He was born March 30, 1998, to Dana Sr. and Cathy Gauthier. He attended Walter Hays School.
"He was a very kind, calm, mature little boy," said Edie Chong, his kindergarten teacher. "He always had a smile on his face and took care of others."
Two years ago, he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Throughout his treatment, he continued to go to school and participated in almost all of his activities. "He didn't want anyone to feel sorry for him," said his third-grade teacher Diana Baker. "When Dana was at school, he was just one of the kids. That's the way he wanted it."
Known as DJ to his friends, he loved to play sports, especially soccer, and was an active member of Cub Scout Den 6, Pack 57. For the past two years, Den 6 has donated the proceeds of its popcorn sales to the Center for Brain Tumor Research at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. This year the boys sold more than $10,000 worth of popcorn, raising $2,500 for cancer research. Dana was one of the top two salesmen.
"Dana stood out as a kid who really believed in the part of scouting that was about community service," said his Cub Scout den leader, Rob Schoeben. "He was always thinking about other people, even when he needed other people to be thinking about him."
In addition to his parents and three sisters, Dana Jr. is survived by his grandmother; one aunt; six uncles; and 16 cousins.
Calling hours will be on Sunday, July 29, 5-6 p.m. (open casket) and 6-8 p.m. (closed casket) at the Roller, Hapgood & Tinney funeral home, 980 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Funeral services will be Monday, July 30, at noon at the First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto, followed by a graveside service at Alta Mesa cemetery, Palo Alto and a reception at the First Congregational Church at approximately 3:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Lucile Salter Packard Foundation for Children's Health, Children's Brain Tumor Fund, 770 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304, Attn: Denise Ellestad
Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, 235 Pine St., 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104 or www.makewish.org.