition, Dan was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown where he was currently serving as an offering counter.
A member of the Masonic Fraternity for 58 years, Dan began his Masonic travels in Washington Lodge No. 9, Free and Accepted Masons in Eatontown, N.J., where he was raised a Master Mason on June 28, 1954. After moving to Cooperstown, he affiliated with Otsego Lodge No. 138, Free and Accepted Masons on Nov. 13, 1986. He was later made a Companion in Otsego Chapter No. 26, Royal Arch Masons, Cooperstown.
Dan was also a member of the Clark F. Simmons American Legion Post No. 579 in Cooperstown.
Regardless of his business ventures, Dan always remained a devoted family man. He also had a fondness for dogs, and would often say, “A house is not a home without a dog.”
Dan is survived by his beloved wife, companion and best friend of 66 years, Blanche, of Cooperstown; two daughters, Joy Ann Blacksmith of New York City, and Allyse Lynn De Carr and her husband, Larry, of Cooperstown; two grandchildren, Matthew Daniel De Carr and his wife, Kristen, and Melissa Lynn De Carr and her fiancé, Zachary Forbes, all of Albany; and one nephew, Michael Tilton Doll, of Long Boat Key, Fla., who was raised by Dan and Blanche.
Dan was preceded in death by his sister, Virginia Lou Doll.
A memorial service and celebration of the life of Daniel Alvin Blacksmith will be offered at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Elsie Armstrong Rhodes, pastor, officiating.
At the beginning of service, a Masonic Memorial Service will be conducted by Brethren from Otsego Lodge No. 138, F. & A.M., Cooperstown.
At the conclusion of the service, Military Honors will be accorded by members of the United States Navy Funeral Honors Team.
Immediately following the services, all attending are invited to join with the Blacksmith family for a time of refreshment and fellowship in the adjoining chapel.
For those who wish to make memorial gifts in memory of Dan, please consider a donation to the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown Women’s Fellowship Building Fund for the benefit of an electronic carillon for the church.
Memorial gifts may also be directed to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.