February 11, 1927 ~ April 15, 2007
Daniel Valenzuela was born on February 11, 1927 in a little house on 4th Street in Santa Monica. The eldest of six children, Dan grew up in Santa Monica, attending local public schools. In 1945 he joined the US Navy and served his country with distinction. Dan found life in the service agreed with him, so he reenlisted in the Navy, serving a second tour of duty. In 1948, he enlisted again, this time in the US Army.
Upon his discharge from the service, Dan attended Santa Monica City College, where he met his dear wife Nancy. They were married soon after and settled in Venice, California where together, they raised their three children, Anne, Paul and Peter.
Dan was always active in community life. When his children were young, he coached Paul and Peter in the Penmar Little League program, becoming President of the League for several years. He joined the Knights of Columbus at St. March Church in Venice, and served as Grand Knight and District Deputy. He and his wife were active members of the St. Mark Parish community, and were blessed with many lifelong friendships from among their fellow parishioners. An avid golfer, Dan never missed a chance to join his friends on courses throughout Southern California, where he became a fixture. He was active in the Mexican American Golf Association and chaired many of their tournaments over the years.
After retiring from the US Postal Service, Dan threw himself into the community life of Venice, California. He joined the original Venice Town Council, and later served on various neighborhood councils and advisory groups, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce. He had a great passion for the history and character of the Venice community and joined the Venice Historical Society, serving on its Board of Directors. He was a regular on Abbott Kinney Boulevard and the Venice Boardwalk, and played a pivotal role in the early days of the Abbott Kinney Festival. In 2003 he was awarded the â€œSpirit of Veniceâ€ for his tireless work for his beloved community.
Dan passed away April 15, 2007 after a brief illness. Dan was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 51 years Nancy, his father Eloy Valenzuela, mother Maria Santos Lerma, brothers Paul and Al, and sister Mary. Dan is survived by his children, Anne Valenzuela-Smith, Paul Valenzuela, and Peter Valenzuela, his son-in-law Dan Smith, grandchildren Eloy, Dolan, Emma and Julia, his brother Joseph, sister Eloise Michaels, and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and family.
Services for Daniel Valenzuela will be held at St Mark Catholic Church, 940 Coeur dâ€™Alene Ave., Venice, CA 90291. The Vigil Rosary will be held Thursday, April 19th at 5:00 p.m. at the Church. The Funeral Mass will be held on Friday morning, April 20th at 10:30 am. In lieu flowers, donations may be made in Danâ€™s name to the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291.
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