Hundreds gather for funeral of Perry principal mortally wounded in school shooting

PERRY — Hundreds gathered at this weekend’s funeral for the Perry High School principal who put himself in harm’s way to save others during a school shooting. Dan Marburger was shot several times on January 4th and died 10 days later.

He was eulogized by his wife and one of his five children. Elizabeth Marburger says her husband modeled love and grace every day and she urged the congregation to see the good in the world. “This that we’ve lived the last couple of weeks has been the rotten, but the good is out there and every day we have to look for the good,” she said. “…He fought like hell for 10 days and he gave us 10 days to love on him…He was so tired. He just needed to rest.”

Marburger says her husband gave her unconditional love.  “It’s the only kind of love Dan gave. Forty-three years ago in eighth grade, I became the recipient of that — 43 years. eighth grade. It just doesn’t seem like long enough.”

Claire Marburger says one of the biggest lessons she learned from her dad is that being present matters and he remains in their hearts and heads.  “If I had a genie with one wish it wouldn’t be a new car or a house or a dollar amount,” she said. “It wouldn’t even have to be to have dad back, because I know that’s a big wish. My wish would be for one of dad’s hugs.”

Dan Marburger was a native of Sabula, Iowa, and played football for Central College in Pella. After graduating from Central in 1989, he returned to teach and coach at his hometown high school, East Central in Miles. Marburger started as an associate principal at Perry High School in 1995 and had been the school’s lead principal since 1997. His family plans to use memorial contributions for a scholarship fund in his name.