Bobby Floyd Dannels, 84, a 53-year Grand Island resident, passed away on Monday, March 7, 2011.
He was born on Sept. 1, 1926, in Kane, Pa., to Walter and Antonia Dannels. He was raised in Buffalo and spent several years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon his return he met his future wife, Joyce, and they shared 50 years of wonder.
Dannels graduated from the University at Buffalo with a master's degree. He worked as a chemist for Occidental Petroleum Corporation for 30 years.
Dannels had this talent to "reinvent himself" before this term was popular. His curiosity and bohemian spirit led him to many adventures. He learned to sail and was a member of the Parkway Sailing Club. He grew hundreds of orchids in an indoor greenhouse and spent many years participating in the Orchid Society.
Dannels took up skiing at the age of 45 and made yearly trips to Europe to ski the Alps. His love for travel took him, along with his beloved wife, to places such as Argentina, the Galapagos Islands, Finland, Hungary, the Arctic Circle and Germany. His last trip was to Alaska in 2009.
He was also an accomplished wood turner, spending many hours in his workshop producing works of art.
Dannels and his wife shared the dream to bring American-made crafts to Niagara Falls and, as a "retirement project" in 1980, they designed and built Artisans Alley. This became a major part of their live for more than 25 years.
Bobby is survived by his son, Bruce Dannels (Carla); two daughters, Betsy Payn (Clyde) and Lisa Osborn (Albert); his cherished grandchildren: Chris, Jason, Kelsey, Tamara Deyle (Eric), Brittany McGinley (Conor), Erik, James and Colin; and his dear companion, Carolyn Rice. He is survived by his two sisters and a brother: Margaret Wilson, Joann Carbone and Andrew Dannels. He is now reunited with his beloved wife, Joyce, who passed on June 4, 2001.
Family and friends are invited to visit Sunday, March 20, from 3 until 6 p.m. at Kaiser Funeral Home, 1950 Whitehaven Road. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 21, at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations in Bobby's name be sent to Lewy Body Dementia Association Inc. (online donation: www.lbda.org) or to Doylestown Hospital Hospice, 595 State St., Doylestown, PA 18901.