Daniel Zamlen family says thank you

Daniel Zamlen family says thank you

The family of University of St. Thomas freshman Daniel Zamlen sent a note of thanks to the university community.

Funeral services were held in his hometown of Eveleth on Saturday. Dan, 19, had been missing from April 5 until May 1, when his body was recovered from the Mississippi River not far from campus.

"The family of Dan Zamlen would like to offer sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone for their outpouring of prayers and support at this most difficult time," the family wrote.

"We will never know all the people who volunteered in the search effort, participated in a benefit or offered thoughts and prayers for our dear son and his family.

"Dan truly touched countless lives in many different ways and will always be remembered as a very special young man. Although we are unable to understand why he had to leave so soon, we know he accomplished much in his 18 years and will always be remembered and dearly missed by many. We are all better people for having the opportunity to be touched by Dan."

The note was from Dan's parents, Dale and Sally, and his sister, Andrea.

Following is Dan's obituary that was prepared last week by his family:


Services: Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon, Saturday, May 9, in Resurrection Catholic Church, Eveleth. Concelebrants will be Rev. Charles Flynn, Rev. Erich Rutten, Rev. Joseph Valiyamthadathil and Rev. Lourdusamy Kanagarajan. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. at the church. Interment will be in Eveleth Cemetery.

To sign the guest book online and to leave a memorial message, go to: www.cron-sheehy.com

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Resurrection Catholic Church, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 2626 East 82 nd St., Ste.225, Bloomington, MN 55425 www.jdrf.org/mnnd; Voyageurs Area Council Boy Scouts of America, 3877 Stebner Rd., Duluth, MN 55811.

Daniel Frank Rakovetz Zamlen, 19, of Eveleth was found Friday, May 1, 2009, in St. Paul, Minn. He was born April 8, 1990, in Duluth to Dale P. and Sally L. (Rakovetz) Zamlen.

Dan loved learning about history, especially World War II, and driving his Tahoe. At the age of 9, he insisted his parents take him to see Pearl Harbor, which they did. As a sixth grader, his history project was on D-Day to honor his grandfather and when he was 13 years old, Dan was honored to shake Paul Wellstone’s hand at the 4th of July parade and because of that he became a devoted DFL campaigner in 2004.

He was a member of Resurrection Catholic Church, an altar server, Catechism teacher and his favorite season of the church was Easter Week. Dan was also an Eagle Scout and an accomplished pianist, having played in many recitals. He lettered in three sports; cross country, Nordic skiing and track. Dan was a writer and lead editor of the Generation W, the orchestra, band, National Honor Society locally and nationally.

Also in high school, Dan was a member of IRYA, student representative for the school board, peer mediator, eighth grade state speech participant in extemporaneous speaking, honorary member of Duluth East Nordic ski team and a member of Boys State. He had traveled to Washington, D.C., with Close-Up, New York City with the orchestra, Orlando, Fla., with the band and Biloxi, Miss., with Habitat for Humanity, to help rebuild New Orleans after the hurricane. Prior to starting college, Dan worked at Mittal Steel the summer of 2008.

Dan was a 2008 graduate of Virginia High School with enough college credits to start at the University of St. Thomas as a sophomore student last fall. While at St. Thomas he was a member of the National Collegiate Scholars and a Tommie Ambassador.

He was awarded the following scholarships; UST Trustee, UST Academic, Arcelor Mittal, Robert Byrd Honors, Generation W., Frank A. and Margaret E. Kuberka Scholarships and the following awards: UST Award, U.S. Marine Distinguished Athlete, Blue Pride and Triple A Awards in Arts, Athletics and Academics. Dan will be remembered for his faith, thoughtfulness, kindness, his smile, gentle manner and his thirst for knowledge in all areas.

He is survived by his parents, Dale and Sally Zamlen of Eveleth; sister, Andrea at home; his dog “Buddy”; grandmother, Mabel Zamlen of Eveleth; aunt, uncles and cousins; Linda Rakovetz (Pat Molick) and Allison of Britt; David (Roberta) Zamlen and Brenda Zamlen and Andrew all of Sartell and Robert Zamlen of Chisholm; Duane Zamlen of Eveleth and Kassi Zamlen of Lake Vermilion and Donald Zamlen of Eveleth.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Frank Zamlen; his grandparents and best friends, Frank “Kobe” and Marjorie (Pufall) Rakovetz.