Daniel Wayne Lauck, of Sugar Land, died peacefully surrounded by his wife and three daughters on December 31, 2020. The cause of death was complications from Parkinson's disease, which he lived with for twenty years. He was 72.
Dan was born in Topeka, Kansas on December 1, 1948 to Homer Robert (Bob) Lauck and Opal (LaVerne) Murphy.
Ever a sports lover, as a freshman in high school, Dan suffered an injury that removed him from play during the critical high school years. However, due to his love of sports and on the advice of his father he moved from the side lines to the bi-lines by covering high school sports. At the tender age of 14, he was hired by the Topeka Capital Journal as a high school correspondent, and thus began his long and celebrated journey in journalism. Over the next four decades, Dan would perfect the art of a phrase to become an award-winning news reporter. The first part of his career focused on sports and print journalism. This is where his love for investigative journalism began to shine through. He wrote for the Topeka Capital-Journal ('62-73), The Wichita Eagle ('74), and Newsday ('75-80). He was named New York Sports Feature Writer of the Year ('77, '78, '79). Dan reached the pinnacle of his newspaper career with writing for the style column for The Washington Post (1981).
Dan then branched out from newsprint to television with a move to CBS Sports in NY ('81-82), producing poignant pieces on the top athletes of the day and breaking investigative pieces on the sports world. After feeling satisfied with covering sports, Dan moved to on-air television news reporting when he moved to KMOL-TV in San Antonio ('84-93). After just one year into this new category of journalism, he was awarded the prestigious Sydney Hillman Award ('85) for a documentary he produced about las colonias along the Texas – Mexico border. His final TV career move was to KHOU-TV in Houston (1994-2007). In 2001, Dan was awarded the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Outstanding Writing in broadcast journalism. In addition, Lauck was also honored with three regional Murrow awards and six regional Emmy Awards over his television career. Dan cared deeply for the environment and uncovering wrongdoing. As evidence of this he was awarded a media award honoring environmental excellence as well as four individual awards for Outstanding Hard News Features ('04-07).
For as accomplished as he was professionally, family was paramount for Dan. He married his wife, Meg Streeter, a network freelance sports director, in 1983. He doted on her, his three daughters, Jamie, Macie and Courtney, and he loved to brag about his six grandchildren's athletic and academic prowess.
Dan's second love was Coca-Cola. He practically lived for the small 8oz glass bottles and maintained a steady stock of them wherever he went. At home he was lucky to pull them from his antique Coke machine. For work, rather than a briefcase, Dan carried a small cooler into newsrooms with a six-pack of glass Cokes packed on ice. Everyone knew he treated them like liquid gold, and asking for your own bottle would be received with a raised eyebrow and a question of whether or not you were worthy.
Lauck enjoyed tennis and golf, a deck of cards and eating out. At restaurants, he would always stake claim to the inside of a booth. "Pitch" was his favorite card game. Dan was also a fiercely loyal fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas State Wildcats- his favorite baseball team since childhood and his alma mater. A Cardinals or K-state basketball/football game was always on in the background. His youngest daughter's first real words were "wed bird".
After leaving KHOU-TV on disability, he returned his focus to sports and coaching where he coached the JV Girls Basketball team at Houston Christian HS where his youngest daughter played basketball. His quiet determination and care for the girls touched the lives and hearts of his basketballers and their families over many seasons.
Dan is survived by his wife Meg Streeter Lauck; daughter Jamie Petter of San Jose, CA, and her three children: Cade, Cole and Cory Petter; daughter Macie Roberto of Woodinville, WA, husband Von and their three children: Hana, Daniel and Kai; and daughter Courtney Lauck of Ketchum, ID; brother Alan Lauck with Sue McFarlane of Denver, CO; and sister Debi Haymaker with Bill Haymaker of Edina, MN and their two children: Bridgette Haymaker with Ryan Birringer, and Ben Haymaker; and first wife Barbara (Barb) Mankouski of Sarasota, FL.
The family would like to thank Dr. Erin Furr Stimming, Dan's neurologist, and a host of other wonderful doctors, caregivers, physical therapists, neighbors and his KHOU family who made his life richer and fulfilling to the end. A special thank you goes out to all the golfers at Sugar Creek Country Club who took Dan under their wing, enabling him to enjoy his passion for sports and life for as long as possible. With this rich community spirit, Dan continued to play golf confoundingly well and was able to throw baseballs with his grandsons close to the end.
The Laucks will host a Zoom service in the future to celebrate Dan's life.
A memorial for Dan Lauck has been established at Kansas State University to benefit journalism students in need. To make a gift online, go to: www.ksufoundation.org/give/memorials
and select the "Dan Lauck Memorial Fund" from the list of designations. Contributions can also made by mail to: KSU Foundation, 1800 Kimball Ave, Ste 200, Manhattan, KS 66502; please indicate fund M47339.
Alternatively, you can give in his honor to The Houston Area Parkinson Society (HAPS) at https://www.hapsonline.org/
(The Houston Area Parkinson Society, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Suite 296, Houston, Texas, 77098). All HAPS donations marked for Daniel Lauck will benefit "The Boxing for Parkinson's Program" which he and his wife helped to initiate as one of his last projects to enrich the lives of his fellow Parkinson's "fighters".