Daniel James Zatterstrom
January 30, 1947 - April 18, 2020
Daniel James Zatterstrom passed away in Nagua, Dominican Republic on April 18, 2020. He was 73. Dan had a gentle spirit and a kind and contemplative soul. He never knew a stranger, making fast friends wherever he went and will be missed by countless. He was joyful, generous and fun to be around. He danced through this life to the beat of his own drum.
Dan was born in Denver, Colorado, on Jan. 30, 1947 to Leonard Buzz and Jean Zatterstrom. The family returned to Nucla in 1952, where Dan graduated from Nucla High School in 1965 and remained for much of his life. Dan was a loving and forgiving man deeply committed to family and community. He was a hard worker who could turn his hand to most anything, including supervising the building of the subway system in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He ranched, worked construction and was a craftsman and fine woodworker. Dan served his community throughout his life and was active in his church. He helped rebuild schools in Haiti, following a devastating hurricane. He also helped build a hospital in the Dominican Republic, his adopted country.
Dan enlisted in the Navy and was trained as a combat photographer during the Vietnam War. He was attached to special forces units and served on reconnaissance missions. Dan was deeply proud of his service, and changed by it.
Dan appreciated the simple pleasures in life. The satisfaction of a hard day's work and a job well done. He loved playing music with friends and family, and the rawness and heartache that could be expressed through music. Dan was deeply connected to the land and loved being outdoors, whether it was summers at cow camp on the Uncompahgre, the solitude of Buckeye Reservoir or fishing off the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
After meeting his wife, Clara Patronis, at a barn dance in Nucla, Dan began splitting his time between Colorado and the Dominican Republic. While in Nucla, he cared for his father, Buzz Zatterstrom, following the death of Buzz’s beloved wife, Jean. Dan remained there until 2008, when he and his father returned to live full time in Dan's adopted home, Mantancita, a small village just off the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
Dan and Clara enjoyed a quiet and full life, surrounded by friends and family. Dan had a small woodworking shop where he made cabinets and furniture.
In Dan's own words, Take care and enjoy this life we're living. When you wake up in the mornings and start out the door to begin your day, do it with a smile on your face and self-confidence in your heart.
Dan is survived by his three children: Benjamin, Rachel and Amber Zatterstrom and five grandchildren.
Dan was laid to rest in the family crypt that he built in Mantancita, Dominican Republic.
The family will plan a celebration of Dan's life, to be held in the Nucla area, on a yet to be determined date.