“As a retiree, everything I do is a leisure activity,” says Dan Coyne. That may be true, but you’d hardly call his life leisurely. Besides being an active SAR member since 2008, Dan also volunteers as a senior center driver and has just become an usher for the Lesher Center. He hikes, he travels, he golfs and he is serious about tai chi.
Dan’s son, Christopher, and he currently share their home, but that will soon change when Christopher goes off to law school in the fall. One more place to travel, Dan says.
Dan is an East Coast transplant, having left his native Rochester, NY, for the Army and then college. He finished his graduate degree in labor relations at U. of Oregon (yes, he admits he’s a Duck) and was drafted by PG&E, where he worked for 30 years in all aspects of human resources. He moved around a bit before landing – most likely for good – in Danville.
Several years ago, Dan’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. But she was so supportive of Dan’s involvement with SAR that, in 2009, she encouraged him to answer a callout even as they were headed for her birthday dinner. In 2011, after Mazie died, SAR members returned that support for Dan. “I hope everyone understands how much I appreciated their help,” he says.
Dan’s SAR epiphany came during a search for an Alzheimer’s walkaway. A woman approached him as he was going door to door and told him it was her mother they were seeking. She thanked Dan and the team for being there.
“Later, I thought of what my wife had said on her birthday when I got called out, that if it was her father that was lost, she would want people like me to look for him,” Dan says. “I realized how much of an impact our work has on people – it’s not often that you have the ability to have such a positive impact on total strangers.”