Daniel Willard Bohart II of Wilmington, NC passed away at age 62 on Christmas Afternoon at 2:00 pm eastern time. He died in the Hospice Center of New Hanover Regional Medical Center just shy of his 63rd birthday due to complications related to diabetes and liver disease.
Dan was born in Hawaii at Ka’piolani Hospital on January 1, 1948 to Helen Louise Peck-Bohart and James Phillip Bohart, shortly after the end of WWII. He was the youngest of four children growing up in Honolulu Hawaii and attended Punahou School for most of his education, completing his senior year in Talequah, OK. He was a tremendous athlete, throwing a no-hitter in a State Championship game and playing linebacker for the Punahou football team. Had he not gotten into a major car accident in 1967, he would likely have played professional Baseball. He had received a scholarship to Oklahoma State University for Baseball and, at one point, considered taking a professional contract offer, but instead decided to finish College first. The automobile accident destroyed his chances for a turn with a professional Baseball team. He attended Northeastern State University, Dickenson College, and graduated from the University of Texas in 1970. In 1972, he earned an MBA from Thunderbird The American Graduate School of International Management in Arizona and became fluent in Spanish. He subsequently went to work for the Bank of Hawaii and was sent to work on exotic islands such as Tonga, Saipan, and Guam, feasting and playing Bridge with the Prince of Tonga.
Dan was married to Linda Patrick of Austin, TX for twelve years, and they had a son, Brett Taniela Bohart, while on assignment in Tonga in 1976. Linda flew to Houston to have the baby and flew directly back to Tonga to raise him. Two years later, while on assignment in Tamuning, Guam, Dan and Linda had a daughter, Paige Patrick Bohart and resided in Guam for a couple of years before settling down in Poway, CA.
Dan was an adventurer who grew up body surfing, surfing, playing sports, skateboarding, and spear fishing. He speared eel and deep sea tortoise off the coast of Hawaii, and he even speared his own shark, keeping the jaw as a family memento. He was fearless. He twice saved a person from being swept away by the rip current and drowning while at Solana Beach with his kids. Dan was also a writer who earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English, and he had a tremendous ability to make friends everywhere he went. His gregarious nature made him a natural for making business relationships, and he spent most of his career as a loan officer. He did, however, spend a short time as a Chef; he was a fantastic cook. He was also great with kids and, for a while, wanted to teach.
Dan had a long relationship with close friend of the family, Lynne Kuhn, and was remarried for a short time to Susan E. Mills of Salinas, CA. Susan and he had a daughter, Helen Evangaline Mills, and Dan did his best to keep in touch with her over the years.
Though Dan lived a full life with many unique experiences, he struggled with an addiction to alcohol and experienced many medical obstacles as a result. He acquired Diabetes late in life and underwent major surgeries for chronic pancreatitis. In the end, the mismanaged diabetes led to a loss of nerve function in his feet and other problems. He lived with these complications for many years, proving to be nearly indestructible, with amazing hardiness and grit. No doubt lesser men would have died years before Dan did. He had a spirit that simply wouldn’t quit, and he consistently maintained amazing positivity and motivation, especially in the most dire of situations. He was an innovator who never ceased to ponder new business ventures and new inventive ideas, always believing in a new tomorrow with unlimited possibility. Though his spirit persevered, his physical body would not allow him to keep going, and he went to sleep peacefully with his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter by his side.
Dan is survived by son, Brett Taniela Bohart, daughter, Paige Patrick Bohart-Collins, daughter, Helen Evangaline Mills, and granddaughter, Makenna Maria Collins, with a grandson due in early March. He is also survived by brothers James Thurman and Philip Gregory, and sister Josephine Louise. There are innumerable cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and California. Dan died too young and was an image of unrealized potential to his family, but, as Henry David Thoreau wrote, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
“The one law that does not change is that everything changes, and the hardship I was bearing today was only a breath away from the pleasures I would have tomorrow, and those pleasures would be all the richer because of the memories of this I was enduring.”
- Louis L'Amour, a favorite author
Dan Bohart will be missed.
We will be spreading his ashes in Oklahoma at the Bohart family plot, and we will be holding on to some ashes to be spread in the ocean in Waikiki in about ten years.