Dan W. Westerman

April 6, 1948November 30, 2018

Dan W. Westerman died on Wednesday, November 30, 2018 of natural causes at 70 years of age. A photographer, and a part-time adjunct instructor at Houston Community College. He was a great teacher largely because he was a perpetual student; he loved logic, cooking, cards, jazz, travel, Bach, shooting pool, flying airplanes, playing piano, photography, and anything worth learning about.

Dan was a beloved son, an influential teacher, and a fierce friend. He was a man of great faith, and his love for God, the Church, his friends and family, colleagues and students showed in his work and his actions. His love and passion for teaching was rivaled only by his love for truth. His passion for teaching was not reducible to the bromides of feel good movies or glib expression. His passion for truth operated within the bounds of the Catholic Church teaching, the repository of ancient truth and tradition. His quest was relentless and heroic, and never lessened or failed. His students revered him because his dedication to church and faith was shaped by a tradition of religious values irreducible and absolute. Hundreds even thousands of young women were affected over the thirty-eight years of his teaching at St. Agnes Academy. A text message one of Dan’s fellow teachers received in the hours following the announcement of his death proves an exemplary expression of student commendation. “He made me actually understand the Catholic faith and want to learn about every religion.” Antoine Domino may have found his thrill on Blueberry Hill, but Dan Westerman found his in the theology class room that he manned for all of those years: teaching, inspiring, exhorting. Now that he is resting in the embrace of our Savior, he can joyfully explore the variety of God’s lovingly creative force with the zeal that he had for the gift of life. Dan was a gift to all those who knew him.

Funeral Mass will be held at 4:00 pm, Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 8200 Roos Rd., Houston, TX 77036.


  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Dan W. Westerman

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Olga Amelkina-Vera

December 21, 2018

The 1993-94 academic year that I spent at St. Agnes as a foreign exchange student from the newly dissolved Soviet Union profoundly altered my life and was one of my most meaningful educational experiences. Mr. Westerman was the central figure of my school life. I was riveted by his philosophy class , and ended up hanging out with Mr. W at every open class period for the rest of the year. He was very engaging, honest, and sincerely excited about the quest for knowledge and truth. Such an attitude was contagious and inspiring for an impressionable teenager. I felt that I could share anything with him, and could not get enough of his stories about life and art. A funny moment I remember is that at the end of the school year I had nobody to go to prom with—so Mr. Westerman invited me to go with him as his photography assistant! He was cool and true, and young people always sense insincerity a mile away...I am now a professional classical musician and composer, as well as a college music professor. Mr. Westerman was a great role model for me, and I will miss him very much.

Olga Amelkina, class of 1994

Robyn McFadden

December 10, 2018

I remember when Mr. Westerman joined the faculty of St. Agnes Academy at the beginning of my Sophomore year. He taught me Photography & Social Studies that year. Mr. W. was a very unconventional teacher at the time, speaking to his students as intelligent human beings & always challenging us to stretch our imaginations & exercise our minds - to expand, not only our knowledge base, but our UNDERSTANDING of the subjects he taught. I was a Yearbook Staff Photographer, under Mr. Westerman's tutelage, in both my Junior & Senior years at St. Agnes. I won multiple awards for my photography during that time, as a direct result of his teaching, guidance & counsel.

I am now a professional photographer. As such, I still use the gifts that Mr. W. gave to me, at such a young & impressionable age, to this very day. Mr. Westerman was a rare & gifted teacher who touched the lives of so many young women through his thoughtfulness & genuine concern for us as people, as well as the thought-provoking & compelling way in which he reached through the dense fog of teen angst & drama to touch the minds of his students. By my own recollections, as well as many others I see here, Mr. Westerman not only touched our minds, but our hearts & souls as well. I am so grateful to have been one of Mr. W's first students at SAA. May all those who love him be comforted in the knowledge that Dan Westerman had such a large & lasting positive impact on so many. May he rest in peace, knowing that he lived a remarkable, well-spent life.

Robyn Grant McFadden
SAA Class of 1980

Michelle Conde

December 8, 2018

I can still envision Mr. Westerman walking up and down the classroom aisles in RC Trad and Philosophy at SAA in 1982 and 1984. Rigor, precision, don't cut corners or just make it up. He lived his faith daily. He cared about his students. That's what I remember most- how much he cared about each student individually. Agape. God bless you, Mr. Westerman.

