On Christmas morning, Daniel Jaffke finally had the chance to properly thank his father, who for the past 20 years had given every guitar he owned to his son.
Thomas Jaffke gave Daniel his first guitar and started teaching him to play it when he was 10 years old. After that Daniel was never without the instrument, and anytime Thomas bought another guitar, it quickly went to his son.
Last Christmas, Daniel had saved his money to buy his father his own guitar — which Thomas called the best instrument he had ever received.
Daniel, 30, who lived in Whiteland for about seven years and attended Whiteland Community High School, was shot and killed over the weekend in Indianapolis while delivering a pizza to a southside apartment complex.
His car was stolen and later found by police, who are still looking for his killer.
As the shock of Daniel’s death is starting to fade for his friends and family, they’re remembering his love for music.
Daniel periodically talked about moving to either the East or West coast, but he didn’t have ambitions to become a rock star.
He just wanted to make music that people enjoyed, his sister Dianna Line and his friend Derek Hanson both said.
Daniel listened to and learned the songs of bands such as Nirvana and Tool and started writing his own music that he would play for friends and family.
“I think really, Daniel ultimately wanted in the simplest of terms, to be happy with what he was doing,” Hanson said.
Hanson met Daniel through friends in 2000 while the two were in high school.
Daniel was listening to a lot of rock and alternative metal bands at the time, including the Deftones, Tool and A Perfect Circle. Shortly after he met Hanson, the pair found three other members and formed their own metal band.
Daniel sang and helped write most of the band’s songs, Hanson said.
“It was very, very raw. And kind of undisciplined all around,” Hanson said.
As they got older and their musical tastes changed they formed a new project, Two o’clock Twilight, which was a kind of electronic pop alternative partially influenced by bands such as Radiohead. Two o’clock Twilight recorded two albums.
Before his death, Daniel spoke with Hanson about some new songs he wanted to write.
“That was what we felt was our crowning achievement in writing music together,” Hanson said.
Daniel, who had six siblings and eight nieces and nephews, also used music to bond with his family.
When Line’s now 24-year-old son started playing music and was looking for a band to join, Daniel would practice with him and mentor him. And anytime his nephew had a show or performance, Daniel would find a way to attend and show support, Line said.
“He was a supporter of everybody. And it really didn’t matter what it was. If he loved you, he was there. No matter what,” Line said.