Daniel Kaltneckar tragically passed away on January 2, 2022 of a sudden heart attack at age 40. Though his time in this world was short, his memory will live on through the profound impact he made on his family, friends, and students.
Known in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community most notably as “Danny Omaha,” “Barbie,” and “Professor Danny,” Daniel trained in the martial art for 12 years and was promoted to black belt in April 2018. Jiu Jitsu was his life’s passion, and Dan was always thankful to have found a community that not only let his competitive spirit thrive, but also allowed him to constantly learn and connect with people from all walks of life. A master of wrist locks and known for his signature “Barbie Choke,” Danny was also an enthusiastic and charismatic coach who was always willing to share his knowledge with his students, helping them thrive and achieve their full potential, both on the mats and in life.
A true athlete, Dan was a fearless mountain biker and he and his girlfriend rode countless miles, always stopping to explore interesting sites he found along the way. He was a lover of animals, especially cats and turtles. On more than one occasion, Dan surprised his mother by bringing home a stray cat he rescued or a turtle he found in the woods.
While he loved fitness, Dan also loved food. His visits to restaurants always involved methodical menu research and planning to ensure that any indulgence was worth it. Dan was a man that always had a plan.
Dan had a long career as a personal trainer at the Westfield YMCA. He could coax the best out of his clients and loved laughing with them as he helped achieve their fitness goals. He was particularly proud of the work he did at the YMCA to help people with Parkinson’s Disease and children with special needs.
Born and raised in Westfield, Dan loved his town and his community. Dan spent all his summers with his family on the beaches of his beloved Cape May, enjoying boogie boarding with his niblings, visiting his favorite restaurants, and treating himself to a Cape May IPA.
Danny was fiercely loyal to those he loved, always had his friend’s backs, and was generous even to those he barely knew. His smile will be missed by all who met him.
Danny is survived by his proud parents, Betty Ann and Nick Kaltneckar; his older sister Kerry Ross and her husband Eyal Ross and their three children, Leigh, Noam, and Ziv; his loving partner Yalissa Alfaro; and many, many friends.
A wake will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on January 5, 2022 at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave, Westfield, NJ 07090
To send flowers to Daniel's family, please visit our floral store.