Daniel Tharp

Obituary of Daniel Edward Tharp

2/24/1968 - 6/03/2021 Daniel Edward Tharp, a naturalist, teacher, welder, and artist passed at his home in Cottonwood, Arizona. His father and mother called him Daniel, his sisters called him Danny, his nephews called him Uncle Dan, and countless others simply called him their friend. Those who knew him will remember his wisdom, modesty, thoughtfulness, warm smile, quiet laugh, and, most of all, his extension of kindness to any and all living creatures. Not simply a passenger in life, Daniel was a lifelong learner, a deep thinker, and, most importantly, open to new experiences. Students, friends, and family were fortunate that he was so willing to share his knowledge. Moreover, he was able to make incredible comparisons across many topics by weaving different strands of information while never once making you feel that he was lecturing you. He suggested books by Edward Abbey, Henry Miller, and Peter Singer, the movies The Milagro Beanfield War and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and, of course, the music of the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Major Lingo. He also had an incredible sense of humor that he shared while watching screwball 80s comedies with his nephews. However, those who knew him best will remember his affinity and respect for the Native American people and their cultures. Daniel Tharp was a keen observer of everyday American life. He believed that we come to better understand our fellow man through everyday conversation. And, similar to novelist Ken Kesey, he was able to draw upon his eclectic background to initiate conversations. Daniel threw shot-put and played football at Munster High School, worked construction during summer break, played football at Franklin College, wrote a masters thesis “Come hear Uncle John's Band : religious behavior in the wake of the nineteen-sixties”, worked as a sheet metal worker after completing his apprenticeship, and taught creative writing. In conversations with his family and close friends, he let on that his creative writing class gave him a great deal of happiness. Mr. Tharp was born in Indiana. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Indiana University and graduate degree in religious studies from Arizona State University. He was on staff at LeMans Academy, taught at Purdue Calumet, Northern Arizona University, and, when he passed, he was teaching at American Heritage Academy. He settled in the Verde Valley of Arizona, surrounded by the red rock and the land he loved. It certainly was a long strange trip. We are grateful for his dear friend Danielle Hlava, with whom he shared so much, and his numerous friends and colleagues. Mr. Tharp is preceded in death by his mother Viva Lou Tharp and sister Mishelle Anderson. Daniel is survived by his father, Daniel Tharp, his sister and brother-in-law Sherry and Walter Nowak, and nephews Adam and Ryan Nowak.