Obituary for Daniel David "Dan" Blais
Daniel David Blais
Age 49 of Maplewood and St. Paul
Loving Son, Brother, and Uncle
Dan was born on October 20, 1968 in St. Paul. He was the second of two children born to Marilyn (nee Kjelsberg) and David Blais. David and Marilyn raised Dan and his sister Barbara in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood where they both attended and graduated from Harding High School.
Dan was known for being a huge movie buff. He enjoyed all the classics and especially horror films. Throughout his short 49 years, he had seen over 10,000 movies, earning him the nickname “The Movie Master”. When he wasn’t watching movies, he was likely to be drawing or some other artistic activity. Those closest to Dan will confirm that he had a very quirky personality. This quirkiness ranged from his dark sense of humor, his extensive knowledge of popular culture trivia, and his taste in odd cereals and candies. He definitely had a sweet tooth and always seemed to have a huge array of ice cream treats, desserts, candies and cereals on supply at home. His two nephews, Jonah and Calvin, particularly loved this about Dan and would indulge in those sweets with him whenever they were together. As an uncle, Dan had a close relationship with the two boys. He would often babysit them when they were younger so Barb and Chris could go on dates. He was always intrigued with everything they talked about whether it was the television shows they were watching or the activities they were involved in. He was always an active participant when they were young, especially building Legos with them. He also greatly enjoyed drawing pictures for them of their favorite cartoon characters. Eventually a whole wall of the family room was full of his drawings.
Dan was not only a great uncle but he was a very loyal son to Marilyn and a wonderful brother to Barb and her husband, Chris. Dan’s father passed away when he was a young adult. As Dan’s mother has grown older, he became her rock and support. He was the one to get groceries, take care of things around the house, and get out and about with her. When it came to giving gifts, Dan was not about the material things but rather gifting people with his abilities. His family jokes that he probably painted the interior of Barb’s home three times and Chris would always joke that he never had to go on his roof to do any handy work with Dan around. Knowing Chris loved sports, Dan would make sure he kept up on the local teams so he and Chris could discuss them together. However, Dan was a true Vikings fan and enjoyed cheering for them and watched all their games. Besides being a movie buff, Dan was also a music buff. He loved anything from the 60’s and 70’s, especially Elvis music. He also enjoyed several trips he took to Nevada and California. He explored Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe but also enjoyed going “off the grid” and exploring unique and unusual places.
In May of 2017, Dan became sick and was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dan managed his symptoms with wonderful care from weekly nurse visits through the Healtheast Hospice program. With their great care and advice, he was able to live at home and continued to be able to enjoy reading and some of his artistic projects even as his health deteriorated. On Christmas Eve, he and his family had a phenomenal night together, eating, talking, and playing trivia games. Then, on Christmas Day, he had to go to Regions Hospital where he had to make the decision to go back home or to a hospice home. Dan made the difficult choice himself and they brought him to The Pillars Hospice Home in Oakdale. This was a blessing to Marilyn as it was close to the Maplewood home they have lived in for almost 7 years. He received wonderful care from the staff there and Dan told his family many times how thankful he was for how caring the staff was and for how comfortable they made him. After almost two weeks at The Pillars, Dan passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 7, 2018.
He is preceded in death by his father, David Blais; his paternal grandparents, Edward and Helen Blais; and his maternal grandparents, Maurice and Dorothy Kjelsberg. He will be dearly missed by his mother, Marilyn Blais of Maplewood; his sister, Barbara (Chris) Rueb of St. Paul; his nephews, Calvin and Jonah Rueb who are both in college in Madison, WI; his godparents, Carol and Mel Tollefson of Bloomington; and other family and friends. There will be private services for his family.