On November 22 we had the pleasure of hosting the family of Dan Koziol for a tree dedication in Dan’s honor. Dan worked at Omaha Home for Boys from May 2011 until his untimely death on July 4, 2015 at the age of 60.
During the four short years that Dan worked at the Home, he touched the lives of many youth and coworkers. According to Omaha Home for Boys’ President and CEO, Jeff Moran, “Dan never disappointed, could fix about anything and wasn’t afraid to try. He was happy-go-lucky, fun to be around and had a million stories.”
One memory that was recalled during the tree dedication ceremony was that of Dan’s gentle nature and his love for working with the youth. However, he did get frustrated at times when he would fix something one week only to have it broken yet again by the youth the next. Moran noted with a chuckle, “Dan finally came to peace realizing that this was not only his calling but also his job security.”
During his time at the Home, Dan selected the tree and planted it not knowing that it would later be dedicated in his honor. Dan had done quite a bit of research before choosing the Kentucky Coffeetree and its placement outside the Smith Administration Building. He selected the tree because it would do well in that space and would last for years to come, and that’s what the Home needed.
A plaque now sits at the base of the tree and states, “Tree Planted in Loving Memory of Dan J. Koziol. A man of God who enriched the lives of many and inspired others to do the same.” The plaque also references John 3:16.
The dedication ceremony concluded with Dan’s wife, Jody, sharing some thoughts and several Home staff members telling stories about their time spent with Dan. From these stories, it was clear that Dan was more than a coworker. He was a true friend who is missed dearly by many.