Edward Dakan, a 1941 Nodaway-Holt graduate, left the Nodaway-Holt R-VII School District Education Foundation $917,000 when he died at the age of 93 in March 2016.
The money is to be used to provide education success and positive experiences to the students. The foundation will have meetings in the future to determine the best use for the funds.
After graduating in 1941, Dakan served in World War II. He fought on Layte Island in 1944 and Okinawa Island in 1945. He was awarded two purple hearts and a bronze star from Lieutenant Colonel ER Autrey for his valor. Autrey’s notes stated that Dakan never hesitated or faltered, holding his position within close range of enemy fire.
After the war, Dakan returned home, attended college and earned a degree in agriculture. He taught in Williamsburg, IA, for a few years. He later took a position with Farmer’s Home Administration and completed his career with the Internal Revenue Service as a field agent.
He moved to Maryville after his retirement. He never married. He had a brother and a sister and many nieces and nephews.
Dakan is remembered as a frugal man who lived a modest life. He always rented small apartments instead of owning a home and walked everywhere he could, walking a minimum of two miles a day while residing in Maryville.
He was inspired to leave a generous donation after reading an article about another person who had left a school district a million dollars. He immediately began to save money, and upon his death, paid it forward to Nodaway-Holt School District.
The family stated that perhaps someone else will be inspired by Dakan’s commitment and devotion to educational success and will also strive to leave their legacy for future generations.
For more photos, see the printed Nodaway News Leader.