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1927 Daniel 2022

Daniel Plosila

January 6, 1927 — January 20, 2022

Daniel S. Plosila, age 95, formerly of Saranac Lake and Vermontville passed away peacefully on January 20, 2022, at Meadowbrook Healthcare in Plattsburgh with family by his side.

Dan was born in Conneaut, Ohio, the son of Samuel and Nancy (Luoto) Plosila. His grandparents were among the 19th century Finnish immigrants who settled in the Lake Erie port communities of northeastern Ohio. He was immensely proud of his Finnish American heritage. Camping, hiking, and fishing were favorite activities in his youth, and in Boy Scouts he achieved the rank of Life Scout. Upon graduating from Conneaut High School in 1945, Dan joined the Army and served in post-WWII Germany. In 1948, he joined the Air Force and served most of his enlistment in Alaska during the Korean War. Later while stationed at Westover Air Force base in Massachusetts, he would meet Belva Jackman; and they were married on September 20, 1952, in Florence, MA.

The next several years Dan completed his college education at Michigan State University earning BS and MS degrees in Fisheries Biology. After college, he did research work on the Susquehanna River in Maryland. In 1961, Dan started his 29-year career with the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in Ray Brook. His early years involved trout and salmon studies in the Adirondacks, including the brook trout reclamations of Lake Colby and Black Pond in Paul Smiths. In the 1970’s, his work would shift to Lake Champlain and restoration of the Atlantic salmon, which became his legacy with the DEC.

Dan is survived by his two children: Don Plosila of Saratoga, and Joyce (Scott) Schimele of Florida; three grandchildren: Heather Rose (Rob) Austin, Heidi (Pierre) Bordeleau, and Erik (Kira) Plosila; and seven great-grandchildren: Elizabeth, Abigail, Robert, Emma, Logan, Gaige, and Janessa. He is also survived by his sister Louise.

Dan was predeceased in 2019 by his wife of 66 years, Belva.

In retirement, Dan and Belva discovered their love for Samoyed dogs and moved to Vermontville for more rural space. He especially enjoyed training their dogs for weight pulling competitions, as well as serving as a lead organizer. Even into his ninety’s, he volunteered his help with IWPA events. Dan was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Saranac Lake and served on the Boy Scout Troop 1 committee for several years. He enjoyed membership in the American Fisheries Society, Adirondack High Peaks Dog Training Club, International Weight Pull Association, and Samoyed Club of America.

Dan’s family would like to especially thank the staff at Meadowbrook Healthcare, where he had been in long term care the last several months. Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983. At Dan’s request, there will be no funeral or calling hours. Family and friends wishing to remember Daniel S. Plosila may make memorial contributions to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society or The Samoyed Club of America (, or a charity of one’s choice in care of the funeral home.

Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
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