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February 1, 2013

Daniel A. Blacksmith

Daniel A. Blacksmith

COOPERSTOWN — Daniel Alvin Blacksmith, a true entrepreneur who experienced a full life, died early Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, 2013, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 87.

Born Aug. 25, 1925, in Asbury Park, N.J., Dan was the son of Alvin and Louise (Hendrickson) Blacksmith.

Following his graduation from high school, Dan entered into active service in the United States Navy on Aug. 23, 1943, and proudly served his country during World War II as the official photographer aboard the USS Wasp (CV-18) in the South Pacific.

Holding the rank of Photographers Mate, Dan was aboard this aircraft carrier when it was commissioned on Nov. 24, 1943. It soon witnessed and endured combat situations as part of Admiral Halsey's fleet, including several Kamikaze attacks, one of which Dan captured on film as the Japanese fighter was shot out of the sky by gunners aboard the ship. A tragic moment captured by Dan was when a fighter was returning from a mission and then crashed and exploded on the flight deck. On March 21, 1946, Dan received his honorable discharge from the Navy and returned home to New Jersey.

On May 18, 1946, Dan married Blanche Flower at the United Reformed Church in Somerville, N.J. During their 66 years of marriage, the Blacksmiths lived in many places throughout the United States. They ultimately settled in Cooperstown and enjoyed living in their home just outside of the village.

An entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word, Dan had a keen sense for business, and even talked business up until the day he died. A scenario writer, he wrote scripts and produced many documentary films including award winners.

He was also proud of the fact that he was the originator of the only metal sports cards sold through Halls of Fame throughout the nation.

In his leisure, Dan had many hobbies, including stamp and coin collecting, as well as keeping up with the latest technology. He was also an avid golfer, and enjoyed teaching his grandson, Matthew, how to play. Over the years, they enjoyed many rounds of golf together.

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