Remembering Daniel M. DeSantis, 1945-2020

Family and friends are remembering Dan DeSantis, and sharing this with the community:

Daniel Michael DeSantis passed away unexpectedly on July 14, 2020 at his favorite place, Hood Canal.

Dan was born on 1/23/45 in Seattle and kept his home here until recently; he currently resided in Palm Desert, California. He is survived by his wife of 19 years Jan DeSantis, his daughter Gina DeSantis Coats (son-in-law John, grandsons Alex and Anthony), son Dan (daughter-in-law Teresa), and former spouse and mother of his children, Ruth DeSantis.

He was raised in Seattle and had an extensive career in sales and 45+ years in Seattle Real Estate. Dan was a force of nature with an infectious laugh, big smile, sense of humor, and an unmatched love of life. It was essential for him to stay active every day, cycling, working out, and even walking lately (his “forced marches”). Everything was, of course, a social event.

Family and friends were his priority! He was so proud of his Italian heritage, children, and grandchildren. He idolized his grandsons and would do anything to be in their company — camping, white-water rafting, golfing, cheering at their sporting events, even dancing in nightclubs. He spoiled them whenever possible. He was their biggest fan!

It was important for him to stay connected to his friends, many of whom he had reconnected with recently. He lived life with gusto and wanted to continue traveling extensively. Dan would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need, not asking for anything in return. Everyone who knew him well loved him. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St.Jude’s Children’s Hospital or the American Cancer Society.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

42 Replies to "Remembering Daniel M. DeSantis, 1945-2020"

  • Kelsey McBride July 21, 2020 (9:42 am)

    Dan was a great man. He will be truly missed. 

  • Eric July 21, 2020 (9:46 am)

    Thank you for your wonderful words about our excellent friend Dan.He had such a bright light, his passing is a huge loss.Jan and his family have our deepest sympathies.

  • Madisyn July 21, 2020 (10:09 am)

    A lovely human, he will be greatly missed. Much love to his entire family. 

  • Scott Sunde July 21, 2020 (11:05 am)

    I knew Dan only from the West Seattle YMCA. But he was so full of, well, gusto. Rest easy

  • Cami July 21, 2020 (11:16 am)

    Dan was such a great guy and will be missed greatly.  Thanks for sharing, WSB.

  • Anais July 21, 2020 (11:43 am)

    We affectionately called Dan the Mayor of West Seattle. We’ve been very blessed to have met him and his family. His presence will be missed and we are sending prayers to Jan and the entire DeSantis family during this difficult time. 

  • Verne & CeCe July 21, 2020 (12:56 pm)

    Dan lived life to its fullest,  his spirit was contagious. We wish to extend our warmest sympathy to Jan and family.

  • JULIA H WIGHT July 21, 2020 (1:06 pm)

    Dan was definitely the life of the party with an infectious joy and a passionate love for life. He was a great neighbor at Beach Drive Condos. Our hearts go out to his lovely wife Jan who provided the perfect foil to his exuberance. Please send our condolences to all his family and friends. We are left with wonderful and touching memories of an unforgettable human being.                                        Fondest regards to all,                                                                                                                                                                  Richard and Julia Wight

  • Paula Baccetti July 21, 2020 (1:27 pm)

    What a personality!  His light will be dimmed, but definitely not ever forgotten.  The thoughts and prayers of the Baccetti’s go out to you Gina; along with the entire DeSantis family.

  • Al July 21, 2020 (3:17 pm)

    Well this takes me by surprise. What a a great guy and his laugh was awsome. He would see me and want to by dinner and talk. We was the mayor of the YMCA. Ever one gathered around him…one morning at the ymca he walk over and introduced him self.  he will be missed but never for gotten..Al Semple born and raised here in West Seattle

  • Mary Campagnaro July 21, 2020 (5:49 pm)

    Dan lived his life to the fullest and was an amazing individual and friend! He will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jan, Gina and all his family. RIP my friend!

  • Kent Sadow July 21, 2020 (6:17 pm)

    This hurts. Dan was one of my favorite people. I enjoyed the years working with him and always loved running into him in the years since. Usually at Safeway! I’m glad I ran into him one last time a few weeks ago, just after a return from the desert.He will absolutely be missed.

  • Jim Biava July 21, 2020 (6:26 pm)

    I had the pleasure of working with Dan for decades. He always had that big laugh. Good times. We had some good times, my friend.  You will be missed and not forgotten. 

  • Hillary July 21, 2020 (6:54 pm)

    Sorry to hear. I didn’t even know him by name, but always saw him around West Seattle, the Y, LA Fitness… He always was up for a friendly nod of recognition and a chat.

