Daniel Peter Sackett Jr

FatherDaniel Peter Sackett (1932-2019)
MotherMary C Bello
Marriage1976Lynda Miles2
Daniel Peter Sackett Jr
(Src: Fenwick High School, Oak Park, IL, yearbook, 1971)
Daniel Peter Sackett Jr, son of Daniel Peter Sackett and Mary C Bello, was born on 20 September 1956.1 He died aged 67 on 8 December 2023.2 He married in about 1976, Lynda Miles.2

Remembering my teacher, Mr. Sackett
by David Schieber, Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University.

Daniel P. Sackett (Communication ’78 ’79), revered English teacher, theater director and speech team coach at Carl Sandburg High School, died Dec. 8, 2023. Beloved husband for 47 years to Lynda Miles, he was a father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, mentor, coach and friend. He is already missed by so many. He was 67 years old.
     Mr. Sackett taught at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Illinois, for 33 years, from 1983 until his retirement in 2016. At Sandburg, Mr. Sackett taught his English students how to write with a voice. Mr. Sackett taught his drama students how to act with ardor. Mr. Sackett taught his speech students to speak with precision. Mr. Sackett taught every one of his students that they have worth. Mr. Sackett taught.
     The impact Mr. Sackett had on his students was determined. Mr. Sackett insisted you saw value in yourself, even if you yourself didn’t see any yet. Mr. Sackett laughed at the absurd, even when the other adults in the room held a straight face. Mr. Sackett was incisive, and knew exactly how powerful his words were. And he wielded his words with so much love. There is currently a memorial page on Facebook where Mr. Sackett’s former students, friends and colleagues are sharing their memories, and the outpouring of love and grief makes it so clear what a life Mr. Sackett lived.
     I know all of this because I was one of Mr. Sackett’s students. My life’s trajectory changed when I met him. He was my freshman year English teacher, speech coach and biggest cheerleader at Carl Sandburg High School. During my time on the Sandburg speech team under his mentorship, I learned how to speak in front of large groups without fear; I learned how to stand up and make a point when it seems no one else is willing to; I learned how to set my sights on something big and to just keep chipping away until I get there. I learned how to write! I owe so much to Mr. Sackett. I found passion, self-worth and confidence because I had him in my corner.
     I now see a direct link between Mr. Sackett’s lessons and the life I have led since. I teach some of the largest courses at Northwestern University with thousands of undergraduates having taken my classes. I regularly give talks on my research, and I can hold my own in any room I’ve ever found myself in.
     My wife Kathleen, who I met on the Carl Sandburg High School Speech team, and I recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary with our 9-year-old son Elias and 7-year-old daughter Anna. My and Kathleen’s first kiss was on a bus ride coming back from a speech tournament at Downers Grove South High School. Mr. Sackett would joke that Elias and Anna were his speech grand-babies.
     As an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Northwestern, I now have students who I get to watch as I build up their confidence and worth in the same way Mr. Sackett built up mine. Mr. Sackett taught me so much, and I try every day to be more like him. I am crying writing this obituary.
     After graduating from Northwestern University in 1978, having majored in theatre, Daniel P. Sackett led a life worth following. He went on to build educators, inspire screenwriters, produce leaders, mentor musicians, train scientists, shape poets, create at least one sociologist and bring joy to those around him.
     To my students: Never underestimate the impact you have on the people around you. Ripples turn into waves. Your impact is profound.
     To Mr. Sackett: Thank you so, so much. From the tip of my toes to the top of my head, I’m alive! And darn it, I’m a winner!

—The Daily Northwestern online, Evanston, IL, 10 Jan 2024

 Notes & Citations

  1. "U.S., Public Records Index, 1950-1993" (Ancestry transcript), "Sackett, Daniel, b. 20 Sep 1956, of 3403 S 57th Ave, Cicero, Illinois, 60804-3835."
  2. Obituary.
Last Edited9 Mar 2024

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