Dan Moriarty, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend passed away Thursday September 21, 2023. Dan was born on June 22, 1941, in Clayton, NM to Daniel P. and Gertrude (Swoyer) Moriarty, who lived in Hayden, NM. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his younger brother, John Moriarty.
He was raised in the small town of Amistad, NM where he participated in 4-H and played baseball and basketball for the High School. He went on to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM where he received his Bachelors degree in Police Science and his Masters of Arts in Government. After college, he married Mary Ann Toepper in Clayton, NM on December 29, 1966.
Being raised in a small town afforded Dan the ability to know and be known by everyone. He had many stories of the bus trips to school and having to stay overnight with the bus driver when the road was flooded, or snow was too deep to pass. He worked at the Zurich ranch while in school and became like family to them. It was a big leap for the small-town boy to move to the big city of Las Cruces for college. He wasn’t the smartest in the beginning, but he worked the hardest and navigated his way through. Having Mary Ann to help him with his papers helped too!
He had a long career in law enforcement across the state, bringing vision, leadership, teamwork, and compassion to every role. He held various positions within the Union County/Clayton and Las Cruces Police Departments. He utilized his experience in law enforcement to pursue a career with New Mexico Department of Corrections in 1969 and transferred to Albuquerque as a supervisor in 1974. In 1983, he pivoted again to take a leadership role within the NM State prison system as the Warden of the Los Lunas Correctional Facility. He retired from the State in 1988 and moved to the private sector as the Deputy Warden of the Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants, NM. Shortly after that role, he became the Warden at the Torrance County Detention Facility until his retirement in 1997. He considered many of those he worked with life-long friends and kept in touch with them through the years. During his tenure as Warden in Torrance County, he enjoyed sponsoring and participating in the local Youth Livestock Association. He personally attended, and as a fellow 4-H member, was very proud of the children and their accomplishments.
Dan was never idle. As their children grew, he participated in their activities and became personally involved. He spent many years as the President of the Duke City Dashers, a local AAU Track Club, where he also frequently acted as meet director for track and field and cross country. He was able to cheer on Barbara and then later Susan and Patrick as they all had their turn with the track club. He had a booming voice and could always be heard from anywhere in the stadium. He then became the event director for the Annual La Luz Trail Run up the side of the Sandias. This became a family event that we all looked forward to over the years. Dan and Mary Ann lived in their Albuquerque home for 49 years and were active members of the neighborhood. Dan took over the neighborhood association, organizing picnics and the neighborhood watch program.
One of his passions was watching sports and going to sporting events. He especially loved The Dallas Cowboys, The UNM Lobos, and his favorite was the NMSU Aggies. He held season tickets to the Lobo Basketball and Football seasons and attended in person as their health allowed.
After retirement, he and Mary Ann began traveling with their friends and family all over the world. He absolutely loved to plan their trips and experience new places, traditions, and people. Their travel allowed them to visit their children and grandchildren which brought him so much joy. Anyone that knew him knew what his children and grandchildren were doing. He loved to boast about their accomplishments; he was so proud to be a Paw Paw. He loved visiting with everyone and looked forward to family gatherings. We often joked that our dining room table was the most photographed table because he never let an opportunity for photo op pass. In 2015, Mary Ann suffered a stroke which impacted her speech. Dan dedicated all his energy to find her treatments and therapy which we believe had a positive impact on her recovery. He was always looking forward and took an optimistic approach to any challenge that was put in his way. We will all miss his energy and spirit!
Dan’s legacy of love endures as he is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Mary Ann (Toepper) Moriarty; his cherished children Barbara Herrera and her husband, Stacy, of Edgewood, Susan Strathman and her husband, Tyler, of Chandler, AZ, and Patrick Moriarty and his wife, Lara, of Rocklin, CA; his six grandchildren, Benjamin Strathman, Abby Strathman, Stacie Herrera, Shane Moriarty, Tate Moriarty, and Riley Moriarty; his dear sisters Mary Bleiker, Julia Moriarty Munger, and Theresa Keener; and many nieces and nephews.
The viewing will be held on Thursday, September 28th, 1:00-3:00pm at Riverside Funeral Home, 225 San Mateo Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87108. Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 29th, 2:00PM (viewing from 1:30-2:00pm) at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 5311 Phoenix Avenue, Albuquerque, NM 87110.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities or The Wounded Warrior Project in his name.