The shocking news came a week ago; Dan Block, who had suffered from health issues the past few years, passed away at his Temecula, California home on Sunday, March 12. Block was 58 years old, and left a wife, Karen, his brother, Tim, of San Clemente, CA, and sons Ryan, 27, and Riley, 17.
I knew Dan for nearly 30 years; I saw him compete as a bodybuilder, knew he was a high school and college cross-country star, and eventually ordered Flex equipment through him for the weight room at Cal State University, Los Angeles in the mid to late 1980s. But, I wasn’t nearly as close to Dan as IRON MAN contributing author Dr. Eric Sternlicht, who first met Dan back in 1979 through Tom Platz at Block’s Gym in Santa Ana, CA.
“Dan was an industry leader and an innovator,” says Dr. Sternlicht, “and was the face of Flex at trade shows and within the business. Dan was highly respected and sought after for his knowledge and expertise. He had a knack for remembering people’s faces and names, and made everyone feel at ease, and to trust his word.
“As a person, Dan was principled, honest and well respected by both his clients and by his competitors in the industry. Dan was profiled on the cover and in a feature article in the National Fitness Trade Journal’s spring, 2003 publication, and received the Journal’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004.
“Dan’s athletic prowess ranged from being a competitive high school and college runner, amateur bodybuilder and, even for a time, a competitive road cyclist. We raced together many times. He introduced many friends to each sport he was involved in, and quickly became close with those already involved in each sport. He always moved to the top level in each activity he pursued.
“Dan loved to train as much as compete…he had an incredible drive and determination, and the ability to dedicate the time and energy necessary to come into a competition knowing he had done more than any of his foes.
“In recent years Dan had suffered from health issues; due to circumstances from a failed back surgery in 2003, Dan had permanent nerve damage that continued to worsen and limit the quality of his life. He fought long and hard to overcome it, but it became more and more difficult to deal with the pain and deteriorating muscles.
“Dan’s strong character and personality won’t be forgotten, and his spirit will live on through his sons, and with his friends, for years to come.”
For further information regarding the trust fund set up for Dan’s sons, and the remembrance celebration, to be held in Orange County in mid-April, write to [email protected].
Condolences to all of Dan’s family and friends. To Dan, R.I.P.