Granville, MA – Daniel Anthony Oleksak, age 71, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2020 at his home after a challenging, three-year journey with cancer. He was cared for by some of the most kind and brilliant professionals in their field. He was strong-willed and positive, never complaining and never giving up hope—an inspiration to his loved ones. Danny was known for his strong dedicative work ethic, positive attitude, humble persona and fun-loving nature. He was quirky and one of a kind. You would rarely see him without his John Deere cap or a big smile. He always had a story to tell. Danny loved his simple life, and it was hard not to love him.
Danny was born in Westfield, MA on December 8, 1948 to the late Andrew T. Jr. and Salamea (Sally) (Bannish) Oleksak. Danny grew up in Westfield, alongside his family-run business, Oleksak Lumber, founded in 1922. The family often spent their summers at their farm in Chesterfield, MA. He attended Holy Trinity Elementary School and Saint Mary’s High School, both in Westfield. He went on to study at Holyoke Community College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning a Master of Forestry in 1974 while concurrently serving in the Air National Guard. He was a licensed forester, timber harvester and land surveyor and co-owned the family’s fourth generation lumber business with his brother, Andy. He was actively involved in local conservation commissions, the Massachusetts Forest Alliance, the Massachusetts Association of Land Surveyors and the Massachusetts Farm Bureau. He took pride in managing and cultivating the family-owned timberlands in order to carry on his predecessors’ legacy to future generations. He loved being in the woods, surrounded by the trees and wildlife—where he found peace and calm. He was often known for being accompanied in his truck by one or more of the family dogs on his everyday adventures.
Danny married his wife Charlcy in 1974 when they settled in Granville to raise their family. They became heavily rooted in a caring, selfless and fun-loving community of neighbors and friends. Danny volunteered his time as a little league coach, worked hard to park cars in the center of town during the annual Harvest Fair—donating all of the money earned to the town. On the fourth of July his responsibility was that of the ‘corn man’ at the annual BBQ and dance on the town green. He will be missed dearly by his community. He was a man of many skills. He had any tool or piece of equipment on hand that was needed and was constantly going above and beyond to lend a hand to any of his friends, family and neighbors in need. He served on the town finance and conservation committees and committed many volunteer hours to the Granville Federated Church. He and his wife enjoyed many travels around the world—Danny made friends wherever he would go. He was fortunate to take a trip to Eastern Europe with his daughter, visiting the small villages from which his family immigrated.
Danny leaves his wife of 45 years, Charlcy (Stallsmith) Oleksak. He also leaves his son Nathan Daniel Oleksak and daughter-in-law Ann C. Nordahl. He leaves his daughter Katie Bannish Oleksak and cherished granddaughter Lily Daniel Oleksak. He took pride in being a grandfather—he and his granddaughter could not stop smiling whenever they were around one another. He was sweet, sensitive and loving to all of his family. He also leaves his brother, Andrew T. Oleksak III and wife Modwyn; his sister Donna Michel and wife Pat Sicard; his sister Jo-Ann Orluk and husband Stephen; and sister and brother-in law Nan and Gary Pease. Danny also leaves behind beloved nieces and nephews; Jennifer, Sarah, Charlotte, Nick, Andrew & Jessa; Rebecca, Mark and Kristen and many great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles who adored him—everybody loved their ‘Uncle Danny’. While he is no longer here with his family in the present, he will forever be in their hearts.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00PM on Saturday October 24, 2020 in the Silver Street Cemetery, Silver Street, Granville . Family and friends are requested to practice social distancing and to wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Danny’s name to the Granville Federated Church, PO Box 246, Granville, MA 01034 or to the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, PO Box 329, Northampton, MA 01060 . Southwick Forastiere Funeral Home, 624 College Highway, Southwick is entrusted with arrangements. www.forastiere.com