At Dan’s celebration each of his son’s said a few short words about their father in the biblical order (Matthew 20:16).  Here is what we said:

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First of all I would like to thank everyone for coming this has been a truly amazing celebration

Two years ago I remember sitting and praying for a miracle, not wanting to let go. I talked with many people that were upset that God had not made my dad’s cancer walk a great story of a miracle. However, I don’t think we could ask for a greater story.

Dealing with the reality at hand it made me realize that God put us down this road for a reason. I believe that God truly knew the things that Dad would accomplish throughout his journey. See the thing is as many of you know. My father would always make the best of everything; no matter the circumstances. I have received many emails, and the one thing that is the same in every single one, it’s simple; My father had a wonderful way of touching lives of those around him. God knew that my dad would be preaching and changing lives till his very last breath.

What an amazing Man, and father my dad has been to me. But I truly believe that my dad has never been more Alive than his is today. And he didn’t leave this world unchanged and his work here is not yet done. For the lives he touched will never be the same, many of them will continue to glorify God and preach the good news. And also for he and my mom raised four awesome Godly Men to be just like him!

I love my Dad, My Hero, My Best Man

So who am I, I am No body; But what am I, I am a Child of God!

2 Corinthians 4:5

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord with ourselves as servants for Jesus’ sake.”


Taking a moment to try and think of what to say about my dad was a difficult task. There are hundreds of things: his passionate pursuit of Christ, his unrelenting thirst for the word and wisdom of God, his cherishing adoration of his “sweetness”, his unyielding investment in each of his sons, daugher-in-laws and grandchildren, his faithfulness as a friend, his heart to serve, his boundless generosity, his diligence, determination and integrity in the workplace, his wisdom as a mentor, his inexhaustible optimism, or his courage in cancer. But in all of these things, we only catch a glimpse of what my father was to so many.
Instead, I took time to think of what I believe dad would want to say to us. After much consideration, I think dad would want to be remembered as a model not a monument. He didn’t seek to be exceptional, only an example. In Corinthians, Paul said: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Nothing could more adequately sum up the life of Dan Kuban.
In all honesty, I don’t think dad would want us to sit around the kitchen table, the coffee shop or the cemetery talking about how great a man he was. Instead, I think we would better honor his legacy by going out and doing the very things he did that made us call him great. Remembering and reflecting on the inspirational life of my dad is good and important, but I think we would best honor him by doing more than just remembering. Instead of talking about his knowledge of the Bible, let’s all set our alarm clocks a little earlier and dig into the word. Instead of talking about the way he cherished his wife and children, let us love with equal passion and sacrifice. Instead of talking about his heart to serve, let us hit the mission field. Instead of talking about his generosity, let us give with cheerfulness.

In this manner, we do what was most important to my dad- striving ever closer towards his favorite verse: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
I remember a few weeks ago, my dad said to me: “The way that you measure your impact on someone else’s life is not how by much you change their life, but by how much you enable them to begin to change other people.” So in a sense, he is watching each one of us. Not to see how much we are changed by his life, wisdom and words, but to see how much we take what he has taught us to help others know more of living in the faith, love and hope of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

During His teaching, Jesus said: “Go and do the same.” In remembrance of my dad and for the glory and honor of Christ, I pray we will all go and do the same.


As I’ve thought about my dad - who he was and what he has meant to me, one thing really stands out. Throughout my whole life he was always my dad. Whether he consciously sought this or not, I’ve concluded that this was the primary way in which he wanted his sons to define him - as their father. Other men seek to be defined (even to their kids) by their work, their achievements, their position/title, or other equally ephemeral things. And this why their children can readily answer the question of definition posed to them by others. My response, however, to the question of who is Dan Kuban has always been “my father.” This, of course, was never satisfactory to the one posing the question and I was immediately given follow up questions. I, on the other hand, never really found the statement incongruous. No doubt he was other things to other people - engineer, businessman, teacher, coach, friend, mentor, the guy more comfortable in the gutters of Mexico than a boardroom. To be perfectly fair, there were times that I found it strange that I really had no idea what he did when he went to work, but it never really mattered to me. There were always things he knew and understood that I didn’t, like the formula for constant velocity that I’m sure he could still recite from memory even a couple days ago. What mattered to me was how he defined the time we were together. We played catch in the backyard. We worked on the cars. We went camping (and always insisted on a death march!). He invented games for us and played them for hours. He read my homework, and always found a way to improve it. He never talked about how successful he was at work, or how many degrees he had, or how anyone who ever met him was impressed by him. He never made me feel like I was inferior, even though I always did. All I really knew about him throughout most of my childhood was that he was my dad, and that was enough.

