Dan Zahnow was born and raised in Butler, WI. He moved several times before landing in North Carolina. After meeting his future wife Carolyn, he settled into southern life in north Raleigh. The two dated for five years until he asked her to marry him on Christmas Day, 1992.
They married in June 1997. Dan became the stepfather to Carolyn’s son, Cameron Stephenson. That’s quite a commitment for a man who never had children. They moved to the Dallas area shortly after their marriage due to work commitments. They lived there for seven years, losing Cameron to suicide in 2005. They returned to the Raleigh area and built a house in Youngsville. They continued to live there with Dan enjoying his dream shop built on the property.
Dan was a “motorhead”, no doubt about that. He loved to enhance, modify, and drive the wheels off of cars. He loved street rods and big engine muscle cars. He has a timeline of his life and all the cars he’s owned over the years. There are 41 (probably more) cars and trucks in his lifetime.
Dan and Carolyn (and Cameron when he was younger) would attend car shows as well as show his current car at national car shows. Dan also loved the big car auctions and in recent years bought and sold cars in Florida. But his dream car was a Bentley. Carolyn did not want to have to mortgage the house in order for him to own a Bentley. She prays that he gets to drive a Bentley in heaven or at least in his next life!
Dan was an electrical engineer by trade. He worked for many large corporations designing computer monitors. He retired when he turned 67 so he could “play” in his garage/shop on a regular basis. That’s where he was the happiest.
In the year of COVID-19 (2020), Dan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a vicious form of the disease. Not being able to see a doctor for several months no doubt set him back. When he was able to see his doctor, the diagnosis was a shock for Carolyn and Dan.
He endured many rounds of chemo (oral and intravenous) and treatments from the wonderful oncology staff at Duke University Hospital in Durham. Unfortunately, Dan’s leukemia was stronger than all the meds and treatments they provided him.
Dan is survived by his wife of 25 years, Carolyn, his older brothers Ken (wife Joan) and their children Julie and Tim, Dick (wife Laverne) and their children Amy and Lori, all residing in Wisconsin; sisters-in-law Kristie Rhodes and her husband, Kelly; Angela Benka and Joe, brother-in-law Tony Sweeney. Preceding Dan in death were his parents Edith and Walter Zahnow of Butler, WI; stepson Jace Cameron Stephenson; and sister-in-law Jacque Sweeney Horner.
Carolyn sends her gratitude to the many friends and family who supported them on this journey called Cancer.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 o'clock, Thursday afternoon, February 17, 2022, at Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, Wake Forest. Burial will follow in the Garden of Renewal at Pine Forest Memorial Gardens, Wake Forest.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. www.lls.org
A service of Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, Wake Forest (919-556-7400