Daniel (Dan) Leon Prewitt passed away peacefully Sept. 24, 2019, in his Langley, Wash., home after a lengthy illness.
Dan was born Oct. 7, 1942, on the family farm in Fairfax, Mo., to Eunice and Karl Nolte. Eunice later married Malcolm Prewitt, who adopted and raised Dan and his three brothers in Nebraska and Iowa.
Upon graduation from Monticello High School in Iowa in 1960, Dan joined the Air Force and served four years. His early adventures included work as a cartographer in the electronic intelligence division at the Pentagon and a year in Pakistan, where he received his first international exposure.
These experiences were a springboard to begin his professional career with the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., serving in many roles, including Assistant National Director of Disaster Services. Dan’s first international assignment came in 1975 when he coordinated the refugee program in Guam after Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army. Between 1973 and 1985 Dan served in senior roles on over 20 disaster assignments in the United States and its territories.
In 1985, he was given the opportunity to manage the food relief operations for the Sahel famine in North Africa. Between 1985 and his retirement in 2008, Dan served as the Head of Delegation on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based out of Geneva, Switzerland, on 12 missions in 10 countries.
These assignments included relief, recovery and development activities in the wake of war, natural disasters, genocide and famine in Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Niger, Russia, Rwanda, Sudan and Turkey. Dan loved to share his stories and said that he felt honored and privileged personally and professionally to have the opportunity to be on the ground providing direct support to alleviate human suffering.
It was while responding to the 1989 California Loma Prieta earthquake that he met Louise Grant, fellow Red Crosser. Typical of their life together, just before their wedding day in 1992, Louise was on assignment in Samoa and Dan was in Kuwait. They arranged to meet on Maui in Hawaii to tie the knot and after a brief honeymoon on the beach, flew off to Russia for the next mission.
Dan was a voracious reader, enjoyed sharing local history as a docent at the South Whidbey Historical Society, served on the board of WICA and was a member of the Langley Community Club and Langley Men’s Club.
Many summer days you could see him out on the water wearing his Captain Dan hat and hunting Dungeness crab onboard the Crabby Two. After a successful catch, the crab generally ended up as offerings at one of the many Edgecliff Drive gatherings with friends and family.
For Dan and Louise, love of community and family ran deep. At the center of that was their dedication to the Good Cheer Food Bank and feeding those in need and helping to end hunger on South Whidbey.
Dan was preceded in passing by Louise in 2014, his brother Rolla Prewitt and his parents. Dan is survived by his brothers Delbert and Lester Prewitt; sister-inlaw Connie Prewitt; one niece; five step-children; six grandchildren; and one great grandchild.
Remembrances in Dan and Louise’s memory may be made to Good Cheer Food Bank, P.O. Box 144, Langley, WA 98260.