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Daniel William Mielke, 71, of Monticello, MN passed away peacefully on December 9, 2023 at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta, MN after a 24 year, hard fought and courageous battle with recurrent prostate cancer.
Dan was born on June 11, 1952 in Little Falls, MN. He grew up with his parents and siblings on their family’s hog and beef farm outside Swanville, MN. After graduating in 1970 from Swanville High School he moved on to the University of Minnesota, Morris campus graduating in four years with a double major in Biological Sciences and Health, and a minor in Physical Education. He later went on to earn his master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Dan married his high school sweetheart, Linda Marie Schmidt, on August 26, 1972 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Swanville, MN. Together their hearts beat with pride as the parents of Lee and Kristen, both Monticello graduates, as well as six grandchildren who have kept them busy with all their activities.
In addition to a full family life, Dan had three careers in his lifetime - - teaching, coaching and business - - positively impacting many people in many ways. He was well respected and enjoyed a fair amount of success in each of these areas.
Dan began his teaching and coaching career with one year in Delavan, MN; his next two years in Walnut Grove, MN; before the Monticello, MN school district hired him at the start of the 1977-78 school year. He was a health and science teacher there for 34 years. He was named head girls basketball coach his first year in Monticello where he coached for nine seasons, never finishing lower than 3rd in the conference. He organized and started the Center Court Club for boys’ and girls’ youth basketball. Dan also coached baseball and football during his career in Monticello and helped set up the Youth Baseball Association while coaching that sport.
Anoka-Ramsey Community College hired him in 1987 where he spent nine years as the head women’s basketball coach winning numerous State titles, two Region titles, and a Division 3 National Championship, defeating teams from as far away as Alabama and Oklahoma. He was also honored as a State, Region, and National College Coach of the Year.
Dan had to step away from coaching for a few years for medical reasons. He returned to the Monticello Girls Basketball program in 2011 serving as an assistant coach. He spent seven seasons helping the Magic earn three trips to the State Tournament.
Dan had a huge impact on our community. He spent time in the business world as a Commercial Property Developer bringing many new businesses to our community (Jiffy Lube, Papa Johns, Jimmy Johns, and Dairy Queen to name a few). He also served on the Planning Commission for Silver Creek Township.
In his leisure time Dan enjoyed boating, four-wheeling, movies with buttered popcorn, traveling with family and friends, observing most sporting events, enjoying his lake home with family and friends, and visiting at length.
Dan is survived by his wife: Linda; two children and their families: Lee (Christin) Mielke, Payton, Parker & Cameron of Ramsey, MN; Kristen (Christopher) Sonju, Ellie, Ethan & Ava of Glencoe, MN. He is also survived by his mother: Lois Mielke; brothers: David (Rhonda) Mielke, Douglas (Mary) Mielke, Dean Mielke; sister: Kim (Brad Lundquist) Mielke; and many loving nieces, nephews, additional relatives and friends.
Dan was preceded in death by his father: Alvin Mielke; as well as other aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Special heartfelt thanks go out to the personnel at Quiet Oaks Hospice House, St. Croix Hospice, Mayo Clinic and Hospital, Stellis Health, CentraCare Hospital, Pastor Amy Chalupnik, and Thad Brenny of Video Legacy Masters.
A visitation will be held Monday, December 18, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel in Monticello. Memorial Service to be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monticello on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 11:00 AM, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Opportunities to share a few words on how Dan may have impacted you in your lifetime will be available at each event. Feel free to wear your favorite Monticello Redmen/Magic or ARCC Golden Rams basketball attire! G.I.D.
Dan’s family invites you to lunch and sharing of more memories in Trinity’s Fellowship Hall immediately following the memorial service. A private interment will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Quiet Oaks Hospice House, to Mayo Clinic for cancer research, the American Cancer Society, Trinity Lutheran Church, or your favorite local school sports program.
Serving the family is Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel of Monticello, MN. 763-295-2918. www.peterson-grimsmochapel.com