Daniel James Voll, 60, of Baraboo, passed away Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Fernandina Beach, Florida.
On Jan. 4, he suffered an unexpected and horrific brain stem stroke. He was to have left the next day for a Costa Rica vacation. He was treated at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, and placed on life support and later was transferred to hospice care in Fernandina Beach so he could be near his loving caretakers and friends until he passed away.
Daniel was born June 21, 1957, in Baraboo, the second son of Carl and Shirley (Churchill) Voll. He was baptized and confirmed in the First Methodist Church in Baraboo. He was a graduate of the Baraboo schools and attended Boo-U for a time. Dan started guitar lessons at age 9; thereafter, it became his passion. He had several gigs in and around Baraboo and Sauk County with some of his high school classmates. He founded the Abracadabra Band; they also had gigs in Sauk and Dane counties. In 1980, he relocated to Rockford, Illinois, where he played in the Betsy Kaske bands, Combo Loco and the Little Kings. He formed his own band, Voltaire and The Mole Men. Voltaire was a takeoff on his own name and The Mole Men came about because of rehearsing in basements. He wrote a lot of his own music based around his guitar playing. He studied with Ted Greene. He taught guitar at Rockford College and also starred in musical theatricals, “The Patsy Cline Story” and “The Grapes of Wrath.” He taught himself to play a saw, which added a new sound to the music. He was awarded many Rockford area music awards for other avenues such as Critics Choice Best Album Award. He met a fellow musician named Filomeno Ballumbrosco Guadalupe, who told Dan “I’m here with my cajon.” Through a mixture of rhythms and traditions, a “Combo Loco” son was born. A gig was set up for Dan and Filomeno to play in a downtown theater in Lima, Peru, where Dan played several singles, several with Filomeno and several with other musicians.
After returning to the Rockford area, other gigs were waiting in that area and the Chicago area. On June 2, 1990, Dan and Betsy Kaske were married in the Oregon-Stoughton area at a dear friend’s home, Robin and Bob Postel hosting the festivities. (Sadly in May 2017, Robin Postel passed away.) Several years later, Dan and Betsy amicably divorced. Dan relocated to the Fernandina Beach-Amelia Island area, where he found his true niche. He fell in love with that area and with the people he met there and them with him. He was a sought-after guitarist and played with many great bands. He was active in social events, taught young children and older adults the guitar, always with kindness and patience. He was a great musician and even greater human being, wrote an admirer. He was beloved by all for his kindness and ability to make others feel special, wrote another. He was so highly thought of that a flag was flown at half-mast over Fernandina Beach on Jan. 22. Dan’s creed was, “I wanted to be an ‘important’ guitar player; now I just want to make someone smile.”
A celebration of life with be held March 4, 2018, at Fernandina Beach and a permanent memorial is being planned there.
Daniel is survived by his mother, Shirley, sister, Lisa Johnson, and brother, Jeffrey (Cheryl) Voll, all of Baraboo; two nieces, Ashley (Derrick Powers) Voll of Reedsburg and Arielle (Jim) Ortega of Neenah; and his former wife, Betsy Kaske of Rockford; and by many cousins, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Carl, on May 11, 2016.
He is also survived by many Fernandina Beach friends; special friends from that area are Donna Carine, Flip (Susan) Gallion, Pajamadave (Zan) Voorhees, Michele Anders and her husband, and many others, too numerous to write of. Dan never forgot his Baraboo roots and would come home twice a year and visit Devil’s Lake and Ski-Hi Fruit Farm, where he picked apples one high school summer. Daniel was such a special person and died much too young. We, his family here in Baraboo, are devastated and heartbroken. A family service will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place; inurnment will be in Walnut Hill Cemetery. The Oxley-Heard Funeral Home of Fernandina Beach, Florida, and the Redlin Funeral Home of Baraboo are assisting the family.