Photos courtesy of Daniel Miller-Dempsey
Whether you know him from around town, kids' school events, or - more likely- from Hingham Pinboard, you would probably agree with us that Daniel Miller-Dempsey is one of the funniest guys in town. (And why do we always feel the need to use his full name?) He has a way, both online and in his "real" life of building community through humor and wit. In addition to being the "funny guy,' Daniel also has a serious side, much of which is directed towards his career of working with families during their toughest hours to discuss the gift of organ donation. He is passionate about the role that he plays in these families lives as well as the lives of the beneficiaries of those organs. When he's not at work or making us laugh online, Daniel can be found enjoying family time with his husband, Tim and their two children, entertaining for friends and family, or planning his next trip.
Hingham, Meet Daniel.
What do you love most about Hingham?
I, like most, love the beauty of the area. I like that my children can travel safely around town. I love that we have a thriving downtown with nice restaurants, beautiful shops, and lots to do. We have made so many wonderful friends here.
You've become a bit of a celebrity on Hingham pinboard/discussion board with your unique, funny and entertaining way of addressing town issues. Do you have a favorite post on one of our town boards?
I’m surely not a celebrity but I do have fun being provocative and am guilty in highlighting some of the more absurd requests on the 8600 pinboards that Hingham currently has. It has to be known that I’m also guilty of posting these requests. Like the time we were in the Caribbean and I posted for help for my in-laws who were moving across the country with 50 years worth of stuff to be closer to us, and we went on vacation for two weeks just as they were arriving. I was able to find a few high school kids who were a great deal of help to them, but I did take my licks from friends in town who saw the absurdity in this.
I have so many favorites, I don’t know where to begin. There are always the posts where 50+ people post to answer a question that google could auto populate with three letters. “Hingham school calen…..” FYI. It tells you there when there is a half-day.
I also live for the post where someone is asking for a vacation suggestion but asks way more than where to stay or restaurant recommendations while there. You better buckle down in your war room and send them details of your entire trip. From hotels to airlines, to how you got seven ski bags and a family of five to Logan for $26.00 or don’t bother even commenting. “You’re not listening! I need a complete itinerary and someone to do all the planning!”
On facebook, in your funny and casual way, you are able to make people laugh nearly everyday on a variety of topics? Does your "Pinboard" persona accurately reflect your "real life" personality?
I think it does. There is sarcasm in my bloodline for sure. My parent’s both had/have a wicked wit that we adored as kids. Our home was light and loving and I think my siblings and I owe a lot of that to our parent’s ability to laugh along with life. Even the very serious of times called for some levity. We are not even Hingham residents for three years yet and I have made some seriously wonderful friends. A lot of those friends have been through our children and neighbors, but a fair bit have been from initial contact through the Facebook community.
What's your favorite local spot?
The beach I grew up on (Gunrock) is just a little over 2 miles from where we live and we have a family beach house there. It is the ultimate spot to raise a family and spend time with people I have known my entire life. We love it there.
What's one thing on your bucket list?
I would like to spend a few weeks in a house in the South of France with friends and family. We’d walk and bike in the countryside, food shop in the villages, cook wonderful food, swim in the pool, and relax.
Favorite vacation spot?
This is a hard one because we love to travel. Whether it’s far away or a local road trip, we just love it. That being said I would choose Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. It’s other-worldly beautiful and we’ve really gotten to know the area. Daily snorkeling, pool time, and each year we incorporate some sort of adventure like zip-lining, sailing, or rafting. My husband’s parent’s generously allow us to stay at their timeshare every few years for two weeks and we usually bring another family with us. We’re going with friends in 2021. It’s paradise. If you’d like to be considered for 2025, you can drop large amount gift cards for Williams Sonoma and/or Sur la Table in our Hornstra Box. Just kidding, we buy our milk from the grocery store like animals.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I can carry a tune and in the past was in church choir, a barbershop group, and some musicals.
What's one thing people may not know about you?
I watch every Real Housewives that I can get my hands on because I am garbage. I legit watched New Zealand. I would watch any of them at any time.
If you could give the children of Hingham one piece of advice, what would it be?
Other than teaching them well and letting them lead the way? I would tell them to be thankful for the safe town they’re growing up in. I would tell them to push the boundaries of their comfort and be who they dare to be at every cost. I would ask them to look outside our world here and practice compassion to those in need of it.
What do you do for a living?
I have been a Family Services Coordinator at New England Donor Services for twenty years. My job is super specific. I meet with the loved ones of patient’s who are dying or have died in an ICU setting to discuss the opportunity for their loved one to help those in need of organ transplants. I work in every hospital in New England, and specifically work with the staff to make certain I am discussing donation with these families at the best possible time. I have worked diligently over the years to hone my skills in an effort to give each family my best in their time of tragedy.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Oh boy, here I go, buckle up. Unless you have experienced this in person it’s not very easy for others to understand just how much we owe these donors and their families. At the very worst time in their lives, they step outside of their grief and make the decision to change the course of the lives of others simply because they are kind. They are somehow able to see through their acute grief and realize that others don’t have to suffer like them if they agree to help. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching and a miracle all at the same time. I get to bear witness to this kindness everyday and it’s one of the things in my life that I am most thankful for.
If you had a different career, what would it be?
Maybe teaching in-home meal preparation/how to entertain or living in Ina Garten’s broom closet. Either one.
When presented with two choices, when did you make a decision that changed the course of your life?
When Tim and I decided to adopt babies, our life was forever changed. We went from full life to a much much fuller life. Like any parent, it’s been the hardest and best jobs of our lives. David and Jacob bring us happiness every day.