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Daniel Staley

January 25, 1979 - May 5, 2024
Plainwell, MI


Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the overflowing life of Daniel Staley, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He was a shining example of generosity and faith, and his empathetic spirit allowed him to touch the lives of countless others. Nothing brought Daniel greater joy than spending time with his loved ones. He was always willing to go above and beyond to serve anyone in need. Deeply missed, Daniel will be forever loved and remembered by those who knew him best.

The 1970s in the United States was an era of great influence. Space was being explored, social revolution had reached a boiling point, and war raged overseas. It was during this tumultuous time that Jerry Staley and Deborah Kershaw were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their baby. On January 25, 1979, their wait was over, and they welcomed their son, Daniel, into their hearts and home.

Growing up, Daniel was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home in Plainwell, Michigan, alongside his siblings. Daniel’s mother, Deborah, cared for her home and her children as a stay at home mom. His father, Jerry, owned a lawn care business, and his step-father, Bob, worked at Plainwell Paper Mill for 26 years before dedicating the rest of his life to spreading the Word of God as an evangelist for Christ. Both of Daniel’s parents, along with his step-father, instilled in him the importance of being kind, providing for others, and loving all. Throughout his childhood, Daniel loved staying active and riding his bike. He could even do jumps and tricks. Daniel also enjoyed learning karate, playing with his cousins, and spending time at the lake, fishing, running, and just being a kid.

Daniel attended Plainwell schools, and he was very involved in sports from a young age. He enjoyed playing basketball, especially when he was beating his sister in PIG, and he wrestled for a time as well. Once he learned how to drive, Daniel would often go on road trips. He loved listening to all kinds of music, and he was an avid fan of Billy Idol.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon as Daniel met the woman who would soon become the love of his life. Her name was Shauna, and the two first met in 2009. There was an instant spark between Daniel and Shauna, and they were immediately inseparable. They enjoyed riding motorcycles together, and their relationship quickly blossomed into something truly special. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Daniel and Shauna were married on March 3, 2011. The couple built a happy world for themselves with their animals and their dogs, who they loved as if they were their own children. Some favorite memories included going to South Haven with their two dogs, Monte and Baby Girl, and stargazing at night with their goat, Bucky.

All who knew Daniel can surely agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. He was like a father to his nephews, Aden and Noah, when they were young. Daniel would spend many days with them, playing football, sledding, having campouts in the yard, going to the beach, and building snow forts. His love made a lasting impact on their lives. Daniel loved spending holidays with his family, and he also enjoyed going on nature walks with his mother, hunting for mushrooms. He was very close to his family all throughout his life.

Daniel was never afraid to work hard when it came to providing for himself and those who depended on him. He was a skilled painter with over 20 years of experience, even owning his own company for a time. Daniel took great pride in his work, and painting was a career he truly loved. He was recently hired at Moon Painting, which brought him so much joy. It had been a few years since Daniel had painted, but he didn’t miss a beat and eagerly threw himself into his work. He was honored to be a third generation painter.

Never one to sit still for long, Daniel pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He loved his motorcycle and going on long road trips. Daniel enjoyed being in nature, mushroom hunting, stargazing, hiking, walking the dogs, and sleeping outside. He worked hard to maintain his property. Daniel liked antiquing, and he built an impressive collection over the years. He also enjoyed painting and repurposing furniture. More recently, Daniel learned to fix trucks himself. His Bible was his most prized possession, and he loved to read it and share passages with others. Daniel was a fan of the show Seinfeld and knew the entire show by heart. He was also very involved in politics and enjoyed watching the news every day. Daniel loved root beer floats and would put cheese on anything. Holidays were spent with family, and though he didn’t like the business or gift-giving of Christmas, he loved being able to surround himself with those he loved and enjoy good food. Daniel and Shauna had a tradition of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Day.

As family and friends can certainly attest, Daniel Staley truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He would want us all to know Jesus as he did, and he would want his family to be together and to take care of Shauna, as he was a constant source of strength. He poured his heart and soul into all that he did. A devoted husband, son, brother, and uncle, Daniel was a friend to many and beloved by all. His primary focus in life was forming deep and personal relationships with those around him. Though he will be dearly missed, Daniel leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.

Daniel James Staley passed away on Sunday, May 5, 2024. Daniel is survived by his wife Shauna Staley; his parents: Deborah and Robert Kershaw and Jerry Staley; grandparents: Harlie Frazier, Delores Staley and Joyce Kershaw; his siblings: Brenna Topp (Nick Topp), Candice Kershaw, and Gretchen Kershaw; his nephews: Aden and Noah Smith as well as many other Uncles, Aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. A private celebration of Daniel's life will be held on Saturday, May 18, invitations to follow. Share your favorite stories and photos on Daniel's dedicated webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com.