Daniel George Brainard, age 53, of Rockford, passed away unexpectedly of accidental injuries on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Dan was born on February 8, 1968 to George and Jane Brainard.
Dan primarily grew up in Grand Rapids where he attended what is now known as Northpointe High School; he also graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Davenport University in Business. He used his degree as well as his natural gifts and talents to work for and later own Brainard Enterprises, building a reputation as a locker specialist and one of the highest selling reps in the area for Lyon products.
He met his wife Melissa at D&W when he ordered flowers for his grandparents 50th anniversary. Two weeks later, he came back to thank her and he married her 4 years later. He was a devoted father, cheering the loudest at sporting events and dance competitions for his two beautiful daughters. He was very much hands on and often accompanied them on school trips and volunteered for their many activities.
Dan was very athletic and played many sports throughout his life, but he was most passionate about running. He was a team leader for Gazelle Sports for many years and was an encourager and supporter to all. It was important for him to learn his fellow runners’ names and help them to reach their goals. He accomplished his own personal goal when he made the 2 hour club for the Amway River Bank Run in May 2019. He supported My Team Triumph by being an Angel and helping others to cross the finish line that may not have been able to do so on their own.
You would often see Dan around town trying out many of the local breweries, attending rock concerts, on the nature trails and riding his motorcycle. In 2009 Dan had heart valve replacement and found out his blood type was B Positive. From that day forward, he said what was pumping through his veins would be how he lived his life. He touched everyone’s life that he came into contact with trying to make their day a little brighter. He will be greatly missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Brainard and mother-in-law, Mary Sterling. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 26 years, Melissa; daughters, Gabrielle and Lauren; father, George (Karen) Brainard; brother, David (Heather) Brainard; sister, Teri (Carl) Barnett; 5 nephews and 6 nieces, several aunts and uncles, and many friends who adore him.
Relatives and friends may meet the family on Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 5-8:00 pm at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr., Belmont. Please bring a sticker that best reflects your relationship with Dan.
A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, October 8, 2021 at 11:00 at Bridgeway Community Church, 7700 Childsdale Ave NE, Rockford, with Pastor Mike Antuma officiating. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Michigan Chapter of My Team Triumph. https://www.mttwestmichigan.org/
Condolences may be sent online at stegengafuneralchapel.com
I ran and was a team leader with Dan and will never forget his personality. He was very motivating and such a positive influence. Rest In Peace Dan; you will be greatly missed.
- Jori Foutch
- Jori Foutch
What a shocking and sad thing it was when I heard about Dan’s accident. I have known Dan since high school. I haven’t been around him much in recent years, but do remeber he always seemed to have a smile on his face, sometimes seemingly mischievious. My connections with him were through his brother, Dave, high school and church league softball. I have always respected the Brainard family and their desire to pour into others and their down to earth and engaging way of doing life.
My condolences to the whole family. Dan is gone too soon and will I’m sure be missed by those close to him. Thinking of you and prayers as you learn to cope with this loss. Doug
- Doug Clark
Dan was a true gentleman to do business with over the years . He was very loyal to our company . We worked on many locker projects together. I would come to visit him at the office and aside from business we would talk about our kids and how much they meant to us . Truly a great man who will be missed by all. Rest in Peace
- Frank Lopez
Even though we didn’t cross path often in recent years, Dan was always a great friend. His sense of humor brought us right back to the good old softball and Karaoke days. You will be missed my friend.
- Randy Katerberg
I only met Dan a few times at Gazelle’s run camp. He to me was very energetic, postitive and great group leader. I know he will be surely miss.
- Thierry Werderits
Such stunningly sad news. I first was a teenage acquaintance of Dan’s father, George, thru Baptist Youth Fellowship monthly hymnsings. A few years later we were pleasantly surprised when the Brainard family moved to our neighborhood in Jenison for a few years. We reconnected a couple years ago at a Lamplight Drive Reunion and I realized what a beautiful man of integrity and success Dan had become. So glad to have had that opportunity to “know” Dan again. To Melissa, Gabrielle, Lauren, George and Karen, David, and Teri, my prayer is that you know God’s comfort and peace, and that you feel His loving arms around you as you walk through the days and weeks ahead. I’m so sorry for your loss. 😢🙏
- Maggie Schuitman
I ran with Dan for one season at gazelle run camp. Him and I often ran together and had great conversations. I truly enjoyed his presence. His sense of humor was like no other. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family
I hope you feel his love and see signs of him often ❤️
- Jennifer Duprey
Dan was such an encourager to every single runner he saw at Run Camp. I remember when he hit the 2 hour club at the Riverbank Run. It was simply incredible. I will miss his enthusiasm.
- Carol DeYoung
Danny was a stand out friend since 2nd grade! Sooo many shenanigans through the years including a trip to Florida for spring break (even more shenanigans!) Through Davenport days, and then ending up being neighbors years later! I’ve gone through photos of past memories with Danny….gone to soon and he was such a kind, friendly & fun guy!!! ❤️
- Chaparral Shimko
I worked with Dan for the past 12 years and went through many highs and lows with him in that time. Through it all, his dedication and perseverance was astonishing. He was a great businessman and someone I can honestly say was great friend I met because of our business together. When he would call, it would always bring a smile to face as regardless of what we were discussing, he was always someone I looked forward to speaking with. He was able to be focused and determined while making it fun. Dan, you will be greatly missed by me and many others. Rest in peace.
- Chrystall Burgher