Donald Eugene Graber, 69, of DeLand, Fla. passed away peacefully and suddenly Dec. 27, 2013 in Gainesville, Fla. He had been attempting to complete his goal of a 25-mile walk week at the local Earl Brown Park in DeLand.
He was born Donald Eugene Graber, April 3, 1944, in Washington, to Ezra and Wilma (Moore) Graber, and grew up in Montgomery. He graduated from Montgomery High School in 1962 and Purdue University, Indianapolis and Lafayette. He was a star basketball player in high school and an avid sports fan who followed Purdue football and basketball his entire life. He was the best friend anyone could ask for and ascribed many of them with their own particular monikers. He had a larger than life personality and took control of every room he entered. He and his wife Maddie retired early to DeLand, Fla in 1995 and were admired throughout their community. He could be considered mayor of Earl Brown Park since he walked there so many days throughout the years. He was a lover of life, one who embraced life and valued not material possessions or status. He valued family and friends and took each of his titles, father, son, brother, nephew, uncle, friend deeply to heart. He was a devoted son who took wonderful care of his mother in the last year and half of her life, and a devoted father. He is survived of by his son Brian (April) Graber and his step-daughter Neia (Tom) Gwaltney and his grandchildren; Haley, Brayden, Josh, Jenna and Will and his sisters, Janet Rosdil and Betty Graber. He was predeceased by his wife Madeline Grace, his parents, Ezra and Wilma Graber and his sister Saundra France. Online condolences may be made to www.allensummerhill.com.