In the evening hours of Sunday, September 12, 2021, one of the great generation, Dan Calvin DeGraw, age 94, passed away at Central Utah Veteran’s Home in Payson, Utah, unexpectedly, after a very short illness. He was a good son and devoted brother, a hard-working husband, and the guiding force as our dad and grandpa, and he was a thoughtful neighbor. He was a life-long resident of Spanish Fork, Utah.
Dan was born December 25, 1926, in Spanish Fork, Utah, to John Clarence DeGraw and Estella Olivia Mortensen DeGraw. He had five sisters: Faye, Vera Mae, Helen, LaRee, and Betty Lou; and one brother, Jack.
He attended school in Spanish Fork through the ninth grade, but when he learned his brother, Jack, who was fighting with the US military in WWII, had been taken captive as a POW, Dan went off to find him. Determined to bring him home, Dan enlisted, and ended up serving his country in the US Coast Guard Merchant Marines for several years. He was patriotic his entire life. In his later years, as a WWII Veteran, he had the opportunity to serve as a member of the VFW Honor Guard, a service in which he was proud to participate.
Dan married Farol Maxine Clayson, in Provo, Utah. They were later sealed in the Manti Utah Temple in 1964. They had been married 72 years, at the time of her passing away, in July 2017. Together, they raised their family in Spanish Fork, three sons and two daughters: Diane, Gary, Denise, Rod, and Kent.
He worked as a Coreman at Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company for 44 years. Always a hard worker, he wasn’t suited to sitting still after retirement, so liking to be busily engaged in something, he went to work at the Pit Stop gas and convenience store on North Main Street in Spanish Fork. He was very sociable and was happy to see many people each day. That job was a natural fit, and he didn’t really think of it as work. He also worked at Duke’s Lanes (bowling alley) in Spanish Fork, where he was a “jack-of-all-trades” helping with everything from pin-setting to repairs to renting shoes. Later, still wanting something to keep himself busy, he became a van driver for Spanish Fork Senior Citizens, which he really liked doing. Just seeing the smiles of all the cute little Senior Citizens Center ladies, when he arrived to take them on their errands or appointments or to lunch, was a highlight of his days.
Dan was a member of the Elks Lodge for over 20 years. He was active in the Spanish Fork community as a member of the Jaycees service organization. He also coached Little League baseball for years in Spanish Fork, teaching and mentoring young men. Coaching was something he loved.
He was a sports enthusiast, from baseball to golf, a good athlete in his own right – he did it all. He was also an avid outdoorsman. He kept an immaculate yard. But what he loved most was watching his own children and then his grandchildren play sports. Being at all those events was almost a full-time job and he absolutely loved every minute.
Dan is survived by four of his five children: Gary DeGraw of Spanish Fork, Utah; Denise (Buddy) Bradford of Spanish Fork, Utah; Rod DeGraw of St. George, Utah; and Kent DeGraw of Provo, Utah; also survived by his son-in-law, Paul Abraham of Spanish Fork, Utah.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Farol; his daughter, Diane DeGraw Abraham, and a grandson, Ryan Hardy. Additionally preceded in death by his parents; all of his siblings . . . his brother, Jack; and his sisters: Faye (who died in infancy), Vera Mae McKee, Helen McKee, LaRee Gottfredson, and Betty Lou Simonson (their family is now together, for eternity; for better, or for worse.) Dear God, we send You our best.
The family expresses much appreciation to the knowledgeable and kind caregivers at Central Utah Veterans Center for making Dan’s last days comfortable; and, also gives their thanks to the ER staff at Payson Mt. View Hospital for their care.
A graveside service for Dan (family and friends welcome) will be held Thursday, September 16, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. at Spanish Fork City Cemetery, 420 South 400 East, Spanish Fork, Utah 84660 Military Honors will be accorded. The family will not be having a public viewing.