Cover photo for Daniel Joseph Bushneck's Obituary
Daniel Joseph Bushneck Profile Photo
1944 Daniel 2023

Daniel Joseph Bushneck

September 3, 1944 — May 17, 2023

Obituary for Daniel Joseph Bushneck September 3, 1944 - May 17, 2023 Daniel Joseph Bushneck, retired teacher of the Broward County School District, died Thursday, May 17, 2023, at age 78, after a very long, valiant battle with prostate cancer. He passed peacefully at home with his wife of almost 46 years, Nancy, and daughters, Jane and Diana, at his side. Other family members made frequent visits over his last few months, which buoyed his spirits. Dan was a teacher at his core, patiently working with his students, as well as his children and grandchildren, sharing his knowledge of so many things. He taught Industrial Arts in upstate New York for 4 years before relocating to sunny, warm south Florida where he taught metal and wood shop at McArthur High School for many years before transferring to Cooper City High as their Electricity & Electronics teacher. He taught for Broward County for 35 years before retiring in 2006. Dan was born in Syracuse, New York, to parents Joseph and Anastasia "Nancy" Bushneck. He was the third of four children. His father, a former pea farmer, was then a trucker hauling freight to Long Island. Some summers, Dan rode along on some of his father's trips. Dan went to Sacred Heart School in his Polish neighborhood from first to ninth grade. He then went to Central Tech High as they offered a Electronics course he was interested in. After his graduation, he went to Onondaga Community College for two years, then to SUNY Oswego where he graduated in 1967 with a BA in Industrial Arts Education. Following graduation, he lived at home and taught Industrial Arts for 4 years at East Syracuse-Minoa High School. One of Dan's summer jobs was working at a book agency. His job was to strip covers off magazines to send back for credit. He was able to keep some of the magazines that interested him, like Cruising World and other boating magazines. Even as a child, he always wanted a sailboat. Tired of the ice and snow, and wanting to try sailing, he applied to Broward County and was offered a job at McArthur High School. Checking the classified ads in the Sunday New York Times, he found a fixer-upper 25' Pennant Sloop build in 1930 located in Stamford, CT. After a trip to check it out, he returned home, packed, got a loan for the boat, sold his Corvette, took his savings and a Greyhound Bus to Connecticut. He worked a month on the boat, then a nice couple took him out on their boat to show him how to sail since he had never done it. Finally, he left for the long, eventful trip to Florida thru Cape May, the Chesapeake Bay, Pamlico Sound, and the Intracoastal. Running late, he pulled into a Marina to leave his boat so as not to be late for school. A few weeks later, he returned to his boat, taking it out at West Palm Beach, but fell asleep on an on-shore tack, sinking the boat in 6' of water off what is now Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Undeterred, this was just the beginning of his long love of sailing. Before the year was out, he bought another 1939 wooden sailboat - this time a 35' yawl, the "Fertile Turtle." With a 6' draught and made of wood, it was not ideal for sailing in Florida or Bahamian waters. Most of Dan's summers were spent either sailing or repairing his boat. Next, he went with fiberglass and bought a 27' Vega sloop "Nautique." In this boat, he sailed with his brother Jim and friend Mike Herman all the way to Venezuela and back. On their way there, he said it was like being inside a washing machine. They would tie down the tiller, and just poke their head up every once in a while, to look out for big ships or land. His stories of this trip are renowned! What an adventure they had and survived! Finally, he sold the Vega, and bought his 35' Bristol Sloop, "Twilite," which he enjoyed for many years -- always the Easter Cruise to Bimini, but he did longer Bahama cruises every summer with a large crew of friends, nephews, and family. Today his boat would be easily mistaken for an immigrant smuggling operation. Sometimes there would be a dozen or more cruisers aboard, sleeping all over the sides of the deck, in the cockpit, and below! But it was always fun, and everyone trusted Dan's nautical capability. Initially, his only electronic equipment would be a cheap radio, which he would turn to determine where the station was coming from to chart his route. It was always a learning experience. His love of his boat "Twilite" continued until the end. He could not part with it, even in its disrepair and the fact it had not left our dock for over 20 years! He