Daniel Craig Buenz

Daniel Craig Buenz

Daniel Craig Buenz

Rochester, MN

Daniel Craig Buenz was born in Onawa, IA, on April 11, 1953, to Jim and Donna Buenz. He grew up with his sister Deb and brother Tim in Charter Oak, IA, and graduated from Charter Oak-Ute Community Schools. He graduated from Westmar College in Le Mars, IA with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Industrial Arts and Physical Education.

Dan’s first teaching job was at Newell-Providence Community Schools where he taught Industrial Arts and coached boys basketball and girls softball. He would continue teaching and coaching for years in Iowa public schools, including Fairfield Community, Grand Community, and Willow Community Schools. During his time in Newell, Dan met and married his long-time wife, Carol Hedberg. While teaching at Willow and living in Aurelia, Dan and Carol welcomed three children: Adam, Rachel, and Sarah.

Dan later returned to Drake University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Secondary Education Administration and subsequently, an Education Specialists degree to serve as a principal in Iowa public schools. Dan accepted his first secondary principal position at West Central Community Schools, resulting in their family’s move to Maynard. After four years, their family moved to Lake View, where Dan became the high school principal at Wall Lake View Auburn (known at that time as WLVA) Community Schools. Four years later, Dan accepted the secondary principal position at North Linn Community Schools, where he served as school administrator for the final time, and their family moved to Coggon and then Troy Mills, where they made a home for the past 23 years.

After his service as a school principal, Dan shifted his professional path from that of education to business, working briefly with several public companies. However, Dan deeply missed working with kids in a school setting and later returned to teaching Industrial Arts at Solon Community, Monticello Community, and finally, North Cedar Community Schools. During this period, Dan happily concluded his long career as an educator, coach, and principal and fulfilled his commitment to education in Iowa public schools.

In 2017, Dan was diagnosed with terminal multiple myeloma and was forced to retire. Fortunately, through excellent care from the medical staff at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, valiant fighting by himself, and from the loving support of his family and friends, Dan was able to fight off the disease for nearly seven years—more than double the prognosis he was given. During this time, Dan had the joy of welcoming seven of his eight grandchildren. On May 19, 2024, Dan died peacefully with his wife and children, all at his bedside and holding his hands. Though his battle has ended, his entry into the kingdom of heaven has begun, where he was reunited with his father, family, and friends who have preceded him.

Dan’s professional legacy will be that of a dedicated educator and will be remembered for his contributions to public schooling and most importantly, his devotion to the youth for which he served. Amongst his family and friends, he will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father, and doting grandfather. Dan enjoyed driving his cars, motorcycles and boat, woodworking, camping with family, watching basketball and cowboy Westerns, and most of all, spending time with his children and grandchildren. He valued volunteering at churches his family attended, most recently Noelridge Christian Church in Cedar Rapids, and other organizations of importance to him, including The Coggon Faith Mission Thrift Store and Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids.

Dan is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carol Hedberg, his three children, son Adam (wife, Amy) Hedberg-Buenz and their four children, Avery, Audrey, Alaina, and Amelia of Tipton, IA; daughter Rachel Good (partner Bill Brown), and her daughter Grace of Newhall, IA; and daughter Sarah (husband, Joe) Patava and their three children, Walter, Thatcher, and Betty of Waterloo, IA. He is also survived by his mother Donna Buenz; sister, Deb Geesaman; and brother, Tim (wife, Denise) Buenz, all of whom reside in Jefferson, IA.

A memorial service honoring Dan’s life will be held at Noelridge Christion Church, 7111C Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA at 4 PM on May 22. An open house dinner will immediately follow the memorial service (5–7:30 PM) on site at Noelridge Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to charitable organizations that were important to Dan: The Gift of Life Transplant House [https://gift-of-life.org/make-a-donation/], American Cancer Association [https://donate.cancer.org/], or Noelridge Christian Church’s Walking Trail Project [https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83884578088?pwd=S3FucDVOUG9xZ1hCa2cvL1R0T2ZOUT09].

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