MIDWEST CITY — U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Fannin was remembered Monday as a loving husband, a dedicated colleague and a generous man with an easy smile during a funeral service at Rose State College.
Fannin, 30, was killed, along with three fellow servicemen, in a plane crash April 27 at Kandahar, Afghanistan.
More than 1,700 colleagues, family and friends of Fannin packed the Rose State College Performing Arts Center for his funeral service.
In a slideshow, Fannin could be seen fishing as a child and curled up with his beloved dogs. Later pictures showed Fannin as a proud member of the Air Force, and the day he married his wife, Sonya.
While eulogizing her husband, Sonya Fannin recounted the day they met at a coffee shop in 2007, and later, how he greeted her with a dozen white roses on their first date.
“Without knowing it, he had presented me with my favorite flower,” she said. “I knew that day that I would marry him.”
Sonya Fannin said before asking her to marry him, he sold his beloved AR-15 rifle to help pay for her engagement ring.
“It's a big deal to sell your gun for a gal,” she said.
Sonya Fannin said that the day before he was killed, she and her husband had a Facebook conversation about salvation.
“How amazing is God to give us that chance,” she said through tears.
He was assigned to the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Kandahar Air Base while in Afghanistan, and had three previous deployed tours as an E-3 AWACS Air Surveillance Technician and MC-12 Sensor Operator.
He was qualified as an instructor air surveillance technician, and also served with distinction in the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base.
Col. Greg Guillot recalled Fannin's dedication to his job. Guillot said when a lock on a safe containing sensitive information broke, Fannin volunteered to guard the safe until it could be repaired. Guillot also recalled Fannin's ever-present smile.
“That smile will be the key to helping us heal,” he said.
A native of Moreland, Ky., Fannin had been stationed at Tinker for several years. He will be buried at Fort Gibson National Cemetery.