still had dreams.... Dan's love of learning continued his entire life -- he always read the daily paper, several magazines, plus enjoyed reading books on his kindle. Never idle, he loved to have a project - fixing anything from broken pipes, replacing windows, doing all the maintenance on our home and cars. And, he loved working with wood - making furniture, including tables, and kindergarten chairs for his grandchildren - something they'll cherish forever. Besides his home and boat, he loved his cottage on Lake Ontario which was built by his father. We made sure to always spend time there every summer. There was always lots of repairs and painting to do every summer after the harsh winters, but it was refreshing to be out of Florida during the sizzling summer. The kids always made the trip up there to see their cousins, enjoy the lake, and surrounding countryside. When the kids were there, our work was put aside to enjoy the grandkids, the beach, his Boston Whaler, kayaks, walks to the point, etc. Lots of memories.... A dog lover, he always included our dogs on our trips north, on walks, and even on early sailing trips and on his plane. Kizzy, Trina, Dora, and Isla were each special to him. Dan and his wife Nancy, a retired Human Resources Coordinator for Macy's, made the most of their retirement years, spending most of their summers on Lake Ontario at their cottage and sometimes also in the fall, working out at the local gym, and doing some travelling. They especially enjoyed cruising -- several trans-Atlantic repositioning cruises to Europe, cruises to Alaska, and in Hawaii. Both enjoyed visiting historic places, art museums, and unusual sights in the countries they travelled. A trip to Poland to his father's boyhood home was especially memorable. Always kind to all, considerate, helpful, Dan did not have a bad bone in his body. He went out of his way to help friends, neighbors, strangers who had a question needing his vast knowledge of how things work and how to fix them. He had an amazing sense of humor, coming up with some crazy original sayings and jokes. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He rarely got angry and was so loving and caring to all. Dan's favorite role, however, was that of "Papa" to his grandchildren. The highlight of any day is when one or more of the kids came over. We were especially lucky to have provided childcare for Jane's 3 children as infants, after their 3-hour pre-school day, and lately after the school day, even for an hour or so. Watching our grandchildren grow and learn has been a joy. Dan was always involved from the start - feeding them as babies, rocking them to sleep, reading to them, taking them on walks to the park, etc. The kids loved their Papa and he loved playing blocks, games, or helping them with their school projects. He always had time for our children and grandchildren. Dan was pre-deceased by his parents and by his infant son Jeffrey. He is survived by his wife Nancy, son Joseph (Cassie), daughters Jane (Sean) and Diana (Michael), and grandchildren Lily, Nicholas, Alanta, Charlotte, Mia, Ella, Emily, Jase, and Avalon. He is also survived by his sisters Sally and Rosemary, and his brother Jim (Joan), and many nieces and nephews. Dan fought his battle with cancer for 30 years, taking advantage of every treatment available. In addition to the usual radiation and chemotherapy he was in several trials, some of which may have helped a little, others which may have caused more issues. But he was a big supporter of the studies to find a cure. He was constantly reading up on studies and amazed his doctors with his knowledge of the various treatments, many of which he had experienced. He was always very brave, never ever complained, and did not want to give up trying, but his body finally gave out with the cancer winning. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dan's name to any of the following organizations would be greatly appreciated: Cancer Research Institute (, St. Jude(, and The American Cancer Society ( Visitation will be Wednesday, May 24, 2023, from 5:00-9:00 p.m., at TM Ralph Funeral Home, 7001 NW 4th St, Plantation, FL 33317. The Funeral Mass for Dan will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church, 2731 SW 11th Ct., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

5:00 - 9:00 pm (Eastern time)

T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home

7001 NW 4th St, Plantation, FL 33317

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Funeral Mass

Thursday, May 25, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church

2785 SW 11th Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

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