by Linda Susan Follansbee

Daniel Howard Follansbee was born May 27, 1965. The third child of Gordon and
Susan Follansbee, they brought him home to 423 Middle Rd where he would
spend his entire childhood. It was an idyllic childhood. His maternal grandparents
lived just up the street from their three grandchildren. His paternal grandfather
visited weekly. Next door were our beloved neighbors, the Dreschers.

There were day trips to the mountains, hikes in the white mountains, weeklong
camping trips and ice creams, always ice cream. There were fresh vegetables
from our garden, strawberries, peaches, pumpkins, homemade apple cider and
homemade ice cream in the winter. There were chicks, chickens, horses and a
pony, a cow and calves, ducks, hamsters, gineau pigs, fish, a turtle named myrtle
and a cat. There were cub scouts, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Grange
fairs, haying with the grandparents and crowded dinners with the Johnstons.

I know he developed his love of sports from his childhood. He played baseball on
a little league farm team. He was a skinny little kid and his red glove seemed
almost as big as he was. He took it to Fenway one time and got it signed by Luis
Tiant. We played kickball in the front yard. If the ball went over the house it was
a home run. Mom took us to many red sox games over the years and we usually
sat in the bleachers. She also took us one time to see the Tea Men play soccer at
what is now Gillette. My father watched all the sports on television and as a
result we all watched along too. As an adult, Daniel watched and routed for the
Red Sox and of course enjoyed the Tom Brady years with the Patriots. He also
developed a love of watching Notre Dame football.

Turns out three is a difficult number for siblings. There are only two window
seats in the car and someone always gets stuck sitting in the middle. Only two
can sit beside Gram at the dinner table. We only had two bedrooms for three
children, until Mom stepped in and built a wall down the middle of the boys
room. We bickered over many things. The most ridiculous was over the
television. One day Mom told us to turn off the television. It had a button- you
pushed it to turn on and pushed it to turn off. Dan and I lunged for the television,
to be the one that got to turn it off. We turned it off alright, right off the table.

Dan developed his faith early on. Besides attending church and Sunday school,
our grandmother used to read to us. She often read from a Children’s Bible that
she had. She would sit in her easy chair with one of us on her lap and the other
two on each arm of the chair. She let us pick what to read to us and for once we
usually agreed. Page 388, Paul and Silas in jail.

Daniel took some computer courses at Northern Essex while still in High School
and egged on by his older brother, he decided to graduate a year early. He then
got a full time job at Baybank and moved into an apartment with friends of
Russell’s in Waltham. He went full time to Bentley while working full time. He
graduated from Bentley and moved into a better apartment in Watertown with
one of the same roommates. A few years later, his roommate moved out and
around the same time my roommate moved out too. I am not sure that Daniel
wanted to live with his sister, but he realized that sharing the expenses was a
good thing. It was around this time that he met the love of his life, Lynne. They
met at work, but also both attended Grace Chapel. Eventually they decided to
marry and bought a house in Wakefield. It may have needed more improvements
than they figured. Daniel enrolled in BC Law School and they moved to Westboro
for a short time. After that they bought their home in North Andover. Daniel
completed a joint JD/MBA. Then Faith was born. Having a new baby might seem
like a bad time to study for the bar, but not to Daniel. He passed the bar exam of
course. Joshua came along to complete the family. Daniel took to fatherhood
right away. He loved it and was an excellent father.

I always wondered how he found the time to work in Boston and spend time with
his family, but he did. I figured he needed less sleep than the rest of us. The
reality is he was very driven to achieve. He had a very strong work ethic, and a
family to provide for. Somehow, he managed to give both his best attention. He
loved taking the kids to sporting events. He also really enjoyed driving them to
school on his way to Boston. About 15 years ago, Daniel and Lynne moved to
West Newbury. This was a dream come true for my parents, having their
grandchildren in the same town.

Daniel went on many trips with both Faith and Joshua to visit colleges. He was
proud of how well they both did in school. A treasured memory was the entire
family attending Faith’s graduation at U Mass together. When Josh settled on
Notre Dame, it gave Daniel and the rest of us, a new team to route for. Another
treasured memory was our family travelling to South Bend to watch Joshua play
tuba in the marching band at a football game. When covid hit, only Daniel and
Lynne were able to attend the graduation, which made us so grateful we had
visited there the year before.

Daniel told me on several occasions how proud he was of both his children. He
was not just proud of their accomplishments, he was proud of the people they
had become. He gave most of the credit to Lynne for that. I am sure he’s right,
but together they also showed them how to have a solid Christian marriage. He
treasured trips to western Mass to visit Faith and trips to Indiana to visit Joshua.

When our mother got cancer, Daniel attended every Dr. visit in Boston with her.
He also researched her disease to make sure that she was getting the best
treatment. When she entered hospice he was at her bedside a lot, including her
final breaths. He then took on many of the financial tasks for Dad. When Dad
had his stroke, Daniel was again at his bedside in the hospital. Daniel then helped
Russell and I with the legalities of settling the estate.

Daniel was a very private person. When he was diagnosed with cancer he told
only a few people. He rarely brought it up, but would answer questions when
asked. He faced the battle courageously and with determination to overcome it.
He endured many different treatments/surgeries over the years. He worked in
corporate law until almost the end. He did not want any special considerations
due to the cancer. He never complained about the unfairness of it. When asked
if he was in pain, he always told me, just discomfort.

I don’t know why Daniel got cancer. What I do know is that it was his family and
his determination that helped him to fight so long. I have no doubts that Daniel is
in heaven with the God that he served. That’s an awesome thing. I wish I could
say that takes away our sorrow at not having him with us. It does not. It’s ok to
cry and be sad. I am grateful for the time we did have together. I believe that
Daniel would prefer that we focus on how he lived his life and the memories that
we shared rather than on the cancer that ended it. We had time to tell each
other how we felt. I am grateful that we had that time and that Daniel knew how
much we all loved him, as well as, we knew he loved us. Daniel its not goodbye
because we will see each other again. We love you!