A creature of habit, Daniel Boon lived his whole life on the family farm
A Cubs fan, the "flower lady," husbands, wives, and more are part of the more than 1,400 Iowans lost COVID-19 as of early October 2020. Des Moines Register
Daniel Lee Boon moved only once, and the journey wasn’t far: from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs one.
He spent 69 years — his whole life — on his family farm in Rock Rapids, said his wife, Marlene Boon.
Well-rooted in his little northwest Iowa town, residents knew Daniel and his kindness, Marlene said. A dairy farmer with a finely honed routine, Daniel gravitated toward tradition.
Every morning, he stopped at McDonald's, where “the staff would see him pull in the parking lot and have his order ready on a tray by the time he walked in the door,” his obituary read.
He’d follow breakfast up with a visit to Walmart’s toy section, where he hunted new Hot Wheels cars — trinkets that are now spread out in the family’s shed.
Daniel, 69, died from COVID-19 on Sept. 26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, far from the rural hamlet he loved. Marlene stood by Daniel's side as he took his last breath.
Born in 1951, he was one of eight Boon children raised on the farm. Later, he took ownership of the acreage and raised his three children — Terrance, Kylah and Adam — on the same land.
Marlene was 15 years old when she met Daniel, she said, and the pair fell in love fast. When Daniel’s parents thought he was attending catechism classes, he was actually over at Marlene's house.
Seven years later, the duo finally wed.
Embracing their life as dairy farmers, the pair rarely vacationed in their 32 years of milking cows. Twice, to be exact: once taking a road trip to Florida, and another time visiting a car show.
"He never wanted to move," Marlene said. "Even when he retired, he said, 'Do you want to move to town,' and I said, 'What for?'"
Daniel’s love of cars extended well beyond toys. For 45 years, he ran Daniel Boon Salvage, acquiring and selling difficult-to-find parts needed for classic car restorations, according to his obituary.
A lot of memories were made in the family's turquoise and white '57 Chevy convertible, Marlene said. Even as little kids, their children knew to take shoes off before climbing into the backseat — lest they accidentally mess up the leather.
"That was a fun car," Marlene said.
Even though the Boons' early morning work in the barn meant the couple "had to be home by 5 p.m.," they loved going to car shows. Daniel won his fair share of trophies over the years and created lifelong friendships with fellow car enthusiasts.
"Dad totally touched a lot of people, and I don't think he realized that," Kylah said. "Not only us kids, but his friends, too."
An eager collector, Daniel scoured Midwestern “thrift stores, toy stores and swap meets” for trinkets and knickknacks, according to his obituary.
“He was lucky to have never lost the feeling of unrestrained delight of finding a special toy, especially if only he knew why it was special,” his obituary read.
Daniel also took great pride in his grandchildren — and in the fact that the youngsters couldn’t beat him at “Subway Surfers,” his favorite video game.
Family was central to Daniel. He made a point to stay connected with each of his children, whether stopping by the bank Kylah works at in town or ringing up his son Adam nearly three times a week.
"He loved us kids a lot,” Kylah said. “He had a really good connection with each of us individually and as a whole."
Adam agreed: "Since he passed away, my incoming phone calls dropped 70%.”
Iowa Mourns is a series of remembrances about Iowans who lost their lives to COVID-19 during the 2020 pandemic. If you've lost a loved one to COVID-19 in Iowa, let us know by filling out this form or emailing Iowa Columnist Courtney Crowder at email@example.com.
Iowans lost to COVID-19
The following are deaths from COVID-19 were added in the past week to our list of more than 200 Iowans who have died from the disease, found at DesMoinesRegister.com/IowaMourns.
Clifton Adams Jr., 76, Cedar Falls. Raised English Springer Spaniels and Brittany Spaniels at Ada's Kennels
Paul Andersen, 78, Sioux City. Active in Via de Cristo for more than 40 years, often serving as rector.
Jack Beghtol, 92, Des Moines. Charter member of the Des Moines Ski Hawks waterskiing team and known for his trick skiing.
Jerome Coolidge, 60, Mason City. Always remembered a person's face, even if he forgot the name.
Roger Cory, 72, Elkhart. Served a year as Grand Chaplain of the Order of Eastern Star.
Robert "Scott" Darrah, 57, Council Bluffs. Loved all things Disney and often took his family on trips to Disney World.
Gene Edward Dryer, 72, Clarinda. Iowa Department of Corrections inmate.
Ron Graf, 72, Waterloo. A farmer who so loved learning new trades that he got certified as a master electrician and a pilot.
Marian Hankner, 89, Waterloo. A homemaker and mother of three.
David Hosier, 61, West Branch. A joker who always poked fun — out of love, of course.
Donald Kerker, 90, Newhall. Toured more than 30 countries with his wife while working in Germany.
Beverly Kinnander, 87, Estherville. Worked as a housekeeper for several local businesses and Fairmont Hospital.
Larry Klindt, 76, Sac City. Collected model trains and guns.
Ruth Klotz, 98, Des Moines. An attorney and judge who was an inspiration and mentor to two generations of Iowa women in the law.
Lorne Lee, 54, Independence. Organized ATV trails in Buchanan County as president of the Trailblazers Off Road Club.
Joyce McMurrin, 82, Cedar Falls. Loved playing bingo, cards and going to the casino.
Rick Miller, 62, Ankeny. Started his salesman career at age 7 by selling flowers.
Rick Pianca, 62, Davenport. Made detailed personalized itineraries for friends and family members' vacations.
Bonnie Pugsley, 95, Des Moines. Server as an elder and deacon in the Presbyterian Church.
Brenda Samaniego, 23, Sioux City. Special Olympics athlete for more than a decade.
Robert William Sirovy, 62, Anamosa. Iowa Department of Corrections inmate
Volney Smith, 92, Ames. Loved genealogy, reading and watching "Jeopardy."
Jonathan William Strain, 59, Anamosa. Iowa Department of Corrections inmate.
Phyllis Vander Sluis, 86, Primghar. Kept “Build Your Vocabulary” books next to her easy chair.