  • Erin and David July 21, 2020 (7:13 pm)

    Oh what awful news to hear. Jan, our hearts go out to you and your family. We so loved Dan and will truly miss him. 

  • Jeffrey Patterson July 21, 2020 (7:28 pm)

     I met Dan about 30 years ago when I started in real estate, I had worked with his dad before in a different industry, so it was nice to have that history.  So many good stories and great memories, he did have a great sense of humor and he will be missed.  Great lunches with him, looking at houses to sell and always a great host. 

  • Marcia Dalton July 21, 2020 (7:33 pm)

    Dear Jan,  So sorry for your loss.  Please know that I am here for you, and when ever you would like to get together I would love it.  Dan was so much fun and his great big smile when he socialized made any occasion better.  He will be missed by many.  Love You Jan  Sincerely,   Marcia Dalton

  • Ginny July 21, 2020 (7:38 pm)

    Dan was my first and only real estate agent. He helped me buy my first home in 1990. When I would run into him at the store I would joke he did such a good job finding me a home I was never going to move again! Such a loss for this community and for his family. A great Italian! 

  • Lawrence P Nitkey July 21, 2020 (8:04 pm)

    Sad news. Many prayers for Dan and his family. Dan was a wonderful, kind man. Always cheerful and uplifting. You’ll be missed Dan. I appreciate the many years I had the pleasure of knowing you.

  • Paul July 21, 2020 (8:28 pm)

    Great guy…very social and affable.  Knew him from the YMCA.  All the best to Dan and his.

  • Buck July 22, 2020 (10:37 am)

    It’s great to read so many nice things about Dan and to know that they are all true, if not understatements. We’ll miss you Dan.

  • Aram & Alice July 22, 2020 (11:06 am)

    Dan spoiled us all with his laughter, compassion and sharing in his vision of life – we shall truly miss him!

  • Chris D July 22, 2020 (11:14 am)

    So sorry to hear this news. I pray for for Dan and his family.   Dan was an amazing guy.   I rented from him when I lived in West Seattle. He would give you the shirt off his back. 

  • Bumper July 22, 2020 (11:15 am)

    Just heartbreaking..I’ve known Dan since I was 16years old so that’s 40 years. I did odd jobs for him as a kid and also sold real estate with him and my mom, Sylvia. Just talked to him and he was such a force of fun, laughter, and concern for my mom. Just a wonderful soul!! He will be truly missed. Sending prayers to the family.Bumper 

  • Patricia Adams July 22, 2020 (11:51 am)

    My husband and I were connected with Dan throughout our Real Estate professions for 45 years plus. All the descriptions so far of Dan were of the person we remembered fondly. He was always a gentleman with a smile, helpful and a friend to all and endowed with a great sense of humor. Since my husband passed away just a month ago, I feel  my husband would want me to send our sympathy to all  his family from both of us.I definitely understand your sadness and heartbreak.                                        Tricia and Don Adams

  • Katie Bucy July 22, 2020 (12:43 pm)

    I will miss seeing him at the y. Condolences to his family. 

  • Tim Morgan July 22, 2020 (12:54 pm)

    If you were in the room, Dan would get to know you. He sucked you in with his laugh, that loud voice that no one ever minded, and that unavoidable ability to include people. I grew up in West Seattle never really knowing and playing with Dan until mid-life; boy, was I the one missing out. I am greatly saddened by his passing. I have one less partner to count on for anything that was fun. Thank you, Dan, for being one of the best people out there. Jan, you had one of the good ones. I am very sorry for your loss. – Tim Morgan

  • Barbara Schaad-Lamphere July 22, 2020 (2:03 pm)

    Dan was a force of nature, good trouble!  Such a laugh, such a presence, so kind and funny and wonderful.  He will be missed.  Much love and support to his family.

    • Craig Roberts July 22, 2020 (11:05 pm)

      This hurts.   Dan hired me 45 years ago when I was a young 20 year old, right  out of college that lead to a 45 year + career in real estate.  He was my Mentor, my big brother, my everything.  He taught me all he knew about real estate, sales and the art of making peoples dreams come true.   Never did he have a cross word for anyone.  He loved life and lived it to the fullest.  I watched how he raised his children and treated everyone with love in his heart.  I knew him in his ups and downs and loved him for being human.  He was a fantastic father, truly one of a kind grandfather and. Wonderful husband.  Above all he was a man’s man.  Never pulled any punches and told it like it was .  He was loved and respected and idolized by me.   I will miss this man that gave me so much.   Love you Dan.   –  Craig Roberts

  • Dave and Terri July 22, 2020 (2:57 pm)

    We are Dan’s Florida Friends who come to Seattle in the summers. We would cycle and workout at the YMCA. Dan was always fun to be around …. he will be missed and not forgotten!! Our sincere prayers will be with Jan and his entire family!  With lots of love and prayers !! Dave and Terri ….the Florida friends.  

