Good afternoon, for those of you who do not know me, my name is Samir Kaul and I went to business school with Dann. Ann Marie, thank you for the opportunity to honor my friend.
We were truly an odd couple. Dann: strong, tall and handsome and me, you know, good at math and could fix your laptop in a jiffy. That was the thing about Dann, he always looked for the best in people and if you were his friend, you got this secure feeling knowing he would be there to make sure everything would be alright. We often joked that the most difficult part of beings Dann friend was being compared to him by our wives because of the impossibly high standards of integrity, character and loyalty he set. I’m sure many of us have heard “Why can’t you be more like Dann” more than we care to remember” I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing some of my fondest memories to give a sense of what an amazing friend he is.
In our second year of business school, I got word that my father in law was very sick with a blood disorder. I get a call from Dann, who in his typical low key ways says look I’m no scientist or doctor, but I’ve been looking at this online and a bone marrow transplant may be needed and I’ve called around and found a couple places here in Boston where I can get mine tested to see if I am a match. I’ve known him for less than 2 years, he’s never met my in-laws, but he saw a friend in need and had to find a way to try to help.
Dann loved spending time with his friends. A couple times a year, we would plan a “guys” trip. More than anyone else he went through extraordinary lengths to make each and every one and on the rare occasions he was absent, he expected a detailed play by play account after the event. Soon after he moved back to LA, our friend Rob’s bachelor party was taking place all the way in Cape Cod. Unfortunately, Dann had to miss the wedding, so there was no way he was missing this. I think he took 2 flights he found on Hotwire and a bus to get there, was an active participant in all the evening’s festivities, took someone “less robust” to the hospital in the morning and then was off back to LA a heroic 15 hr in and out, of course I left out the fact that he woke up at 6 am, ran 7 miles and did 100 pushups and sit-ups on the beach.
We shared a love for college football. He set up a fantasy football league each year for our friends, which became more of an excuse for us to go back and forth torturing each other by email and phone. I a huge UM fan, he a huge USC fan. Frankly, Dann could go a bit over the top: Reggie Bush this, Matt Leinart that, Pete Carroll for president, and on and on. This is when inevitably when one of us would need to remind him that while it was cute he was a USC fan, he actually went to Dartmouth. So while USC was beating up on Cal, Oregon or Notre Dame, the mighty Dartmouth Big Green had lost a nail biter to perennial college football powerhouses MIT, Sacred Heart or Holy Cross.
The last story I’ll share is right before he went to Iraq. I was sitting in my kitchen when the phone rang. Someone on the other line said this is Agent so and so from the FBI, may I speak to a Samir Kaul. Well post 911, when you look like me and your name is Samir, a call from the FBI can be a bit scary. It turns out Dann had listed me as a personal reference for his deployment. Phew, after breathing a huge sigh of relief, I said Sir I am going to make this the easiest call of your career. I have never met a finer man than Dann Angeloff. I trust him with my house, money, wife and kids. In fact, I go to sleep easier at night knowing were anything to happen to me, without hesitation or question Dann would be there to make sure my family was taken care of. He told me I was right, he had never gotten such a reference before and I said you will never get another man like Dann Angeloff.
To Mr& Mrs Angeloff, Jenny and Julie, thank you for raising such a wonderful son and brother like Dann so that we could all get the benefit of his friendship. Although he was taken far too soon, I am grateful for my time with him and I can only hope my son Niam will get to have a friend like Dann as he grows up.
Ragan, Mary Kate and Danny: your father was a special man who loved you all so much. He cherished his time with you whether it was making sand castles on the beach or going to Disneyland (as long as it wasn’t teacups)…inside joke. His memory will live on in all of us and there will be no shortage of people wanting to tell you stories of your father.
Ann Marie- you have been an inspiration to us all. You have handled the last two years with such courage, honor and strength. You were Dann’s rock, you understood him so well and the two of you defined “soul mates.” In the 2 years after being diagnosed, I never heard Dann ask “Why me?” or get emotional, until last November when we had dinner together in Laguna Beach. He got emotional was when he talked about you and your time together. He told me how blessed he was to have you at his side and how without you he wouldn’t have had the strength to fight this terrible disease as bravely as he did. We all love you and please know Puja and I will always be here for you whenever you need us.
God bless you Dann, I will miss you dearly. Thank you.