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Daniel Hayes Whitford, 46, Cuba Lake

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Daniel Hayes Whitford passed away on February 5, 2024, after a tragic accident at his home on Cuba Lake.  Countless people have been impacted by his death, and his place in our shared history has been nothing short of legendary. 

The Law of the Conservation of Energy says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed – only converted from one form to another. Daniel’s love for his family, his life, and for other people was what defined him.  His energy was positive, intense, seemingly endless, and will not be diminished, but carried on by all of us.  

Born in Olean, New York to proud parents Chandler and Karen Whitford on June 22, 1977, Daniel grew up on Cuba Lake and was a graduate of Cuba-Rushford High School, Class of 1995.  He graduated from Gannon University. He started his career in the family business, The L.C Whitford Co., Inc., in the trades during his summers off in high school, the same as his brothers. He then progressed through the ranks to his most recent appointment as vice president. Throughout all these roles, his compassionate and authentic personality contributed to the cohesiveness that is the fabric of the company.

Daniel is survived by his parents, wife Rochelle (Darling), son Ford, daughter Stella; brothers Brad, Rod, and Clint; nieces Ellie and Isa Whitford; and sisters-in-law Amanda Darling and Meghan and Lauren O’Keefe.  To list his close friends would be impossible because of the immediate connections he made everywhere he went.

The life of Daniel has many themes:  Family man, intense love, adventurous soul, and a mission of happiness.  He was most passionate about his wife and children; swimming, fishing, or boating with them on Cuba Lake or at his favorite place of all – Lady Evelyn Lake in Ontario, Canada.

As the gallery below explains without words, Daniel lived an outrageously full life, adding color to the mundane or a lightning bolt to the party. But, above all, he genuinely cared about other people’s feelings and happiness as much as his own.

Daniel leaves so many lives changed forever, and all for the better. To try and capture his life in a picture or paragraphs would be an impossible feat.  His many friends have mourned his passing with some tales and moving remembrances, including living life to the fullest, amazing hugs, making you feel at home, spreading joy and happiness, lighting up a room, infectious smile, and the list goes on.

The Whitford Family invites friends to join them in celebrating Daniel during a visitation on Sunday, February 11 at Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home in Cuba from 1 to 5 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held on his birthday, which is the summer solstice.

The Whitford Family will be establishing a memorial fund to honor Daniels’s memory.  Details will be announced before the celebration of life.

Don’t forget Daniel’s important mantra: “Straight to the top!!”

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