We are saddened to report the passing of trustee and member of the Hall of Fame, Dan Poynter. Arrangements will be posted when available.
Dan Poynter, 77, died peacefully at his home in Santa Barbara, CA, on November 1, 2015, after a brief illness. Born in San Francisco to the late William and Josephine Poynter, he graduated from College of the Pacific, Stockton, with a BA in Social Science. Weekends in Calistoga introduced Dan to the world of sports parachuting, and a career, beginning as a writer on skydiving, and parachute design. When his first book, The Parachute Manual was passed around to New York publishers, in 1977, they offered him a 10% royalty. Dan then became a self-publisher, printing, promoting and distributing his book as a 3-ring binder (for revisions) and received a 90% royalty for his efforts. Having found his passion, he decided to share it, by publishing a how-to book on self-publishing. And then, ultimately, up to 130 books (mostly about writing), but some on diverse subjects, such as a manual on throwing a Frisbee (printed as a round book, packed and sold in a real Frisbee); word processors; hang gliding; older cats; buying a computer; air travel; how to be an expert witness; navigating book fairs; (and his last), a Transplant Handbook for Patients. Dan held writing seminars in his home in Santa Barbara, daylong affairs with a break for lunch: large taco shells filled with stuff he claimed was a family recipe (before his acolytes arrived that morning, he would hide the Taco Bell packaging). Consulting in court rooms as an expert witness, he became a motivational speaker, holding alternative education classes worldwide in non-fiction writing, editing, printing, marketing and publishing. Over the years, married to the Internet, Dan has edited and published newsletters and blogs, 24/7, about air travel, the book industry, parachuting and professional speaking. He had no need for No-Doz. He lived to write. Dan was also thrifty. Instead of buying a replacement-heating element for his oven, he simply depended more on his microwave. Instead of hiring professionals to clean out his septic tank, he decided to Do-It-Yourself. Instead of the latest interior decoration, he was perfectly comfortable with furniture from the ‘70’s, including a waterbed. Your Money’s Worth, “amortization” personified.
Dan Poynter was recognized for lifetime achievement in so many ways: He was inducted into the Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in 2012; he served as Chairman of the Board for the United States Parachute Association; as President for the Parachute Industry Association; as Director for the U.S. Hang Gliding Association; as President for the Commission Internationale du Vol Libre of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale; as a Trustee/Secretary of the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame. His awards include tributes from the U. S. Parachute Association, 1980; Publishers Marketing Association, 1992; Book Publishers of Southern California, 1995; National Speakers Association, 2004; Parachute Industry Association, 2005.
Dan is survived by two brothers, Jimmy and Andy, and numerous nieces and nephews. He can look forward to catching-up with his childhood (legal) pets, Boo (a skunk), and Bandit (a raccoon). After College of the Pacific, Dan attended Hastings College of the Law, where a Professor kept Dan from matriculating over a 1/10th of a point. Thank You, Professor!