In Memory of One of Our Own

Chris Heinz - May 7, 2013

On May 3, EnergyCAP lost a member of its family, Dan Zettle. May 16 would have been Dan’s 42nd birthday.

As a software engineer, Dan was a member of the implementation solutions team. He served EnergyCAP clients behind the scenes—helping with installations, data migrations, setups, and customizations. The people he helped didn’t know he had helped them.

That was like Dan.

Those who worked closest with Dan knew him as a silent servant who wanted to help however way he could. On one occasion, Dan ran into one of his coworkers out of the office. Dan looked with wide-eyed wonder at their new baby girl. From his heart, he offered encouragements to them as new parents.

That was like Dan too—an observer, a discoverer, with a big heart.

We take this opportunity to honor our friend and colleague.

danZettle178Dan was born, May 16, 1971, in Bellefonte, PA, a son of James and his late mother Nancy. Dan graduated from Jersey Shore High School and attended Lycoming College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As a programmer, Dan worked for various internet startups before joining EnergyCAP, Inc.

In his spare time, Dan enjoyed nature. He loved hiking, bicycling, planting, and arranging flowers. He was also an avid participant in the choral and instrumental arts.

As a member of the Tour Choir and Chamber Choir, Dan traveled throughout Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, staying with host families and learning their cultures. Later he was a member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the Harrisburg Men’s Chorus, and the State College Choral Society.

Dan’s best friend was Smokey, his beautiful black lab. He and Smokey went on many adventures together, exploring the uniqueness of the United States.

In addition to his father, Dan is survived by three brothers, two sisters-in law, four nephews, and one niece.

We’re reminded after losing one of our own, that death comes to us all. This is the hard and bitter truth.

However, the good thing about death is its ability to motivate. Death can breathe fresh perspective and reorder priorities. When you know death is coming, it can recharge the way you live.

When you die, you won’t get a do-over, so:


  • Give your attention to the person in front of you. Be mindful of who you’re with, and be with whomever is in front of you. Put down the electronic device and talk. Enjoy the moment. Take time to listen, not just respond. Give some room for silence. Look into their eyes and see them. You have but a moment, so make the moment count. There will never be another moment like this, when you are as you are and they are as they are, the world being as it is.

  • Show your loved ones that you love them. In writing class, the teacher emphasized, “Show not tell.” Don’t just tell the reader something—show them. So with your loved ones, don’t just tell them you love them, show them. And do it often. Spend time together, make them something with your own hands, give them something you would only give them, bear hug them off their feet. Let them have no reason to doubt how absolutely head over heels, your life is way better because of them, deliriously thankful, you are for them. Then repeat.

  • Find your passions and pursue them. Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” And Annie Dillard wrote, “You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment.” Discover what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what makes the world a better place. Then go after it. Find a way to live in that intersection. Life is too short for passionless living and too important to slog through. This is your chance. So go for it. If you fall, get back up and try again. Wage the risk.


Perhaps one of Dan’s last gifts to us is a refocus on what matters. Thank you, Dan, you’re still serving.

Topics: Company News

Chris Heinz

About the Author
Chris Heinz

Chris is Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., which helps organizations get value from their utility bills through energy management software. He's an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a Certified Professional Life Coach. He also started www.Munyay.com to help people love their life and love their work.

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