Local Death Notices
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2020 20:29
Danny Wray Crytser, a popular character of the Mon Valley’s own ‘Age of Aquarius’ in the late 60s, died on April 21 2020 in his beloved Guam from health complications.
His cherished daughter, Zia Best Crytser, confirmed his passing in a brief message; she shared his life thoroughly in his final years, and his pride in her many achievements knew no boundaries.
As a member of Monongahela High School’s class of ’69, Dan was a talented storyteller, and warm and dependable friend to all who shared his late nights, his road adventures, his hunting trips, his brawling lifestyle and his love of music.
Dan’s taste for lifestyle choices was not for everyone. Parents, teachers, pastors and in some cases, the authorities often wished he’d made different choices. Dan’s soundtrack was tuned to a different channel. Rock festivals, trippy clothing, long hair and free love defined the era that Dan was born to embrace and relish.
After leaving the Mon Valley in his early twenties, Dan traveled to the Monterey area of central California, where he attended community college, before entering and graduating from UC Santa Cruz. It was there that he was recruited by the Government of Guam to join its administration as it grew and modernized.
He met and married a local Mon Valley girl on a trip back to the States, and she remained and remarried in Guam after her divorce from Dan. He later met and married an accomplished island-based newspaper executive, and Lynn Crytser, now also passed, became the mother of their bright and achieving daughter. Zia was Dan’s and their sole descendant. During their remarkable marriage, they traveled the South Pacific, and the globe, experiencing fantastic wonders, saw many interesting sights, drank from life’s cup deeply and happily. They often took Zia with them on their many travels.
While in government service, Dan headed an environmental protection department that dealt with one of the island’s most daunting challenges, solid waste. He even considered making a career in that industry but was drawn into land development and real estate in both Guam and the mainland, in which he flourished for many years.
Dan was also active and well known in the Guam social and business scene. He could not enter a hotel, club or restaurant without running into friends and well-wishers.
He took athletic activities seriously and was on organized teams for water polo, was an innovative game fisherman and his reputation as a Mariana’s outdoorsman was well-earned and highly regarded. He once traveled as a contender in the Olympics with the national team to Australia, which produced little more than memories and fellowship for the team’s members, but he loved that sort of thing.
Dan’s love of fishing was legendary and formidable. He would launch out over the Marianas Trench in a light runabout, and often fish until he was out of fuel and adrift, frequently needing the rescue of his brother Jeff Crytser to come out to haul him back in. On many of those trips, Zia would be slicing up sashimi while the Mahi Mahi was still warm, herself not even ten years old. Dan claimed to have developed a method of fly-fishing from the beach that was uniquely his own.
He knew the south Pacific basin well and was a regular traveler to not just Australia but the Philippines and Thailand; a trip to India a couple decades ago to see a lifelong friend was the source of many of his most heartfelt experiences and dinner table stories. He knew Japan and Hawaii well.
Danny Wray Crytser was one of five sons and a daughter born to William D. Crytser and M. Hope Crytser, four of which were delivered in Monongahela Memorial Hospital in New Eagle PA. As a child, he loved his dog Lance, his bicycle, a hike for berries through the woods, a story from his great Uncle Ray - the “real” cowboy, and setting a record getting his newspaper route delivered for the day. He would take a stab at darn near any endeavor and he was his father’s special pride for his scrappy approach to any of life’s challenges.
Dan will be missed by his loving daughter, his many friends, his family of survivors: Scott, Jill and Jeff (also of Guam) …all left with many memories old songs.
Due to the pandemic emergency, funeral plans have not yet been determined.