Kind, compassionate, very creative, with a heart of gold.
Danny was a caring, kind and compassionate man with a heart of gold and a loving attitude. He never judged or talked about others and had friends from all walks of life.
As a child, Danny would ride his bike around the neighborhood for hours. At seven, he started playing soccer, then baseball and football. He played throughout high school, and his parents have countless memories of traveling to his sporting events to watch him play.
Danny graduated from college with a Master’s degree and though he worked full time, he was on the Dean’s list every semester. He was a hard worker, and his passion for building and remodeling led him to follow in his dad’s path and become a self-employed contractor. He had a thriving construction company and was a sought after master craftsman. He was meticulous in his work and admired for his creativity, work ethic and professionalism.
Danny loved being with his family, often taking care of his grandmother and mother. He also rescued animals, loved fishing and riding his 4-wheeler. He planned to continue to build his company, find love and raise a family. He tried desperately to stay sober and in control, but over years of drug use, the addiction became worse. “He was never mean, never stole from anyone, and never said a harsh word, “ his mom said. ‘But there was a sadness in his eyes, he didn’t like what the drugs were doing to him.’
“He became agitated and desperate to feel normal, but the drugs changed his brain chemistry,” his mom said. ‘He would cry and tell me he would never be who he used to be.’ A few weeks prior to his death, he went to meetings, made new friends and tried to heal. He struggled with guilt that he had let his family down. He eventually relapsed, was given pure carfentynl, and overdosed.
In the four years since Danny’s death, his mother has gone from being in a total fog, to rallying to help other families deal with the issues that arise from substance use disorder. Danny’s family and friends sponsor fundraisers to help families living with addiction. “I am still lost and heartbroken, his mom said, I feel empty much of my day, but I have some peace when I am helping others.”
“Danny is missed deeply by those he loved; none of us will ever be the same,” his mom said. ‘I took a few months off work trying to save him and I just couldn’t. My heart aches for him at least 100 times a day. I loved him through it, all the way to the end.’
Danny’s mother Susan Sausaman, provided the information for this narrative.
October 19, 1983-July 17, 2016
Age 32-Lived with addiction 10 years