Alfred Danegger, intrepid traveler

February 25, 2013
Alfred Danegger

Alfred Danegger, 89, of Lewes, passed away Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.


He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dorothy; son Robert and his wife Deborah of Bethesda, Md. and their children, Rachel Elizabeth Danegger and Jacob Emil Danegger; daughter Anna and her husband David Jarrell of Severna Park, Md. and their son Andrew Jarrell; brother-in-law C. Everett Milteer and his wife Lynda of Virginia Beach, Va.; and treasured nieces and nephew and their families.


Al was born to the late Emil and Freida Danegger Feb. 16, 1924, in Spring Lake, N.J. He and his sister Betty grew up in Milford, where his father, a nurseryman, operated Danegger’s Hi-Way Nursery. He graduated from Milford High School in 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor. He enrolled at the University of Maryland and completed one semester before enlisting in the Army Dec. 9, 1942.


After initial training in the Army Air Corps, Al was assigned to the Signal Corps as a combat photographer. When the war in Europe ended in 1945, Al boarded a troop ship to the Pacific War. Before arriving in Okinawa, the words that all were waiting to hear were said: "The war is over." After six more months on duty in liberated Korea, Al made his way back home to Delaware, landing himself membership in the ranks of "The Greatest Generation" and a lifetime of experiences before his 25th birthday.


Al returned to the University of Maryland after he left the Army, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree. On the day of his graduation from the university, he began his long career there working with the office of university relations.


While serving as a university photographer, he began guiding European bicycle trips for the American Youth Hostels. It was on a youth hostels trip that Al met Dorothy, who was to become his wife. Some time later, Al spent 10 years serving on the board of directors of the American Youth Hostels. Never one to pass up an opportunity to travel, he also served as chaperone for the university’s theater and dance groups during a number of international tours.


In the second half of life, Al focused a bit more on domestic pursuits. He married, raised his children, and volunteered with the College Park Senior Housing Authority while continuing his work at University of Maryland. He was a leader in the University Photographers Association, serving as president twice. With fellow photographer Arthur Rothstein, he directed a series of conferences at the University College on "Photography in Visual Communications Today." He also served as the president of the Maryland Industrial Photographers association.


Though the university sent Al on interesting assignments, his travels were a bit tempered, making Slaughter Beach rather than the Swiss Alps his annual destination. At the end of his career, he spent years in partial retirement mode, finally saying farewell to the university almost 50 years after he had begun there.


Al saw the world - and loved many parts of it. But Sussex County was home.


He and Dorothy retired to Lewes, where he participated in the Rotary Club, served on the board of directors of the Rehoboth Art League, enjoyed seeing his Milford High School classmates at their First Friday gatherings, and always had a new adventuresome trip in planning mode. He and Dorothy had many foreign adventures before health grounded him.


Although a world traveler, he was where he belonged, home with his family and memories of his travels, when he peacefully slipped away for his next destination.


A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2, at Parsell Funeral Home & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes.


In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to the Rehoboth Art League, 12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, or to The Rotary Foundation, Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL 60693.