MIDDLETON / EAU CLAIRE—It is with a great sense of loss that the family of Daniel John Ropa, Lake Villa, Ill., Eau Claire, Wis., Chippewa Falls, Wis., and Middleton, Wis., announces his death on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, after succumbing to the long-term effects of alcoholism on his mind and body.
Dan was born in 1964 to John W. and Arete Ropa in Des Plaines, Ill. He grew up in Lake Villa, Ill., on Deep Lake, where he was an avid fisherman, a hard-working baseball player and, regrettably, too short for a position on the high school varsity basketball team. Always intense, Dan filled his childhood home with friends and neighbors, hosting swimming parties and whiffle ball games at a young age; poker games and New Year’s celebrations in his older years. Dan graduated from Antioch (Ill.) High School in 1982 and from Augustana College, in Rock Island, Ill., in 1986.
Dan found his professional passion in journalism, first as the editor of his high school newspaper and then graduating to a career in news radio at WEAQ-FM in Eau Claire, Wis. He soon launched his own business by forming Ropa Publishing and gaining sole ownership of The Bottom Line newsletter in Eau Claire in 1988. In addition to growing The Bottom Line, Dan dedicated great time and energy to the Silver Mine Invitational Ski Jump Festival and the Festival in the Pines. Dan was the publisher of The Bottom Line business newsletter for 29 years until diagnosed with dementia in 2017.
Dan is survived by his father, John; his brothers, David and Doug; his sister-in-law, Heidi; his nephews Sam and Ben; his niece, Darshana; and numerous beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. Dan was preceded in death by his mother, Arete. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Alcoholics Anonymous, where Dan found support and guidance in the last year of his life.
A Memorial Service will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.