Cover photo for Dan L. Graefe's Obituary
Dan L. Graefe Profile Photo
1934 Dan 2023

Dan L. Graefe

April 29, 1934 — October 7, 2023

Wausau

 

Dan Lee Graefe, a beloved member of the Wausau community, passed away on October 7, 2023, at the age of 89. He was born on April 29, 1934, in Wausau, WI, to his proud parents and has been a lifelong resident of the area.

Dan was a dedicated family man who treasured spending time with his four sons, Keith, Mark, Kris, and Joey. They shared many cherished memories together, enjoying fishing, camping, and hunting trips. He was a proud graduate of Wausau High School, Class of 1953, where he fostered friendships that lasted a lifetime.

After completing his education, Dan embarked on a successful career, initially working for Red Goose Shoe Factory and later Nabisco for 11 years. In 1970, he joined Kmart as employee #1, as a Receiving Manager, where he made a lasting impact until his retirement in 1995. Dan was known for his exceptional work ethic, dedication, and kind-hearted nature, earning him the respect and admiration of his colleagues.

Outside of work, Dan found joy in pursuing his hobbies. He had a passion for fishing, and his love for the great outdoors was evident in the countless camping and hunting adventures he shared with his wife Mary Jo and their beloved sons. These shared experiences created bonds that would last generations.He owned his Jukebox that played 45s, and enjoyed a good Old Style in his bar room in the basement. 

Dan Lee Graefe will be forever missed and remembered by his devoted sons, Keith, Mark (Therese), Kris (Tina), and Joey, who will carry forth his legacy of love, determination, and family values. He leaves his former wife Mary Jo Hildensperger and life long partner Sandra "Sandy" Dombrowski and family along with a brother, Dave (Caroline) Graefe, Gary's lifelong partner Delia. In addition Dan leaves 14 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. He will also be fondly remembered by his friends, neighbors, and community members whose lives he touched with his warm smile and caring nature. He is preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Eleanor (Block) Graefe, brother, Gary Graefe, and sister Judith Kamke.

A Life Celebration Service to honor Dan's memory will be held on October 19, 2023, at 12:00 pm at the Helke Funeral Home. Prior to the service, a public visitation will take place at 10:00 am until the time of service, giving friends and loved ones the opportunity to pay their respects. 

In accordance with his wishes, Dan will be cremated, and his ashes will be laid to rest at Pine Grove Cemetery.

Dan Lee Graefe's presence will forever be missed, leaving a void in the hearts of his family and friends. However, his memory and the joy he brought to those around him will continue to inspire for years to come. May he rest in eternal peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dan L. Graefe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, October 19, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service

302 Spruce Street, Wausau, WI 54401

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, October 19, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service

302 Spruce Street, Wausau, WI 54401

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 772

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree