Scott David Graber

Thursday, December 27, 2018
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Scott David Graber of Helena, Montana was the kind of man who confidently walked into any situation knowing he would help make things better. He was known far and wide as a steadfast friend, partner and work mate. A world-traveling farm boy, Scott had a forthright ethic like no other. He had a deep knowledge of all things mechanical and otherwise, and was constantly tearing into projects of all kinds at work and home.

He was fearless and tenacious in his approach to life. He also was loved and sought after for the many ways he could fix things, from a tractor engine to a smartphone.

He valued family, and spent time with family and friends around the country and the world. Even at 50 years old, you could still easily see him as a kid running around with a twinkle in his eye.

He loved to spend time outside taking walks and hikes, skiing, and mountain biking. This past summer he and Isaiah – his stepson/ best friend – took their longplanned trip of a lifetime riding their motorcycles and camping from Helena to Alaska and back, living out a lifelong dream.

Scott was killed in a tragic accident at a railway crossing on Dec. 17, 2018. He was born May 15, 1968 to Dave and Bonnie (Kaufman) Graber in Iowa City, Iowa. He received his education in Busby and Newton, Kansas, and was a 1986 graduate of Hardin High School. Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and German from Bethel College in 1990, having attended university in Wuppertal, Germany his junior year. He completed an Education degree at Fresno State University in 1993 and a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Montana State University in 1996.

He married Pamela Leach, and helped raise two stepsons, Elisha and Isaiah (Melissa) Carter; the couple later divorced. He married the love of his life Nedra Chandler on May 11, 2013, and took into his heart two step-children, Oscar and Willa Fossum.

His vocational pursuits took him far and wide. He volunteered with Mennonite Voluntary Service in California, teaching English to Hmong refugees from Laos; spent a year teaching science classes at Lodge Grass High School; and ultimately embarked on a career in the world of hightech, migrating from Bozeman to Philadelphia and finally back to Helena. At the time of his death, he was employed by Basler A.G., an industrial camera company who wrote of Scott’s “outgoing and no-nonsense personality, he enjoyed the respect and admiration as a highly-valued colleague, a brilliant vision engineer, and a consummate professional.”

In addition to his wife and children, Scott is survived by his parents Bonnie and Dave Graber of Hardin; uncle Sampson Birdinground of Lodge Grass; sisters Cassandra (Troy) Shenk of Paonia Colorado, Kristen (Dave) Mark of Hardin, Nola (Dave) Chandler-Landstrom of Kalispell and Nyla (Steve) Chandler-Bracken of Bozeman; brother Doug (Sonja) Chandler of Bozeman; treasured step-son Isaiah (Melissa) Carter of Bozeman; grandchildren Lilly and Ella Carter; nieces Thia, Irene and Evelyn Shenk, and Hannah Mark; nephews Odessa Shenk, and Toby and Caleb Mark; and many beloved cousins, aunts and uncles. He considered his many friends and neighbors to be family – from Cheyenne and Crow country; to Iowa, Philadelphia, Virginia and Montana; to the Basler offices around the world.

Scott held people up with his sometimes-mischievous practicality, simplicity and unflinching loyalty. He was an inspiration to many. We will greatly miss his gentle, unwaveringly kind and fun-loving spirit. When he saw others going through tough times, you could be sure to hear Scott reassure them with one of his signature phrases, “When it feels like the end of the world, it usually isn’t.” We remember this as we celebrate his life.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service was held Dec. 22, 2018 at the Spirit of Life Foursquare Church with Father Mark Joseph Costello presiding. Inurnment will take place in Hardin at a later date.