Scott David Graber, 50, of Helena, Montana was killed in an accident at a rural railway crossing near Hardin, Montana on December 17, 2018.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service was held December 22, 2018 in Crow Agency. His wife, Nedra Chandler, and Scott’s 5th Avenue neighborhood friends will hold a celebration of his life on the summer solstice, June 21, 2019, on the street in front of Scott and Nedra’s home. Carrying on a long tradition of 5th Avenue block parties, please stop by between 5 and 9 pm that day to share stories, food and togetherness.
Scott was the kind of man who confidently walked into any situation knowing he would help make things better. And he did. He was a steadfast friend, partner and work mate every day.
A world-traveling farm boy, Scott had a forthright ethic and a lot of energy. 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 was loved and sought after for the many ways he could design or fix things, from a tractor engine to a smartphone to an industrial camera system. He valued family, and spent time with family and friends around the country and the world.
He loved to spend time on and off trails hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. This past summer he and Isaiah – his stepson/ best friend – took a long-planned trip riding their motorcycles and camping from Helena to Alaska and back, living out a dream they had shared for a long time. He was also a fly fisherman, reader, gardener, master brewer, photographer, and co-creator of home and family life with Nedra.
Scott was born May 15, 1968, to Dave and Bonnie (Kaufman) Graber in Iowa City, Iowa. He received his early education on the Northern Cheyenne reservation in Busby followed by some years in Newton, Kansas, and then back to Montana as a 1986 graduate of Hardin High School. During his junior year at Bethel College, he attended university in Wuppertal, Germany, where he became fluent in German. Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and German from Bethel College in 1990. He volunteered with Mennonite Voluntary Service in California, taught English to Hmong Refugees from Laos and then spent a year teaching science at Lodge Grass High School. 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 went on to a successful and rewarding career in the world of high-tech, migrating from Bozeman to Philadelphia and back to Helena. At the time of his death, he was employed by Basler, an industrial camera company.
After graduate school he married Pamela Leach in Bozeman and helped raise her two sons, Elisha and Isaiah Carter; the couple later divorced. He met his wife Nedra Chandler in 2011 and took Nedra’s two children, Oscar and Willa Fossum, directly and completely into his heart and care.
In addition to Nedra, Oscar and Willa, 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; step-sons Elisha and Isaiah (Melissa) Carter of Bozeman; grandkids 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; and to work mates around the world.
Scott held people up with his sometimes-mischievous practicality, simplicity and unflinching loyalty. If you are moved to make a donation in memory of him, Scott would have loved to see your gift go to Prickly Pear Land Trust at https://pricklypearlt.org/ because of the way this local organization builds community by creating trails and open spaces that connect us to each other and to the land.