| May 04, 2016

Dan Milton, 1974-2016

When a car crossed two lanes on Highway 417 near Arnprior last Monday and hit two road workers, it killed one of them, Dan Milton, and in doing so tore at the heart of a family and a community.

The funeral for Dan Milton, which was held at Milestone Funeral Home in Northbrook on April 30, was unorthodox to say the least, as his neighbour delivered a eulogy that was all about giving shouts out to all of Dan’s friends and family in the way that he would have done.

The picture of Dan Milton that emerged was that of a giant of a man with a big heart and a tendency towards playful mischief. This came at the expense, most often, of those he loved most.

The road crew that he worked with every day was there in full force, and while they are all hard and tough men in the work place, the tears flowed freely from them all afternoon, as freely as the Coors Lite that Dan loved so much.

Reverend Kellar had to share the front of the chapel with some of that Coors Lite, but he did not seem to mind, remarking that this was one of the funerals he has officiated at for people he did not know, but which leave him thinking, “I really wish I could have known that person.”

Dan Milton's, wife, Debara Leary-Milton, was 20 years older than him, but the age gap never affected their marriage, and Dan was a well-loved step-father and friend to Wayne, Jaycen, and Angel. Angel spoke briefly at the funeral, saying how much she appreciated everything that Dan had been for herself and her mother.

While the mood at the funeral was as irreverent and full of jokes as Dan Milton had been, the sense of loss was palpable.

For this community to lose Daniel Milton, a still young man who packed his large lunch and headed to work that morning just as he did every Monday morning, is hard to process and will continue to be hard to accept for months and years to come.

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