Just as the auditorium could not accommodate all the mourners who came to pay tribute to Danny Duggan, this whole page would not provide enough space to list the names of all the lives which have been touched and the noble deeds that have been done by Danny. The faith, love, and earnest commitment of this one man have left lasting imprints on all who knew him. His leadership was a gentle but strong guiding force not only for the staff and kids of the Cherokee Home for Children, but also for the community, which extends far beyond the borders of Cherokee, Texas.
Robert Baugh, Spiritual Life Minister of Cherokee Home for Children, described Danny as "part boy, part man beautifully wrapped by God." He could not be out worked…He set a pace for his campus to follow. A vision for leadership through a disciplined work ethic became the mark… Danny made things happen and his Spirit was infectious. He wanted his staff and parents to be involved in the community—The American Cancer Society, Volunteer Fire Department, PTC, School Board, School Concessions, Fourth of July, Fall Festival. ‘You always represent the Home,’ Danny would say. ‘Most importantly, you represent Christ,’" wrote Baugh in A Legacy to Follow.
Indeed, Danny Duggan represented Christ – especially in humility. Danny’s position at the Children’s Home and his status in the community never gave him a sense of superiority. He seemed more content to take the role of servant – cleaning refrigerators and mowing lawns for new residents, serving refreshments to children and bikers, decorating the town for holidays, and offering his own vehicle to anyone in need of transportation to doctor’s appointments or work. It was a common practice for Danny to ask, "What do you need?" And the next day a work crew he had organized would show up on your doorstep or in your yard. Janiece Duggan often worried that Danny’s health would suffer from his working ceaselessly and his intense concern for the welfare of his family, his staff, and the children. But Danny would never complain to his wife, or to anyone else. He would never say that he was too tired or too busy to tend to any matter that was troubling someone else.
Danny’s sudden departure has left us all spellbound. But his life has left us all significantly richer and wonderfully wiser and aware of God’s purpose for man. It is evident that Danny fulfilled that purpose. The upgrading of the Home’s campus was not the only transformation Danny achieved. His sincere love and active involvement in the lives of children and adults changed hearts and inspired souls. He was not able to deliver his farewell address, but Paul’s letter to the Philippians would have suited Danny well: "Finally brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely … think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you." (Phil. 4:8-9).
(Editor’s Note: For those that do not know, Danny Duggan was the Executive Director of Cherokee Home for Children and passed away January 18, 2011.)