Daniel Charles Blankenheim
1947 - 2020
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Daniel C. Blankenheim, 73, lifelong Chicago resident, passed away on June 25, 2020. Dan was born on February 9, 1947, the son of Warren and Mary (nee Maloney) Blankenheim. He was a graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel elementary school and Saint George High School in Evanston. Dan was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam and was for many years the owner of Big John's Joint at 1147 W. Armitage Avenue. A patron of Big John's once said that Dan "is a quality guy who runs a quality place," and he will be remembered for being exactly that and so much more to his family and friends. Dan loved playing golf, watching baseball, reading crime novels, and having drinks with friends at Big John's. Survivors include his beloved wife of 46 years, Susan (nee Gannon), son Michael (Kara Bruce), granddaughters Greta and Ruth, brother Dennis, and sister Mary (James Gallery.). Funeral services and internment will be private. A celebration of Dan's life will be held at a later date.

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Published in Chicago Tribune from Jun. 30 to Jul. 5, 2020.
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12 entries
July 2, 2020
Dear Sue and Family,
So sorry for your loss. Sending you caring thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
Barb and Al Cuatchon
July 1, 2020
Dan and I were old friends and although we were not in touch for years, he always meant a great deal to me. Grammar school and also St. George H.S. together. We were both in Vietnam at the same time but not in the same location. I am saddened to learn of his passing.
Harry Benjamin
July 1, 2020
Good times at your bar and good times at mine. Frank McColgin
Frank McColgin
July 1, 2020
Danny was a true baseball fan and his Big Johns showed it in many ways. Though he was a Yankee fan he was a Cubs season ticket holder. He had the old Cubs logo on-deck circle on the wall as you walked in. There was a small sign in the bar that read the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong: but that is the way to bet. So he had it covered.
Though I was not a Big Johns regular, Danny offered me, his brother in-law, a coveted spot in the weekend total bases pool. The draft night was great fun with at least forty people and all their stats and spreadsheets. Everyone was in the joint. There were no proxies and you had to be ready. This kept a rooting interest alive all season long. Box scores were a staple of discussion every day.
The quote above the middle of the bar was from Jacques Barzun. The gods decree a heavyweight match only once in a while and the national election only every four years, but there is a World Series every revolution of the earth around the sun. Danny never forgave MLB for the strike in 1994 that denied us the World Series. The White Sox were on top and that would have been good for his town.
Jim Gallery
July 1, 2020
Dear Sue,
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Michael, Kara and the kids during this time of sadness. Danny was always so good to all the teachers when we got together at Big Johns!
Christina M Richter
June 30, 2020
Dear Sue, we are so sorry to hear of this. Our prayers are with you, and we send you our love.
Maria & Vince Guerrero
María Guerrero
June 30, 2020
Sue! We are so sorry for your loss. Emilia and I had fond memories of Danny. Sending lots of love to you and family.
- Elizabeth and Emilia
June 30, 2020
Anyone who lived in the DePaul area knew that Big John's was THE neighborhood bar. The reason? Danny Blankenheim. The diverse clientele was a testament to Dan, who treated everyone the as equals. You always felt welcome once you walked in the door, and if your passion was Baseball, the Baseball Encyclopedia was there to settle any arguments. His "Total Bases" pool was legendary, a tradition I proudly continue with another generation of baseball enthusiasts.
Dan was always the first to dig deep for a friend, and always found a way to give a bartending or waitstaff shift to someone in need, as he did for me. We all have a favorite Danny story, and I'm sure each one of them ends with a laugh. He was one of a kind. All the best to Suzy and Michael in this difficult time.
Glenn Leonard
June 30, 2020
Danny was my life long friend - drinking buddy and golf partner. We shared the best of times from grammar school to marriage and children. He made it a good ride. Derm O'Connell

June 30, 2020
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Ann O'Connell
June 30, 2020
My deepest condolences to the entire family. I have fond memories of Danny from Our Lady of Mt Carmel. He is gone too soon.

Dolores (Mateu) Herdman
Dolores Herdman
June 30, 2020
My husband Brian was a frequent patron of Big Johns. Danny created a pub-like atmosphere at Big Johns, a place where friends would gather and spend endless hours discussing sports!!! Before the internet and cell phones the row of books behind the bar settled many a debate of obscure baseball facts!!
Jan Boxer
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