  • Tom Townsend July 22, 2020 (4:29 pm)

    If you spent much time in the locker room of the Y, mid week, late morning, then you knew Dan. He kind of ruled the roost, big laugh and knew the story of every building in the Junction. The Y won’t be the same for a long time to come and the locker room will never be the same without Dan. 

  • Lisa July 22, 2020 (9:52 pm)

    What a loss!   Dan was a legend and icon in West Seattle real estate.   

  • George Sato July 23, 2020 (2:05 pm)

    This really saddens me, he was a wonderful person to be around and always was the life of the party. I remember when he and I coached the West Seattle Peewee soccer team. Watching him be so proud of the team and doing everything he could possibly think of to inspire and make the kids feel good about themselves was inspirational to me. He will be missed and the world will be a little lonelier without him.

  • David Katt July 23, 2020 (6:15 pm)

    Danny D , Man this is tough . You were Peaking  in life & happiness . There is only one Dan , your love of life & adventure is unmatched . You have some of the best friends known to mankind & a wife from the heavens . Great kids , grandkids . You lived a wonderful life & your spirit will live on forever . I’m so , so sorry . You will be missed by so so many ❤️ Love you Dan ❤️

  • KH July 23, 2020 (10:13 pm)

    Dan sold us our first home in 2005. He was larger than life. This is certainly hard news to swallow. RIP

  • Sivi Mennen July 24, 2020 (12:53 am)

    Sweet Dan, Thank you for always being so very kind to our family, and for making my mom laugh during tough times. Riding in your DeLorean, WOW!! SO COOL! Your infectious laugh and amazing smile are a gift to heaven. Rest well angel. Love, Sivi

  • gapgirl July 24, 2020 (9:14 am)

    Dan was a fixture in West Seattle.  His real estate business was just a part of who he was.   I asked him recently when he planned to retire.  His answer was: “Why?  I love people.”  And people loved Dan.  Whether he was helping realize their dreams of a new home, or showering his friends with his banter and culinary expertise, Dan wanted and loved being around people.   His life was a testament of a life well lived and so well loved!  Rip, my friend….jamee and dino 

  • elaine henderson July 27, 2020 (2:24 pm)

    Dan was a ray of sunshine here in the Desert.   He could always put a smile on your face.  He and Jan were a wonderful couple.  He will be missedLoveElaine Henderson

  • Jennifer Fink July 27, 2020 (6:02 pm)

    I am so sad to hear this. I met Dan 18 years ago working at Prudential. Dan was exceptional, though more than 25 years my senior, he always showed us younger folks how to have fun! He had so much character and charm, he was one of a kind and will be missed. I am so thankful for the memories, advice and mentorship. They don’t make them like that anymore. RIP Dan.

  • Norland & Lorna Walter August 3, 2020 (2:49 pm)

    We were so saddened and hurt to learn two days ago of Dan’s passing.  He sold us our house on Beach Drive in 2003, and we’d been friends every since.  How could you not be friends with Dan?  Always smiling, always friendly and kind.  Last year he had prayers said for Lorna’s mother when she passed away.  He was just that kind of guy.  You meet so many people in life–some of them shine brighter, and you remember them longer.  Dan is surely laughing with angels now.  Rest in peace, Dan.  We will miss you.  Our prayers are with Jan and the entire Desantis and Coats families at this sad time.

  • Julie August 4, 2020 (6:25 pm)

    I, like so many others, met Dan because I was looking for a home. We looked at so many houses, Dan would pick me up at work and we’d look at a few houses during my lunchtime, we’d laugh because we looked at some real crazy houses and he’d take me back to work. We bonded over our Italian families, good food, cycling and more. He was a great friend and father figure to me and Jan became like family too. He was very proud of his children but even more so his grandsons. We always talked about them. I was devastated to hear about Dan’s death. Jan, Gina, Alex and Anthony and all the rest of the DeSantis and Coats families my thoughts are with you. 

  • Steve Huling August 5, 2020 (6:39 pm)

    I just learned yesterday of Danny’s passing.  What a loss to his family and friends.  When Danny entered the room, the room became brighter.  His humor was infectious and he had smile that made you feel better just by being with him. May God Bless you and those who loved you. You will truly be missed Danny.Steve Huling

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