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DANIEL MURPHY PULTZ
Daniel Murphy Pultz passed away peacefully in his home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 22nd, 2023. He was 80 years old. Born one of four brothers on April 5, 1943 to Margaret Ellen Murphy and M. Frank Pultz in Greensburg, PA, Dan is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Holly Wilbert Pultz, his two daughters Shannon Pultz and Allison Pultz, and four grandchildren Lilian Traviato, Niall Traviato, Julian Macdonald, and Milo Macdonald.
Dan, a 1961 Greensburg High School graduate, graduated from Lehigh University in 1965 before joining the US Marine Corps, completing Officer’s Candidate School and The Basic School. In 1966 he received his orders for Vietnam, and joined the ‘The Flaming I,’ India Company, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines as its second Platoon Leader. During the highly decorated Battle of Getlin’s Corner, Dan's leadership earned him the Bronze Star Medal with the V device for Valor. He was then transferred to Foxtrot Company, earning promotions to Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. In 1967, during a combat R&R in Hawaii, he married Holly, whom he'd met three years prior. In 1968 after the siege at Khe Sanh, Dan rotated back to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to prepare for a second overseas deployment with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and returned as Commanding Officer of H & S Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines. Dan was honorably discharged as a Captain from the Marine Corps in 1969.
Dan transitioned to civilian life as a Counselor Therapist at the Pennsylvania Youth Development Center for adjudicated minors and went on to helm his own businesses for the next 33 years including Chariot Leasing, Chariot Computers, Applied Business Computers and Nettec Services, specializing in networking sales and service. In 2006, he sold Nettec Services to Advanticom, where he assumed a business development position; later, after assuming a similar role at Five Star Development, Dan retired from business in order to focus his energy on extensive volunteerism with the veterans community.
Dan played a pivotal role in various veterans initiatives, including the Veterans Leadership Program, Friends of Danang, the Pittsburgh Veterans Day Breakfast and Semper Fi Odyssey, leaving an indelible mark on their growth and success. Of particular note, as a founding member of Friends of Danang, Dan engaged his Vietnam Marine Corps unit the “Flaming I” in the fundraising for the construction of an elementary school in Danang in memory of both American and Vietnamese lives lost. Of equal importance are the 12,000+ hours of volunteer service Dan committed to the Semper Fi Odyssey program where he impacted over 2,500 veterans and their families, and helped to transform their curriculum to one that emphasized the importance of mental health and the role of genuine care and concern in veterans’ well-being. As the organization’s Board Chairman, Dan orchestrated its first-ever fundraiser, "Reach the Peak,” a successful event held this past October at Acrisure Stadium. In every endeavor, Dan exemplified integrity, fighting for the well-being of the veterans he so cared about.
Dan was a devoted advocate for his daughters, whom he loved dearly, and the kind of loving grandfather who regularly scheduled meetings to discuss philosophy and ethics. Dan adored his wife, Holly, and took immense pride in her artistic prowess, often exclaiming that “Holly has brains in her hands.” Dan was also an adventurer and sports enthusiast who loved cycling and golf, earned a private pilot’s license and was a familiar face at Steeler, Pirate, and Pitt Panther games. His explorations included visiting Vietnam and Russia, cycling through Italy, England, and the US, and playing golf in Ireland and Scotland. Dan was devoted to the Ligonier "cottage" his family built during his childhood, and loved perhaps more than anything to engage in lengthy discussions with friends and neighbors on his beloved Northside porch. Dan was a spiritual "seeker," exploring various faiths and religions in a relentless pursuit of truth and meaning in life. Having reflected on his own life’s “defining moments,” Dan formulated the acronym VAULT, standing for what he came to believe as a universal human desire to be Valued, Accepted, Understood, Loved, and Trusted. This philosophy epitomized his lifelong quest to understand and be understood himself, and articulates his own and humanity’s deep aspiration and need for connection.
Surviving are his loving wife, Holly Wilbert Pultz, daughters Shannon and Allison Pultz, grandchildren, Lilian and Niall Traviato, and Julian and Milo Macdonald, brothers William (Maureen) Pultz, and Barney (Karen) Pultz.
A Celebration of Life and Memorial Service will be held in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Dan’s memory to the Semper Fi Outdoor Odyssey program via the online donation form found here, or also be sent by mail to Outdoor Odyssey, 450 Boy Scout Road, Boswell, PA, 15531; or contact by phone or email: 814-629-6516; firstname.lastname@example.org.