Arturo Silva

December 6, 2018

My wife taught at St. Agnes with him and kept in touch especially when she moved back to Houston. When I came into her life, we met and I always enjoyed talking with him. I just emailed Dan to invite him to hang out with us later this month as we would do so at least once a year for several years. We got busy last year and missed inviting him.
Right after I sent the email, I thought maybe I should google him just to rule out my worst fear. And then I saw this obituary. And on top of it, we just missed attending his funeral. I really wish we had one last time to meet up with him and am greatly saddened it will not happen here. The world has lost a very fine and thoughtful man.

Sofia Othon Riches

December 5, 2018

After over twenty years, Mr. Westerman remains a critical motivator in my life. As a sophomore student in Roman Catholic Traditions, I will never forget his opening question on the first day of school - "Why do you believe in God?" As a very, impressionable teenager, I was dumbfounded by this simple question. To answer such a question was mind-stretching and involved truly searching for the truth. This question, or yearning for the truth, continues to be a essential foundation to my life as a college student, professional, wife, mother, and citizen. How blessed I am to have been taught by him and his teachings will continue to be instilled within me and the fruits of his teachings are being passed along to all those that I meet. Thank you Mr. Westerman for being such an amazing teacher!

Mandy Stigant

December 4, 2018

I took Mr Westerman's philosophy class as a senior at St Agnes (class of 98), and it had a direct impact on the direction of my life. He was chill with our posse of fangirls sitting on the floor at the front rather than at the desks, our notes and books and bags spread in a sea around us. He walked us through the two paths of epistemology . . . and also talked about jazz, crazy days in college, how to count cards at blackjack, and the like. He was one of the tipping points that made me decide on UD for college.

I only remember one conversation with him a few years later, when I contacted him to ask a question about one of those times we veered him dramatically off-topic. I delivered the unfortunate news that UD's infamous Groundhog had been taken over by the school and would no longer be an underground throw-down in the pouring rain in the woods. He was disappointed, as his generation had been the one to start the Groundhog tradition. I wish I had told him how grateful I was and how important he was in shaping me; to be honest it really only occurred to me when I got the news that he had passed. His influence was subtle that way.

"Evil is a hole in the donut of reality."

Your death, Mr. Westerman, has left a hole in the world.

Cristina Von Ruff

December 4, 2018

Mr. Westerman was my teacher. He taught me about logic, and philosophy, and how to use that to understand God's word to us.

He was so committed to everything he did as a member of the St. Agnes Community.

He was the photographer at our wedding. We were fortunate that he also taught one of children.

He did many great things on earth in his pursuit of the truth and teaching his students how to understand God's word to us.

He also was very creative and artistic, and shared his talents in those endeavors with his students, as well. So blessed to have been one of his students.

We believe he is with God and at peace.

Judy Hajovsky Koch

December 3, 2018

There was never a dull moment in Mr. Westerman's RC Trad class. On numerous occasions in a Theology class in college, I would stop and think....'Mr. Westerman taught us that sophomore year at St. Agnes..' He was a remarkable teacher - a true example of living out your calling in life. He will never be forgotten!

Monique Henry-Rideau

December 3, 2018

Mr. Westerman you will be missed...thank you for playing devil’s advocate in RC Trad which sparked my curiosity in my Catholic faith and armed me with the knowledge to defend it. I remember sophomore RC Trad as if it were yesterday....the room, my desk, each student, the debates, logic, reasoning and most importantly, the positive impact it’s had on my life. Because of you, I’m an eternal student and devout Catholic; not because my parents were but rather, what I’ve chosen through faith and knowledge. Rest In Peace and know that you will never be forgotten. C/O 86

Michelle Mustachia Bauldry

December 3, 2018

Mr. Westerman was a wonderful teacher. I had him for photography twice and philosophy. He made you want to learn and to have pride in your work. He was also a great photographer, I have always hated the way I look in pictures but never in any of the pictures he took of me. It was truely a gift. He was always supportive and kind and had a way about him that always made you feel comfortable and safe. He encouraged creativity and pushed you just hard enough to grow in your art and your faith. He will always be one of my favorite teachers and he will be so very missed. Prayers to his family and friends, thank you for sharing him with all his students at SAA, we couldn’t have been more blessed to have had him as a teacher and mentor.