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CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895

HARRISBURG, December 10--One of the original Readshaw's Raiders, Dan Delash, passed away early Thursday following a heart attack. Dan had just left a surprise retirement party held in his honor at the state Capitol. He was a legislative aide in the Democratic Caucus of the state House of Representatives until about two months ago when he retired due to health problems after an earlier heart attack in March.

Dan was an integral part of the team of volunteers who assisted state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, in his campaign to preserve the Pennsylvania regimental monuments at Gettysburg. He organized legislators from Berks County to raise funds to restore and clean more than a dozen monuments and markers that honor Union troops from the Reading area. For that accomplishment, the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association presented him with its 1999 special achievement award.

Dan was a member of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry re-enactors. He was a resident of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. Despite a major heart attack this past March, Dan remained active with the Monuments Project and the GBPA's Daniel Lady Farm preservation efforts.

"Dan was really 'gung ho' about helping us in Gettysburg," said Readshaw. "In a way, the Berks County monuments honor him as well. They will stand for many generations to come because Dan worked to ensure their preservation."

Several former co-workers who an hour earlier had saluted him at his party kept Dan as comfortable as possible until medics arrived on the scene. Dan remained conscious, but his condition deteriorated and he died several hours later at the Hershey Medical Center. A Vietnam Veteran, Dan served with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the FBI and later was a legislative aide in the House Democratic Caucus.

Kathi Schue, a Monuments Project co-founder and aide to Rep. Readshaw, was with Dan when he suffered his fatal attack. "Right up to the attack, Dan was talking about how thrilled he was that so many of his former co-workers cared enough for him to throw the surprise party and give him a gift," said Schue. "When the end came, he was on cloud nine. He knew he had many friends. "We should all be so happy when our end comes."

Dan was buried today in Pittsburgh. A memorial service will be held in January in Harrisburg, the date yet to be announced.


more information:

Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at gettysburg@pahouse.net or by phone, 717-783-0411.

Updated: December 12, 2001
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