But now that he is gone, I’ve had another realization. You see, there is now a void where my dad once was. And as I’ve gazed into that emptiness, I’ve come to see that it isn’t empty. It is, instead, filled with our Heavenly Father. The place where my father once stood, he has stepped aside and I can see now that he was, in fact, just a shell of the Reality, a conduit of a greater Father’s love. The father I knew was in actuality a man who had humbled himself to the point that he no longer remained, and was all along a medium of God’s love for me.

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have some idyllic version of Dan the Apostle in my mind - what I do have was a father who continually pointed me to God’s truth and His Son. One who allowed his weakness to demonstrate His strength, whose heart was always yearning for more - unsatisfied with just knowing, but instead required a life completely saturated with the Gospel.

This is how I will remember Dan, my father, and I hope that you will join me in doing so. To think of him as a man who allowed Christ to so live through him, that all those things we cherish so much about him were really just Christ’s love for us, displayed in a willing vessel.


A few random thoughts…

I discovered the song Mighty To Save early on in the cancer journey while Dad was still in chemo.

My Savior, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save, He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave.

Our God is a powerful God. He parted one sea and walked atop another, He turned water to wine and a river to blood, He calmed a storm and sent actual fireballs from heaven.

I knew that God that was able to deliver on the promises of this song. Even back then, I realized God would save my father, one way or another. And you know, it’s interesting that often what we consider being “saved from death” is really merely having our death delayed. A successful cure wouldn’t have saved Dan from death but merely pushed it off a few more years into the future. And truly there is only one who can save us from the death that we must all face. Thank God that Jesus can give us this victory!

Death is swallowed up in victory!
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?

And now, my father’s secret of success. Dan Kuban is a great man. Always the encourager, I remember when I ran my first Olympic distance triathlon and he was there. Never content to stay on the sidelines, he ran the last ¼ mile of the race with me - in sandals - cheering the whole way. That was my dad.

A man of great character and disciple, both smart and studied, he still managed to be both funny and fun to be around, almost all of the time. His infectious attitude about life and his willingness to pour his life into others seemed to impact everyone he met. When I was younger, I had hoped to one day become just half the man he was…

His secret is only a secret because we have ignored the 10,000 times Dan told it to us: “It’s not me, it’s Jesus.” My father taught me that spending significant time with God both in the word and in prayer will impact you in two ways. The first most of us know. Much like consistently using weights will strengthen your muscles; consistent God time will strengthen you spiritually and make you a better person. What church types call “sanctification” is a slow, incremental process as God slowly peels back the hardened layers of our heart… but there is a second impact. Spend time with Jesus and he rubs off on you - he radiates from you. In the desert, it literally made Moses’ face shine. In my father, it made his eye’s sparkle. This supernatural overflowing allows you to respond to situations in ways vastly beyond the sum of your own inherent gifts and personality. Jesus simply shines through to those around you. This is the greatness we all saw in Dan.

This is why Dan got up early to spend time with God. He often marveled aloud at how much impact he had on others that was beyond the scope of his abilities - beyond “him”. He had discovered the secret: By our own talents, abilities and efforts - and my father excelled in all of those areas - none of us can be as great as Dan. However, with enough help from Jesus, all of us can be as great as Dan.
I leave you with one final thing to consider. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 13:7

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

I love that verse! No blind faith. No drinking the Kool-Aid. It puts forth the most reasonable basis to judge following Jesus I have ever found. Look at those whom have really bought into this God thing and consider the results; the very outcome of their way of life.

Look around at this room full of people - a small subset of those impacted by Dan Kuban. Consider how he treated people. How he loved his family. How he continually served, mentored, and encouraged. How much his life impacted the world around him…

Consider the outcome of his way of life…

And if you like his results - imitate his faith.