Daniel J. Hart Sr., also known to his friends as Big Jug or Big Lug, age 60, of Esko, Minnesota, and formerly of Lac Courte Oreilles, passed away on the evening of Sept. 3, 2020, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Daniel Joseph Hart was born Oct. 21, 1959, in Hayward, the son of Joseph and Mary (Butler) Hart. His family comes from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. Dan lived and worked for the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School as a bus driver for many years and also in Duluth as a maintenance engineer for the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project until his retirement.  Odjig-Anung was selfless, kind and had a huge heart that will live on in spirit. To all who knew him, his sense of humor brought smiles and laughter. Dan could rebuild a car from bumper to bumper, but there might be a few parts left over. He would fix your brakes for the cost of the parts plus $20. Dan’s love of the woods, fishing and card games is where he enjoyed spending his time with family and friends. He was always happy to share those joys and teachings with loved ones. Dan wrote the following words that he wanted to share with family and friends that were read as his remains were placed at his beloved childhood home: 

“To my family, thanks for always being there for me. Life is what we make it, we almost don’t get what we want but by asking we get close. Do we really want to settle for that? I think not, so we in our lives work hard for that respect, love with a lot of humility, and effort by ourselves and others around us. Harts, back in the day, were great healers; this new generation needs to earn that back with honesty, humility, and respect to stand your ground and stop abusing and feeding that addiction and start living a clean sober life. Challenge the young generation to stand up and speak respect. Let the abuse stop here! We have lost enough already. I love all of you.” 

Dan would want our thoughts, prayers, sorrow and tears to turn to celebration and funny stories. Please honor him in that way. He was our father, grandfather, sibling, loved one and helper to all. 

Dan is survived by his sons, Daniel Hart Jr. and Ryan Hart, and their mother, Joyce Miller; stepsons, Jesse (Hanna Dahl) Begay and Wyatt (Kaya) Begay, and their mother and longtime companion, Martha Lippitt; grandchildren, Dante Thayer, Elliona Staves and Brighton Hart Begay; brother, Todd Hart; aunt, Ann Hart; and many cousins and friends. 

Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary Hart; brother, Troy Hart; grandfather, James Hart, and grandmother, Eileen White; and uncle, Ray Hart.

Private family services were held.

Online condolences may be shared at pineviewfuneralservice.com.

To plant a tree in memory of Daniel Odjig-Anung as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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