Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Daniel Lee Alban

Sept. 20, 1945 - 0ct. 7, 2007

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, was a gorgeous fall day in Ketchum, Idaho. On this day we all lost a truly special person. Daniel Lee Alban lost his gallant 30-year fight against multiple sclerosis. Known for his marvelous wit, unconditional love, courage, intellect, and humility, Dan will always be remembered as a fighter and someone who loved life, never complained, in spite of extreme challenges including one health crisis after another.

Dan Alban was born in Salinas, Kan., in 1945. He grew up in Long Beach, Calif. He moved to Tucson, Ariz., in 1963 for seven years of undergraduate and law school studies at the University of Arizona. Dan moved to Ketchum in 1971, and commuted to Filer, Idaho, to work as a law clerk. Later, he worked for the Sun Valley Co. both at the EI Torrito (where he earned his tips more for being funny, nice and cute than for his skills as a busboy) and was the all-night desk clerk at the Lodge and the Inn. During this time he hung his shingle on Leadville Avenue in Giacobbi Annex and opened his law practice. Shortly after, the position of Blaine County Magistrate was available. Dan was appointed to the bench and sworn in, in 1975.

In 1976, he married the love of his life, Susie, on the opening night of the Elevation 6000 in Ketchum, Idaho. During his 17 plus years of judicial service he heard 64,930 dispositions and retired in 1993 due to his progressive MS. Many, many people were married by Dan both in the courthouse and lovely venues around the state. His favorite cases were always the adoptions and marriages. Divorces and child custody cases weighed heavily on his soul. A very handsome man, Dan had the privilege of being "Mr. June" in the 1984 Men of Sun Valley calendar.

Dan lived over half his life on Aspen Grove Lane south of Ketchum with his wife, Susie, of almost 31 years. He thanked her every day for all the gourmet food and taking such good care of him. His son Matthew tragically passed away in 2004. He told them both that he loved them everyday. The beautiful scenery along the banks of the Wood River, abundant wildlife and Baldy views to the west and Red Cliff views to the east were always so important, as well as soothing and spiritually healing. Although being quadriplegic for at least seven years, he so enjoyed seeing movies and plays (front row nexstage Theatre), fine dining at CK's, Sun Valley Lodge Dining Room and the Sun Valley Ram Restaurant, plus the occasional road trips to Las Vegas and the Oregon coast.

Dan was so appreciative of his huge family, caring neighbors, many dear and supportive friends: Dr. Scott Mclean, the staff of St Luke's Wood River Medical Center in the ER, ICU, RT, OT, beloved Home Health people and blessed caregivers (you all know who you are). He is survived by his wife, Susie; brothers Ken (Paula) and Steve Alban; Aunt Reva and Uncle Sy Alban; their four children, Jill, Joe, John, and Julie; cousins Bill Alban (John Berry), and Bob (Jeannie) Alban; and the extended Alban family.

There are no services planned at this time. Join the Fall 2008 Ketchum MS Walk to honor Dan and all others with this terrible disease. Please keep local charities, restaurants, and shopping in your hearts. Acts of kindness toward people and animals are what Dan would want from all of us. The disabled can often use a hand, not just in time of crisis.

Love, laugh, dream, Dan—you are greatly missed and you have taught us all so much. We really had fun, didn't we?

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