Donald E. Grafel

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Donald E. Grafel

Feb. 13, 1925 - Sept. 11, 2017

HERNDON, Kan. Donald E. Grafel, 92, died Monday (Sept. 11, 2017), at Herndon.

He was born Feb. 13, 1925, to Henry and Myrtle (Bobinmyer) Grafel in Herndon. He grew up in Herndon and graduated from Herndon Rural High School in 1943. He married Beulah Gayle Franke on July 25, 1948, in Herndon and they lived on the Grafel Homestead until 1987, when they moved to Herndon. After the death of his first wife, he married Joan (Spiers) Nelson on April 16, 1994, in Oberlin.

He was a retired farmer. He was a member of United Church of Christ in Herndon and Atwood Masonic Lodge No. 164.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Myrtle (Bobinmyer) Grafel; first wife, Gayle (Franke) Grafel; three sisters, Reva Grafel (infant), Virginia Portschy and Eunice Brenning; and great-grandson, Jasper Kendall Grafel.

Survivors include his wife, Joan Grafel of Herndon; children, Keith Grafel (Roma) of Council Grove, Kent Grafel (Lorri) of Culbertson, Neb., Kyle Grafel (Cindi) of Herndon, Kurt Grafel (Kristin) of Natoma and Leah Atchley (Randall) of Knoxville, Tenn.; step-children, Steve Nelson (Susan) of Oberlin and Todd Nelson of Denver, Colo., and Nanette Philbrick (Kevin) of Casper, Wyo.; 18 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild on the way.

Visitation is Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, from 8 a.m to 5 p.m at Pauls Funeral Home in Oberlin.

Services are Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, 10 a.m. at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Herndon with the Rev. Keith Reuther officiating.

A family service will be Friday at 7 p.m at the church in Herndon.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Herndon Alumni Museum. Online condolences may be shared at

Pauls Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.