Daniel Henry Booker, 91, transitioned peacefully at his home in Raleigh, North Carolina on Friday, May 19, 2023. He lived in the Carolinas during his final years but spent most of his life in Pittsburgh’s Beltzhoover neighborhood.
Daniel was born in Leechburg, Pennsylvania on June 23, 1931,to the late Reverend Philip Henry Booker and Annie Lee (Sanders) Booker. He was third from the youngest of 11 children, all who preceeded him in death. Although his official birthdate was June 23, most of his life his family celebrated on June 29th.
Daniel is a graduate of Leechburg High School where he was astandout athlete. He attended the historically Black Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri where he and his brother Richard were members of the Blue Tigers undefeated Hall of Fame-inducted 1952 and 1953 football teams. While at Lincoln, Daniel would also become a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Daniel was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955. He served in Berlin, Germany and fortunately was spared combat. Daniel was able to continue his football career while in the service, playing for the Berlin Bears.
When Daniel returned home, he met the love of his life, Antoinette, affectionately called “Toni.” They met at a dance and ended up talking all night. Daniel and Toni were married in 1959 at Macedonia Baptist Church in Pittsburgh. They have been married for 63 years. Both Toni and Daniel were members of Macedonia Baptist church until they moved to NC in 2019.
Daniel spent much of his career as a contract specialist and procurement analyst for the US Department of Energy, retiring after 30 years of service. He received many awards and honors recognizing his work helping small and minority business owners acquire US Government contracts and thrive. Daniel received a real estate broker’s license and operated his own real estate agency, as well as the neighborhood ice cream shoppe.
He was selected by the Pittsburgh Urban League to be the first Black usher and ticket-taker to work for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers at Forbes Field, then worked at Three Rivers Stadium and at PNC Park and Heinz Field for more than forty years.
Daniel was an ever-present family man who enjoyed his nine decades of life to the fullest. Daniel loved vacationing with his family, a tradition that continued until he could no longer travel.Most memorable were family beach trips and annual fishing trips with his late son, Lance.
Daniel was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle to many. He had three children – Lance Daniel Booker (deceased); Dawn Simone Booker of Durham, NC and Paige Booker (Deronne) Felton, Raleigh, NC. Daniel adored his four grandchildren – Simone “Sweetie” Booker Isham, Silver Springs, MD; Lance (Caitlyn) Booker, Hagerstown, MD; Cameron Felton, Charlotte, NC; and Jaden Felton, a student at North Carolina A&T State University. The joy of the family is Daniel’s great-grandson, Bryson Booker, Hagerstown, MD.
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