DANIEL BRANDT June 28, 1925 – April 13, 2022
Daniel (Danny) was born in Denver, Colo. to German-Russian parents who escaped Russia in 1913. His was another American success story, rising from poverty to excel in his career, achieving financial security, and enjoying great happiness.
He was the youngest of six children who grew up in the midst of the Great Depression. He, like his siblings, was deprived of a full education since he had to get a job to help support the family. As a young man, he took an interest in machining and fabrication. He worked for a jeweler for a while before WW2. During the war, he worked as an apprentice machinist, in a bustling and dangerous Denver rail yard that refurbished locomotives to support the war effort. There, he became a journeyman. It was also there that he was first exposed to hazardous chemicals, toxic fumes, and loud sounds, which eventually led to interstitial pulmonary disease and hearing loss that he endured much later in life.
Danny was a teenager when met his wife-to-be, Nona Kimbrell, while skating at a roller rink in Derby, Colo. They became great skate dancers. They married in 1947, and had one son, Dennis, before moving to Los Alamos to work for Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now Los Alamos National Laboratory), in 1951. In Los Alamos, they had two more sons, Kenneth and Edward. He worked for the lab as a master machinist, machine shop foreman, and master welder until his retirement in 1986. He garnered several awards for his innovative ideas for welded metal components during his lab career.
In retirement, he and Nona enjoyed 21 years of road trips in their RV in the US and Canada. During these wonderful years, they were frequently accompanied by his beloved sister, Mary, and her husband, Simon Hancock. They traveled together, visited relatives, celebrated holidays, camped, fished, played cards and dominoes, and enjoyed life to the fullest.
Danny and Nona loved to dance. Country and Western swing was their favorite style, and they frequented the local dances. They also participated in bowling leagues.
Danny had busy hands and always had a home project underway, mixing concrete, fabricating his own storm drains, fixing clocks, making jewelry, repairing a neighbors’ broken belongings, and so on. When home, he was usually in his garage workshop.
These things came to an end when Nona suffered a stroke in 2007. Danny became a full-time, loving caregiver until her death on October 4, 2016.
Danny was a much loved neighbor and friend to many, whom he often served as a handyman. He had an amazing repertoire of practical skills. In recent times, as he began to suffer from lung impairment, hearing loss, and arthritis, he was watched over dotingly by those same neighbors and friends, as well as his dedicated care giver, Angie Padilla. He is greatly missed by all.
The day before he passed away, he had a joyous final reunion with his sister, Mary. It meant so much to both of them.
Danny was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Catherine; wife, Nona; son, Edward; and his siblings, Carl, Lydia, Molly, and David.
He is survived by his sister, Mary (age 100); sons, Kenneth and Dennis; two daughters-in-law, Karen and Deborah; two grandsons, Jesse and wife Kassandra, David and wife Lauren; seven great grandchildren; and his nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of life for Danny at a future date, yet to be determined.