Dan Bader Tribute


Daniel David Bader was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on December 27, 1923, the youngest of the four sons of John and Rose Bader, who emigrated from Germany, first to Canada, then to America. John worked a series of jobs, among them a stint with the Boston Elevator Company, then after moving to Brooklyn, NY, in the furniture department of Steinway & Sons Pianos.

The four boys, George, Ed, Herman & Dan began moving pianos as a way to supplement the meager family income. This was the genesis of what eventually became Bader Bros. Van Lines, Inc., a giant among independent New York movers.

Shortly after Dan graduated from Bushwick High School, he was drafted into the US Army and fought with the 4th Infantry Division in the European Theatre of Operations in World War II. He was the sole survivor three times in platoons in which he served, and would be awarded the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in battle.

Upon their return home after the war, Dan and his brother Herman (who served with distinction as a bombardier/navigator with the Air Force in the Pacific Theatre) resumed their careers with their other two brothers, as well as George's brother-in-law, Fred Bauer, who would eventually become a full partner in the firm. The post-war boom would see Bader Bros.' business grow rapidly, moving thousands of New York retirees and transferees to Florida, and eventually, Bader Bros. trucks carried shipments all the way to the west coast.

It was during this time that Dan met Ethelyn Berger who lived a few brownstones down from the family on Decatur St. in Bushwick, and they married on June 15, 1947. Three years later, they would welcome their only child, Donald, into the world, and would move from their duplex in the Glendale section of Queens to East Meadow, Long Island. It was also during this period that Dan would get his first taste of auctioneering in 1962, selling dead storage lots at a facility the family purchased from the William H. Strang Company, located at 900 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

After the Baders sold their interests in the van line business in the mid-1970s, Dan continued to do auctions for movers the family had known over the years, most notably Molloy Bros. And it was thanks to one such Molloy auction around 1988 that he was referred to the self-storage industry. He became an "overnight sensation", and the business grew so rapidly that his son Don, whose background was in broadcasting, acting and retail sales, moved from Atlanta and went into partnership with him.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Auctioncheer, Inc. (a name chosen by Ethelyn) continues to this day to be the undisputed leader in self-storage auctions in the metro-NY area. More than anyone, Don Bader knows he will always be standing on the shoulders of his legendary father. But as Don likes to say, he enjoys the view.