Stacey James Danner '96 died at the age of 46 from COVID-19 on July 11. He is dearly loved and fondly remembered by his friends from St. Thomas and all over the globe as a bighearted, hardworking, globe-trotting night owl. Fueled by trenta-size cups of Starbucks, his grandparents' work ethic, creative insights and unconventional style, Stacey graduated from DeLaSalle High School, the University of St. Thomas, Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school, he went on to start a series of successful businesses. As he succeeded, however, Stacey remained a tireless champion for others. After Hurricane Katrina, for example, Stacey packed his bags for New Orleans and rolled up his sleeves to help rebuild the city.
When he wasn’t working, Stacey was traveling the world, collecting experiences and friends that shaped him as a person. Whether he was in Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua or Thailand, he always looked right at home and he never seemed to meet a stranger who couldn’t become a friend. His travel bucket list was long, but he never forgot his Minnesota roots – he always returned to Minneapolis and the Vikings always got his unconditional support.
Against this backdrop of achievements and adventures, Stacey is perhaps best remembered as a loyal friend. He strove to surround himself with brilliant, witty, ambitious, woke people from across races, genders and nationalities. Stacey strongly believed in the potential of others and worked hard to help them achieve it. He was never too busy for anybody and no matter where he was, he never felt too far away. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, James "Jimmy" Danner; his grandmother, Patricia Danner; and his mother, Michelle Danner. He is survived by a diverse village of friends and chosen family who will carry forward his commitment to justice and his love for others. A memorial scholarship has been established to honor his memory: Stacey James Danner Memorial Fund (onecause.com).