Daniel Atzenhoefer


Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Eight years after retiring from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Daniel Atzenhoefer still had an office there.

“He was a living legend over there at ODNR,” his son Ed said last night.

The legend died Saturday, ending a life devoted to public service, wildlife and family, relatives said.

The elder Atzenhoefer, 87, of the North Side, died of complications from a car accident Oct. 27. A neighbor backing out of a driveway hit Atzenhoefer as he was crossing the sidewalk, his son said.

Daniel Atzenhoefer’s recovery at Riverside Methodist Hospitals was slow, and complications took a toll, said Ed Atzenhoefer, also of the North Side. Charges weren’t filed in the accident.

Atzenhoefer had been extremely active in his retirement, walking 3 to 4 miles per day and volunteering at the Department of Natural Resources, where he had worked for 55 years.

Though he retired in 1992, Atzenhoefer still served as an administrator emeritus and as a special projects director for the Wildlife Division. He also wrote a monthly historical column in the department’s newsletter.

Atzenhoefer started with the department in the 1930s, when it was the Division of Conservation.

He helped pioneer Ohio’s summer Youth Conservation Corps, a work program that later became a national model. He met President Reagan in 1987, when he accepted an award for the corps.

In the late 1930s, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he attained the rank of colonel. During World War II, Atzenhoefer was stationed in Africa, Ireland and Italy, his son said. He later was inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame.

An avid outdoorsman and hunter, Atzenhoefer co-founded the Buckeye Big Buck Club and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1998.

In addition to his son, Atzenhoefer is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen, daughters Kay Clymer of Zanesville and Ann Greer of Springfield, and three grandchildren.

He will be buried Friday in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 6000 Cooper Rd., Westerville 43081.