It may seem like those who work in the news business are becoming desensitized to the terrible things that are happening in the world.
After all, we see and report on it every day, right?
But nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, we understand all too well that death, especially sudden death, leaves a hole in the life of that person’s family, friends, and community.
And at no time do we understand this more clearly than at the time that person lived and worked in our community.
That’s how it is with Allan “al” Dantes Jr., who left six daughters.
He died when an articulated lorry pulled into the Holiday station in L’Anse, where Al was filling up.
Pointless, tragic, frustrating…no words can really describe what it feels like to lose someone so suddenly.
Especially someone like Al.
By all accounts, he was an accomplished rally racer and a simple stand-up guy. According to his obituary, Al’s motto, “do it for the kids” excelled in his volunteer work.
He helped found L’Anse High School’s first robotic team and coached baseball at the high school – as a volunteer, of course.
Al also founded a chapter of fathers of great students known as Watch DOGS
The organization has two main goals: to provide positive male role models for students who demonstrate the importance of education and have an extra pair of eyes and ears at school to increase safety and reduce bullying.
As far as we can tell, those goals fit right in with what Al stood for.
Al was also a member of the L’Anse School Board.
It seems he has worked tirelessly to improve life in Baraga County, with accomplishments and activities too numerous to list here.
He was also well known on the rally circuit where he was a member of the Tower City Race Team. Al was known for his passion for rallying. He drove his #50 RX-7 Rally Car, which he dubbed Rexine, to the limit in rallies across the country.
But his one true love, his passion, was his family.
A Go Fund Me for Al’s six daughters had raised nearly $130,000 as of Friday, if anything could measure a community’s support, let’s assume it does.
We suspect more pain is yet to come and our hearts go out to all involved.
Especially as a family.
In the end, the community rallies around Al’s loved ones just as he championed his community. It only seems fitting.