Daniel R. Hereley, 79, a lifelong resident of Harvard and self-proclaimed raconteur, died peacefully at Mary B’s at Bickford of Crystal Lake, on Thursday, August 6, 2020, after battling dementia. He was born November 29, 1940, to Raymond and Evelyn (Quigley) Hereley. Dan attended St. Joseph’s and Harvard Grade Schools. He began learning the family businesses early, often accompanying his father to cattle auctions as a child. He went to Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, before graduating from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul where he played football. It was during this time that his brother, Don, introduced him to Susan Murphy of Woodstock. After working in Iowa in the grain business, Dan returned to Harvard to work with his father at R. J. Hereley and Sons. He and Sue married on September 30, 1967, in Woodstock and made their home in Harvard. Together they raised four children. Dan taught his kids to fish and to hunt, and he enjoyed trips canoeing and fishing with the kids on the Chippewa River, in addition to an annual fishing trip to Bena, MN, and fishing and hunting with them in Springstead and Boulder Junction, WI, as well as many other locations.
He was a hard-working man when he sold Hereley Grain. He then worked really “hard” at retirement. Dan was a great supporter of his kids’ games at the Harvard Boys League and HERS fields in addition to the many activities throughout their years in high school and college; he continued to support Harvard schools for years after his children graduated. He later returned to his bleacher seats for his grandchildren’s summer baseball and softball, activities, and sports in junior high and at Big Foot and Harvard High Schools. Dan truly loved fiddling around the pond at Bunker Hill with his family and his dogs and working on projects there with his friend, Don. This was where he enjoyed many hours, foremost among them, teaching his grandchildren to catch and release by fishing with no barbs. He was a very proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
When not driving around the countryside, checking on crops, or hitching a ride in a tractor, Dan could often be found solving the world’s problems with the coffee group at Nick’s. He loved to golf with his friends, some of whom witnessed his hole-in-one at GWC! He upped his games to Bokeelia, FL, where he met many great friends while learning to navigate shallow waters to find the best fishing spots. He fished and golfed with his kids and grandkids, and took boat rides with Sue. Dan enjoyed hosting golf trips with a little fishing or fishing trips with a little golfing in Bokeelia with friends.
Our family would like to thank Dr. S. Michael Lesser for his many years of care. We were blessed to have Erwin Pangilinan caring for him for 16 months so he could remain in his home. We are grateful to the nurses and CNAs of Mary B.’s for the wonderful care provided over the last six months, especially during the COVID-19 closure when we could not visit to see him in person. Words cannot express our deep thanks and appreciation.
Dan is survived by his wife of 52 years, Susan M. Hereley; his children Dr. Mary (DeAngelo) Cooke, Paul Hereley, Patrick (Sara) Hereley, and Tom Hereley; his grandchildren, Caelyn, Michael, Andrew, Alexandra, Jillian and Adam Cooke; Samantha, Jack, Danny, and Erik Hereley, and Evelyn and Marion Hereley; and his great-grandson, Daniel Luca. He is also survived by his sisters- and brothers-in-law, Kay Howell, Eileen (Bruce) Mathews, Mary (Dennis) Macaluso, John (Marty) Murphy, Kelly (Brian) Wood, David (Tonya) Murphy, and Colleen (Tom) Clarke; Ken Howell; numerous nieces and nephews, several cousins, and many great friends. He was preceded in death by his brother Don in 1960, his parents, his brother-in-law, Mark Murphy, and his in-laws, Mary (Mick) and Ray Murphy.
There will be a private inurnment service for the family. A celebration of life will be held at a later time due to COVID-19. In lieu of flowers, please hit a round of golf with friends, take your child or grandchild fishing or hunting, take a drive in the country to check on the corn or beans, take a ride in a combine, or do just about anything enjoying the outdoors. And if you are so inclined, donations may be made to the Harvard Booster Club in Dan’s name.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.saundersmcfarlin.net.
Call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home for more info at 815-943-5400.
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