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Daniel Bodary

January 16, 1940 - October 24, 2021
Grawn, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Daniel Andrew Bodary, “Dan,” “Danny,” “Coach B,” 81, of Duck Lake Peninsula, Grawn, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly Sunday October, 24, 2021 in Traverse City, Michigan as the sun rose over Grand Traverse Bay.

Dan was born in the upstairs bedroom of his childhood home on January 16, 1940 in Flat Rock, Michigan, the son of Andrew Bodary and Ellen (Emerson) Bodary.

Although Dan would tell his ball players, sons, or anyone else who suffered an injury, to “Rub some dirt on it,” “Walk it off,” or “That's a long way from your heart,” Dan's injury (Intracerebral Hemmorhage) Saturday night was too much for even the red clay of The big “A” in Anaheim to fix.

Dan graduated with honors from Flat Rock High School in 1958. In between Fraternity parties with Theta Chi, which he was a founding member of the Central Michigan University chapter, and baseball games playing for CMU, he earned a Bachelors of Arts in History in 1962, and continued to earn a Masters in Education also from CMU in 1963. Dan's house-mother while in Mt. Pleasant, Momma “E,” would often make Salmagundi for dinner, which surely contributed to his lightening speed on the base paths, leading to a stolen base record at CMU which stood for many years.

He married his main squeeze, the love of his life, Beverly Marie Charest, “Queenie,” “Bevie,” nearly 58 years ago on January 26, 1963, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Southfield, Michigan. Dan and Bev piled everything they owned into their 1961 Ford Starliner and moved to Lompoc, California in August 1963 to take teaching jobs with Lompoc Unified School District. Dan taught high school Social Studies, Family Living, and Driver's Education over a 25 year teaching career.

Dan wore many hats during his teaching years, and after, but a Baseball hat seemed to fit him the best. Daniel “Coach B” is one of the most successful High School Coaches in the nation. Dan coached the Lompoc Braves for 35 seasons with a record of 615-284-13, 18 league championships and four CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) Southern Section titles, including 3 runner-up titles. Dan was inducted into the California High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2015. He was also National High School Baseball Coach of the year runner up in 1986. He had nearly 30 players sign professional baseball contracts and six players reached the majors. The “O” Street Diamond officially became “Dan Bodary Field” in 2001, where there are still echos of “Can-o-corn,” Ducks on the pond,” “Ham and eggs,” and many other sayings Dan would call out to his players. Dan's 1970 team is ranked #7 on the 15 best high school baseball teams in California history. Dan was a humble man and would attribute his success and many accolades to his assistant coaches and his talented players, but it was Dan's ability to coach, mentor and pull the best abilities out of the people around him putting together in it's truest sense... a team.

After Dan retired from teaching in 1985, he began a new career as an insurance agent. He started working with New York Life in 1987 until he officially retired in September 2021.

Dan and Bev built their summer home on Duck Lake Peninsula in Grawn, Michigan in 1974, where they would spend their summers with sons Nate and Jon, and visited by many friends and family. This summer home became their residence, and Dan and Bev became “Snow Birds” returning to Lompoc in the winter months, when Dan retired from Baseball and Bev from teaching in 2001. Dan was a member of La Purisima Catholic Church in Lompoc, and St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Grawn. He was also a member of Kiwanis Club in Lompoc, gave much of his time ringing a bell for Salvation Army, running baseball clinics for Lompoc Little League, speaking at coaches conventions whenever asked, running fundraisers for LHS Diamond Club, and many other causes, as he felt strongly that life was bigger than self.

Dan was a great teacher and extraordinary baseball coach, but he was also a wonderful and loving husband, father, grand father, and great-grand father. His family was everything to him and he would do anything for them. For example, he would put his own safety in jeopardy, insisting on sampling all of his children's Halloween candy, ice cream, french fries, or sipping their cola, just to list a few, all to insure these things were “not poisoned.” Dan loved coaching and supporting his kids, traveling to many swim meets for Nate, and coaching Jon in soccer and other activities and sports. Calling Bev Dan's best friend is an understatement. They did everything together, from gardening, watching Young and the Restless, preparing special meals like Thanksgiving turkey, traveling, boating and so much more. They were true soulmates, better halves of each other, rarely leaving each others sides. Dan even wore the hat of beautician, coloring Bev's hair perfectly Saturday morning.

Daniel is survived by his wife, Beverly M. Bodary of Grawn; son, Jonathan J. Bodary; grand children, Mara F. (Nate) DeLeon, Danielle V. Bodary, Joseph A. Bodary, and Chloe I. Bodary; great-grand children Hunter and Kiley DeLeon; siblings, Alden (Mary Ann) Bodary, James Bodary, Mary Bodary and Alan (Kathy) Bodary; brother-in-law, Gene (Cindy) Charest; sister-in-law Rocquel (James) Morrison, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his son, Nathan A. Bodary who died October 31, 2015; Brother, Charles Bodary; parents, Andrew and Ellen Bodary; and father and mother-in-law , Gene and Mildred Charest.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lompoc High School Athletic Department, designate Baseball; 515 W. College Ave, Lompoc, California 93436.

Traverse City Services will be held 11 am, Saturday, November 13, 2021 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 603 S. West Silver Lake Rd., Traverse City, Michigan 49685. The family will greet friends starting at 10 am.

Detroit Services will be held 1 pm, Saturday, November 20, 2021 at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Conference Center, 23333 Schoolcraft, Detroit, Michigan 48223. A gathering will start at 12:30 pm.

Lompoc Services will be held 10 am, Saturday, January 22, 2022 at La Purisima Catholic Church, 213 W. Olive Ave, Lompoc, California 93436. A gathering will start at 9:30 am.

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