Daniel Richard Sharp, age 63, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, passed away peacefully in his sleep, Thursday, September 14, 2017, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. His brother, David Sharp, attributed his death to heart ailment.
Born June 3, 1954, in Covington, Virginia, he was a son of the late Richard and Frances Orrell Sharp. He lived in Gaithersburg, Maryland, from 1978 until his death.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Old Dominion University around 1976, Daniel developed glomerulonephritis, which damaged his kidneys. In January 1981, at the age of 26, Daniel received a kidney transplant using a kidney donated by his brother, David, who was 25 years old at the time. The double-operation was performed at University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. While convalescing, Daniel got a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia. He worked for approximately 26 years as a Health Physicist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Radiation Safety Division. Prior to that, he held a similar position for approximately eight years with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He retired October 2016.
He was an active member of Grace United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he sang in the church choir, participated in the bell choir and taught English as a second language. Daniel loved all kinds of music and was a talented piano player. He was an outstanding amateur photographer and displayed many photos he had taken on his travels. He also loved to cook and was constantly trying new recipes.
Daniel was proud of his sixth generation “Sharp” heritage. He was a grandchild of Odessa Jordan Sharp and Aaron Sharp who lived in the small village of Frost in Pocahontas County. He was especially proud of his paternal grandmother, Dessa Jordan, who taught him valuable lessons of life from an early age. He also enjoyed visiting his mother’s relatives in Halifax County, Virginia, near the North Carolina border. Daniel loved growing up in Central Virginia, in the small town of Orange, raised by his beloved parents, Frances and Richard. He held fond memories of his childhood in Orange, especially during Christmas season. He once wrote of those happy times: “Mamma and Pop were smart, kind, loving, and generous parents, and my memories of Christmas with them, all those years ago, are dear and precious to me now. These very happy memories, and all the memories of my childhood, were to sustain me for all the decades of my life, yet to come.”
Daniel’s family, friends and community are grateful for his wisdom, love and service and celebrate his remarkable life as they mourn his passing.
In addition to his parents, Daniel was preceded in death by two brothers, Michael Jeffrey Sharp and Joseph Aaron Sharp; five aunts and six uncles, including the renowned Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and educator Dr. Roland P. Sharp.
He is survived by his brother, David Sharp, and wife, Tighe, of Silver Spring, Maryland; long-time friend, Gary Saltsman, of Washington, D.C.; three nieces: Teresa Sharp, and husband, Adam, Mandy Hilton, and husband, Andy, and Emily Sharp; and numerous first and second cousins.
Funeral service was held September 19 at Grace United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, led by Reverend James “Jim” Miller. Graveside service was conducted at Parklawn Cemetery, in Rockville, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016.