We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Thelen Funeral Service and Synergy Crematory
DANA WILLIAM LONEY (fondly known as Opa)
Rev. Dana W. Loney, age 62, passed away with his family at his side on Thursday, November 25, 2021 at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Dana was born on June 5, 1959 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Darrell and June (Blocker) Loney.
We heard about the large hill on Mount Vernon Road, but most of his childhood was on Gateway Street in Cedar Rapids. There he attended Harding Junior High and Kennedy High School. When a familiar song came onto the radio, he would keep time with his fingers, similar to his time playing drums in band.
Dana enlisted in the United States Navy following a visit to Tripoli, Iowa to talk with Catherine in the Fall, 1978. When he told his father he was enlisting in the Navy, his dad was suspect of his success because he didn’t think Dana would be compliant. His travels took him initially to San Diego for Boot Camp. He was then stationed at Dam Neck in Virginia Beach followed by Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida. Dana married the love of his life, Catherine Weidler, in an intimate backyard ceremony on July 16, 1983 in Tripoli, Iowa. Naturally, it was a special occasion, so only jeans, polo shirts and sundresses were allowed. He then took his new bride back to Jacksonville, where he shared his love for the vast ocean and beach with her. Within the first year of marriage, the young couple learned they were expecting their first child. Dana saw the look in Catherine’s eye when they learned the USS Sampson was going to leave port. He requested a transfer to Great Lakes, which meant an extension of his enlistment, but allowed the family to be closer to home. There he served as technical instructor. Jennifer Rae joined us shortly after arrival to Great Lakes. Catherine and Dana were a bit more intentional this time, and decided to add another baby to the growing family. It was then his girl, Coley Bear, joined the family. Following this tour at Great Lakes, he was transferred to Samuel B. Roberts and headed for the Persian Gulf. During this time, the ship was hit by a mine which created an additional separation from “his girls”. Upon return, he finished his active duty with the US Navy after 10 years, but chose to continue on in the Navy Reserves.
Though his initial hope as a civilian was to work at the University of Iowa, he secured a position at Bendix-King in Olathe, Kansas. Shortly after being settled in Olathe, Dana received an invitation for an interview in the Anesthesia Department at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Catherine encouraged him to go to the interview and he was offered the position as the Manager of the Anesthesia Support Team. Catherine encouraged Dana to find a hobby, so he quickly took up golf and spent many hours at Pleasant Valley Golf Course, where his two girls had the privilege of pulling his golf clubs and searching for golf balls after school. In 1991, while Catherine was pregnant with their third baby, Dana was selected to return to Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Though it was certainly not ideal that he missed this pregnancy, Dana returned home safely prior to Tyler’s birth.
When Catherine received an opportunity back in the Chicago area, Dana continued to utilize his technical knowledge through Doctor’s Oxygen and then Datex Omeda, as a technical instructor. During this time, Dana retired from the United States Navy after 20 years of service. It was then that Catherine told him to find a passion and he informed his supervisor he had been working with one means of life support, but he was going to share a life support that really matters. He was heading to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in the fall of 2001.
Upon graduation from the Seminary in 2005, his first call was to Trinity Lutheran in Slayton, Minnesota. After a year, he resigned and the family moved back to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He was called to Christ Lutheran Church, Sheboygan, WI where he served from 2006 until retirement. He felt his gift was to assist vacant congregations either through vacancy or intentional interim positions. In this capacity, Dana served at Faith Lutheran in Sturtevant, WI, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Rome, GA and Peace Lutheran in Beaver Dam, WI. He was always willing to fill in when fellow clergy needed time away.
Dana is survived by his wife of 38 years, Catherine; his children, Jennifer and Steve Stuckey with his grandchildren Evaline and Oliver; Nicole and David Alton and Tyler and Sarah Loney who all enjoyed spending time in the truck house (RV) or camper with Opa, boating on area lakes where we lived, traveling to Florida each year to enjoy walks on the beach and sunrises over the ocean. Time with his family was always important.
His siblings Darrell, Melissa, Michele and Doug. Countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Preceding Dana in death are his parents, Darrell and June Loney, his father and mother-in-law, Virgil and MonnaLou Weidler, and his sisters, Brenda and Marcia.
Funeral services for Dana will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 210 E. Pleasant Street, Oconomowoc at 11:00AM. A visitation will be held on Friday, December 3, 2021 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM and again from 10:00AM until the service at 11:00AM on Saturday, all at the church. Military honors will be celebrated for Dana following the services.
In lieu of other forms of sympathy, memorial contributions in Dana’s name may be directed to Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, to be used for the Gold Star Family Home Program. https://t2t.org/gold-star/
For those unable to attend, those wishing to share a memory or those wanting to just sign the on-line guest registry, please click the "Share a Memory" link below Dana's photo.
Thelen Funeral Services of North Prairie/Genesee is honored to be assisting the Loney family. 262-392-4251