After a protracted battle with cancer, Daniel L. Affalter passed away on June 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas at the age of 61. He leaves behind his wife, Diannia Affalter; his son, Daniel L. Affalter II, daughter-in-law Alex Affalter, and grandchild Daniel L. Affalter III; and his daughters, Sarah Affalter and Katelyn Affalter. Dan is survived by his wife, children and numerous extended and adopted family members.
Dan was born on September 10, 1954 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Marion and Martha Affalter, who predeceased him. He grew up with one sister, Nancy Smelser and one brother, David Affalter. Dan attended elementary school at Brookwood Elementary in Leawood and then completed the remainder of his elementary school in Lawrence attending Cordley and Pinkney Schools. His secondary education was at Central Junior High and he graduated from Lawrence High School in 1972.
Dan married Diannia on September 5, 1982 in Lawrence, KS. There the couple lived and raised their three children.
Dan Affalter began his career as a Police Officer with the Lawrence Police Department on March 21, 1976. Throughout his 33 years of service, Dan served the department as a supervisor in every division, a tribute to his versatility and dedication. Dan served as a member and commander of a specialty team; was promoted to Sergeant in December 1984; to Lieutenant in August, 1991; and to Captain in September, 2004. Upon his retirement from the Lawrence Police Department in December, 2008, he was presented with the Honorable Service Medal for his unquestioned commitment to the public, the City of Lawrence, and the Police Department.
Other recognitions were voluminous throughout his career. As a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain, Dan received dozens of letters of commendation from citizens, co-workers, regional and local prosecutors, and from the Office of the Chief. He has received multiple letters of gratitude from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kansas City Field Office, Special Agent in Charge for his work with the Central States Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar, also known as C.S.L.E.E.D.S., and has instructed in virtually every Basic Recruit Academy and in each of the 18 Citizens’ Academies.
Captain Affalter received the department’s Meritorious Service Award in December, 2006, for his years of service and for perhaps most notably, his leadership in the Investigations Division where he faithfully honored the pledge, “Not on my watch!” He is known for his work with many charitable organizations such as Boy Scout Troop 55, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Headquarters Counseling Center, The Shelter Board Inc., social service groups and for his three-plus decades of organization and instruction in Hunter Education’s Safety Programs. Captain Affalter has shown an unquestioned commitment to the public, the City of Lawrence, and the Lawrence Police Department for 33 years. His dedication, professionalism and years of faithful service is a benchmark for others to strive to achieve.
To many on the department, Captain Affalter was more than a co-worker, he was a friend, mentor, and leader. His legacy reminds us that good work and ethical and moral decision making does still stand for something.
Dan was a driven professional with a love of all outdoor activities and serving the Lawrence Community. When diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, he remained dedicated to his work as a Captain in the Lawrence Police Department and in his will to fight his illness. He remained a brave, iron-willed man, even throughout his final months.
There will be a visitation service held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church on Sunday June 26, from 5-8pm with a Celebration of Life to follow at Plymouth Congregational Church on Monday June 27 at 10am. Dan requested to be cremated. His ashes will be interred at the family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery. A reception will follow at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church; all are welcome.
The family would especially like to thank the doctors and staff from Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Select Specialty Hospital for their excellent work and loving care; the staff of Providence Medical Center for their constant, attentive treatment; and a special thank you to Dr. Matthew Stein and the staff at the Lawrence Memorial Oncology Center. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Douglas County Valor to honor first responders, Boy Scout Troop 55, or Hunter Education through the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #2 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.