Daniel Lee Crouch, age 71 years of Niles, Michigan, companion, brother, uncle, draftsman, and fan of both the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and the late Ludwig van Beethoven died peacefully Tuesday morning, December 21, 2021 at his home – a bit unexpectedly, as his health had remarkably improved recently, but – following an extended illness.
He was born on October 1, 1950 in Niles to George D. and DeLoris (Behm) Crouch, but after moving south with his family, he was graduated from the Corbin (Kentucky) High School. He returned to Michigan and continued his education at the Detroit Engineering Trade School, earning a proficiency in draftsmanship, and beginning a career which included twenty-eight years at Niles Steel Tank.
Dan was a sports fan, finding interest in any and all televised sports, but having a special interest in the Detroit Tigers major league baseball team, even attending games in-person at the former Tiger Stadium on “The Corner” of Trumbull and Michigan Avenues, and more recently at the new Comerica Park. He was also a fan of NASCAR’s Cup Series, and driver #3, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. He watched the races on television, but attended in-person when NASCAR came to the Michigan International Speedway, and over the years he gained a certain level of recognition and fame at MIS – if not respect – for wearing short pants that were undeniably . . . pink.
He also favored a different style in music from his NASCAR friends, preferring music composed by Beethoven. He had a great library of recordings of performances featuring Beethoven, and regularly attended live performances at the University of Notre Dame. He and Melody kept separate dens at the ends of the house to avoid clashes in music played, and differences of opinion about the ability of certain race car drivers, and the cheers and groans over the success or failure of great or disastrous plays on the ball field.
Dan was sadly preceded in death by a five-month-old daughter, Rachel S. Crouch on March 31, 1976. He was also preceded in death by his parents, and by his brothers, Gregory Dean Crouch on January 13, 2016 and David Crouch, Sr. just 4 weeks later on February 14, 2016; and by a nephew, David S. “Scott” Crouch, Jr. on March 18, 2013.
He is survived by his longtime companion, Melody Rockwell and by Dan’s sister, Diana L. (& Thomas) Blackstone of Rochester Hills, Michigan and brother, Douglas (& Viola) Crouch of Lueneburg, Germany; a sister-in-law, Jerie Lea (Mrs. David) Crouch of Niles; and many nieces and nephews.
The family of Daniel Lee Crouch will gather privately at his grave in Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles for Committal Rites at a later date. Contributions in memory of Dan may be made to the Splash Pad project first envisioned by Scott for Niles’ Riverfront Park, c/o Niles City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles, Michigan, 49120. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Dan sure found pleasure in a unique variety of pursuits, drawing blueprints for machinery being pretty intense and precise, but finding interest in random sports that appeared next after his favorite teams indicates an open mind and willingness to learn; and his sense of fashion and his musical tastes were just . . . Dan. But the constant in his life was the people with whom he attended events, and his family, and Melody.
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Splash Pad Project at Niles' Riverfront Park
Niles City Hall, 333 North Second Street, Niles MI 49120