Dan and Laura are new to our congregation. Laura was born and raised in Denison, the younger of two, with an older brother. Her dad has a construction company, and her mother is a personal banker at Wells Fargo. Following high school, where she played soccer, she attended Iowa State University, where she earned a teaching degree, with a major in math. While at Iowa State she was an active volunteer at the animal shelter, helping rescue animals. She taught high school math for three years at Lone Tree. She is now in her first year at Riverside High School in Oakland teaching high school math.
Dan was born in Miami, Florida, where his dad was a Pastor in our church body. When he was eight they moved to Manning, where he grew up. He was the 4th of 5 brothers and also has a younger sister. His dad was pastor of Zion, Manning, until the year 2000 when he began serving the Hispanic population in Denison and Storm Lake. He continues in this ministry today. Dan’s mother works as a para-educator in the IKM-Manning School District, working with special needs students. In high school Dan participated in football, basketball, baseball and track, especially liking football. They went to state in basketball when Dan was a sophomore. Following high school he joined the National Guard and enrolled at the University of Iowa. After two years, his university studies were interrupted by a year long deployment in Afghanistan. He served as a medic with an infantry company. He considers the deployment as a positive experience. He returned to the University of Iowa to finish his undergraduate studies. He then also attended Iowa for his doctorate of physical therapy. He has worked as a physical therapist at the Cass County Memorial Hospital since February 2016.
Dan and Laura met through mutual friends in Ames in May, 2011, when he was on leave from Afghanistan, and they began dating that October. They became engaged in December 2013. Dan did a surprise proposal. He left a present in her car while she was at work at school, with gifts associated with special events in their relationship. He then surprised her with a ring. They were married on November 15, 2014, at Zion in Denison while the first snow of the year was coming down, and honeymooned in Cozumel, Mexico.
Since they are fairly new in Atlantic, Zion is the only organization they currently belong to. Dan, of course, is active in the National Guard where he attends regular meetings and goes to camp 2 weeks every summer. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant last September, and serves as the only physical therapist in the Iowa National Guard. They enjoy camping and someday would like to travel all 50 states. Laura does some running and will be doing a ½ marathon in Lincoln on May 7th. She likes to read and has started to learn to sew and craft. Dan has gotten into woodworking and is currently working on an end table. They rescued a kitten they named Muggins in December, and he completes their family. We welcome them into our community and into our congregation. And may God’s blessings rest upon their future lives together.