By Linda Woodland
With access to satellite dishes, cablevision and online streaming through networks such as Hulu and Netflix, you’d think there’d be no need for the TV antenna towers of the past that dotted the skyline of neighborhoods throughout the nation.
But nothing could be further than the truth, according to Pat Danner, wife of the late Dick Danner, known in Fostoria as “Mr. TV.”
“I’ve got people coming to my door all the time looking for antenna and tower service,” Mrs. Danner said.
The Danners started Dick’s TV Antenna and Tower Service in 1955, five years after the young couple began their life together as husband and wife.
“I used to put three kids in a wagon and take them along so I could help him put up the towers,” Mrs. Danner recalls. “Back then, you’d do your own work.”
Over the years, the family business garnered many awards of recognition both locally and from the state for its years of viability as a small business.
“Dick was it, he was the business,” his wife of nearly 68 years said.
Dick Danner retired in May 2016 at the age of 84. And when Danner retired, so did his business.
“There just wasn’t anyone to take it over,” Mrs. Danner said, noting their sons, Scott and Steve, had both died — Steve in 1978 and Scott in 2009.
The Danner’s daughter Stacie used to help her father at job sites, Mrs. Danner said, but once she started her family, that came to an end. Their other daughter, Snooki, also was unable to take over the business.
“He started the business in May and he wanted to reach 65 years and retire in May. Of course, (at the end of his career) he wasn’t climbing (towers) anymore. He had a helper for that. But he’d go out to the worksites,” Mrs. Danner said.
After retirement, illness took hold of “Mr. TV.” In addition to cancer, diabetes, heart issues and high blood pressure, Danner also battled colitis and Crohn’s disease, to name a few.
He succumbed to his ailments in April this year.
“He’d been sick a long time and I was busy taking care of him,” Mrs. Danner, who recently celebrated her 86th birthday, said.
And now, she’s busy taking care of herself.
“My church organizations keep me plenty busy. I minister at Second United Church of Christ in Tiffin and fill in at the UCC church in Bettsville,” she said, adding she has been an ordained minister since 1978.
In addition, Mrs. Danner is getting her home of 60-plus years ready to sell.
“I’m tearing up this house and getting rid of things,” she said, adding she is hoping she will be ready to move out by this fall.
But Mrs. Danner doesn’t plan to move too far away.
“I’m staying in Fostoria. It’s the only place I’ve ever lived.”
In the meantime, her grandchildren are helping her list items online to help “get rid of the stuff” she has accumulated over the years.
But if you are in the market for any TV towers or antennas, don’t come looking for Mrs. Danner.
“It took me two weeks, but I got rid of them all,” she said.