Daniel E. Graves - August 29, 2012Bradshaw resident Daniel E. Graves, 62, died Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 at St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island after a hard fought and courageous two-and-a-half year battle with multiple myeloma.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the United Methodist Church in Bradshaw with the Rev. Mary Scott officiating. Upon Dan’s request, he was cremated. There will be no visitation, viewing or graveside services. The family plans to scatter the ashes at a later date at his favorite place.
Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation. Metz Mortuary, York is handling arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.metzmortuary.com.
Dan was born Aug. 6, 1950, in Aurora to Daniel and Arline (Evans) Graves of Bradshaw as the second of three siblings. He graduated from Polk High School in 1968 and from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1973 with a degree in agricultural engineering.
Dan and his wife Joyce met through mutual friends while Dan was working in Fairbury. After Dan decided to return to farming, he and Joyce purchased a farm northwest of Bradshaw in 1974 and moved there a year later. The couple was married May 3, 1975, in the Graves’ family home near Polk. Their daughter, Shay Danielle, was born in 1981 and son, Daniel Aaron, was born in 1988.
Dan and his father, Daniel Graves, farmed together for many years tilling the land and growing corn with care. Farming was one of the greatest joys of Dan’s life. To him, it wasn’t just a career. It was a lifestyle. He served as a steward of the land teaching his children to love and appreciate the work even bringing his son Dan into the business a few years ago.
When he wasn’t farming, Dan had many hobbies starting with his love of old cars. He spent hours in his shop restoring the vehicles from the frame to the interior. Dan was one of the original members of the 81 Cruisers Car Club in York County and the Nebraska Rod and Custom Association in which he served both as secretary and treasurer. Taking old cars to rod runs and car shows became a family affair taking the group across the state and the nation.
In the winter when the first snows fell, Dan loved riding snowmobiles with his wife, kids and friends in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Dan and Joyce started riding snowmobiles in the early 1980s and by the 1990s had ventured to Yellowstone National Park and Snowy Range where they also enjoyed the great outdoors in the winter from a snowmobile. Snowmobiling became another family hobby, something the family would do together every year in December.
Dan’s love of tinkering with anything with an engine extended to antique tractors as well. He owned several Massey Harris tractors and was always on the Internet or reading auction bills trying to find the next great tractor. His love of Massey Harris tractors stemmed from the Massey Harris tractor that his father owned when Dan was a child. Antique tractor pulling became a special bonding time for Dan and his son. The hobby required a lot of hard work but was one that they looked forward to every Sunday.
Another one of Dan’s great passions was car racing. In the early years, he would watch races on television from the couch or his chair but extended that hobby to attending races at Junction Motor Speedway and major NASCAR tracks. No matter what kind of racing, big or small, he loved it all!
Along with all of his hobbies, Dan also served as a long-time member of the Bradshaw Rural Fire Board. He served as both secretary and treasurer of the board and always enjoyed the work.
During his battle with multiple myeloma, Dan’s greatest companion was his 20-pound Miniature Schnauzer Ivan who served as a great lap warmer and friend.
Survivors include wife, Joyce of Bradshaw; son, Daniel A. of Benedict; daughter, Shay (Timothy) Burk of Hastings; brother, Kevin (Shannon) Graves of Bradshaw; brother-in-law Ron Tonniges of Utica; mother-in-law Phyllis Watson of Fairbury; sister-in-law Pam (Larr) Fisbeck of Newcastle, Okla.; sister-in-law, Judi (Scott) Ryan of Omaha; and brother-in-law, Doug (Trish) Watson of Fairbury; many nieces and nephews and lifelong friends Joel Stevens of Stromsburg and Charlie Snider of York.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents and sister Janet Graves Folts Tonniges and brother-in-law Norman Folts.