Harlan D. Grafel was born Oct. 17, 1924, in Hitchcock County, Neb., to August P. and Mary (Wolfram) Grafel. He died July 20, 2005, from injuries suffered in a car accident.
Harlan graduated from Herndon High School in 1942. He was drafted into the U. S. Army in 1944 and served his country during World War II in Okinawa. After being discharged from the service, Harlan farmed south of Culbertson, Neb., with his three brothers and worked in the oil field until 1965, when he began a bulk oil, fuel, and fertilizer business in Herndon, Kan. He then opened a plumbing shop in Herndon and had been retired the last several years. He and his wife, Norma, had moved into Herndon, but Harlan often went out to the farm to check cattle or spray thistles, and, hopefully, find chokecherries for Norma's infamous jelly. He was an avid collector of guns and antique wrenches.
Harlan was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Harry, of Trenton, Neb., and one sister, Grace Dack, of McCook, Neb.
Survivors include his wife, Norma, of Herndon, Kan.; his son, Rich, of rural Oberlin, Kan.; his daughter, Sheila Marney, and husband, Greg, of Rossville, Kan.; his brothers: Ray and his wife, Barbara, of rural McCook; Elmore, and wife, Beverley, of rural Culbertson; three sisters: Gladys Crocker of McCook; Beaulah Brown, of Fort Morgan, Colo.; Donna Hoxie and husband, Ted, of Lincoln, Neb.; four grandchildren: Dan Grafel and his wife, Melinda, of rural Oberlin; Greg Grafel and his wife, Amanda, of rural Oberlin; Jayson Wylie of Costilla, N.M.; and Jennifer Marney, of Topeka, Kan; seven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Harlan was cremated and a memorial service will be held Saturday, July 23rd, at Republican Valley Event Center (Old Elks Building) in McCook, Neb., at 3 p.m. A private inurnment will be done at a later time.
Friends may sign his book at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home on Friday until 5 p.m. and Saturday morning 9 a.m. until noon. Please use south entrance on C Street. Friends may also send condolences online at www.carpenterbreland.com.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Herndon City Fire Department.
The name of Harlan Grafel's sister-in-law, Patty Grafel of Trenton, was inadvertantly omitted from the obituary published in the Friday, July 22, 2005, McCook Daily Gazette.