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Texas children’s home director dies after basketball collision

To 11-year-old Jacob Compton, who has lived at the Cherokee Home for Children in Cherokee, Texas, for about a year, Danny Duggan was like a grandpa.
“My favorite memory is going down a water slide with him at a back-to-school bash. We ran and jumped and splashed in the water,” Compton said. “He always cared for us. He was there when we needed to talk to him.”
Duggan, the home’s executive director, died Jan. 18 after suffering head injuries during a basketball game six days earlier.
The 59-year-old director was playing basketball with students from Texas A&M University’s Aggies for Christ when several players collided, knocking Duggan to the floor. The impact fractured Duggan’s skull. He never regained consciousness.
After unsuccessful brain surgery at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Duggan was taken off life support on Jan. 18 and died three minutes later.
He served the children’s home for 22 years as director of development and executive director. The Cherokee Home for Children has been associated with churches of Christ since its opening in 1958.
Students with Aggies for Christ spend a week with the Cherokee children’s home every winter, helping with projects on campus and interacting with the children.
“Danny was an inspiration to all of us with Aggies For Christ. He was the epitome of a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Jordan Waldron wrote on The Christian Chronicle’s website. “Even though I only knew him for a few short days while we were at Cherokee, I am deeply saddened by his passing. The only comfort I can offer is that we know he is rejoicing with our Lord in the most beautiful paradise we can even imagine.”
Nettie Jean Randolph, who has worked at the children’s home for 34 years, said Duggan’s “big heart” would be missed.
“He knew every kid by name, and he’d go the extra mile for them,” Randolph said. “He never asked anyone to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself. He was a gentle person.”
Diana Ramos, 14, said all of the children loved him.
“The same day he had the accident I had a meeting with him,” Ramos said. “The last thing he did was give me a hug and say, ‘We all love you.’ I’ll always remember that.”
Delton McGuire, who previously served as the home’s director of development, was named acting executive director after Duggan’s accident. He said his present focus is to provide the 30 children living on campus with a sense of stability.
“These kids have lived with unstable home situations for much of their lives,” McGuire said. “All of us at the home are doing everything we can to show stability.”
Randolph said that’s what Duggan would want because he always put the children first.
“It would be easy for us to walk away, but Danny would want us to keep on going with our work,” she said. “He always had a list of what he wanted us to accomplish in the next 10 years. He’d want us to keep going.”
Funeral services were planned Jan. 22 at the San Saba Church of Christ.
Duggan is survived by his wife, Janiece, four married children and six grandchildren.

  • Feedback
    I did not know Danny Duggan in his physical state,but I know I have prayed for him.
    in the early 60’s, my Grand-Parents were House Parents at the Cherokee Home for Children. I remember going there as a child and always thinking how wonderful it was to have children to play with.
    I now sponsor a chld at the Cherokee Home for Children. To me this is the greatest blessing anyone could reeive from our Lord. I know in my heart Danny Duggan has received an Awesome reward.
    In Him,
    Rhonda V.Clark
    Rhonda Clark
    Tolar Church of Christ Tolar,TX
    Granbury, TX
    November, 25 2012

    Thank you for this article. The world needs to know about people like Danny. We all need to be encouraged to spend our days on this planet with Eternal Vision, just as Danny did. I KNOW his life, even unto his earthly death, has and will continue to inspire us all to seek out ways God can use us to help others while on this journey called life. We are not merely human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. No – we are Spiritual Beings going through a temporary human experience. We praise God for the privilege that we have had to know such a man and to call his family our dear friends. Thank you, God, for Jesus and for people like Danny who spend their lives sharing the the saving power of the Cross. <><
    The Royce Jesko Family
    May First Baptist
    Early, TX
    February, 8 2011

    Danny and Janiece have lived accross the street from me for 13 years. They have been my neighbors and my best friends. They are givers. They give of their time, talents and money. But most of all they give thier hearts.
    The impact This family has had on this small community is beyound words. All I’ve thought since Danny went Home is what are we going to do without him. I know life goes on, but Our lives will never be the same here in this little town. He was a true gift, and we’re going to miss him.
    DiAnne Scott
    Cherokee Church of Christ
    Cherokee, Texas
    United States
    February, 7 2011

    When Danny was visiting his son in Ohio, I was very sick. He and Jarrod came over and mowed, edged and trimmed our yard for my wife.
    We will never for get that. May God be with his family as he goes to his reward.
    Richard Jordan
    Turner Road Church of Christ
    Tipp City , OH
    January, 21 2011

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