Cover photo for Barry Lynn Graber's Obituary
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1959 Barry 2024

Barry Lynn Graber

September 11, 1959 — January 29, 2024

Kalona, Iowa

Barry Lynn Graber, age 64, of Kalona, Iowa, entered his heavenly home on Monday, January 29, 2024, around 11:10 am. He went to be with Jesus after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with on October 21st, 2023.  He died at home, surrounded by family who loved him. 

He was born on his father’s birthday, September 11, 1959, in Iowa City, Iowa, to parents Lynn and Ruth (Bontrager) Graber.  He was the first of 5 children and his childhood was filled with wild stories of their many outdoor exploits and adventures together.  He attended the local public school, graduating from Mid-Prairie High School in 1978.  He held the record for many years in the pole vault, ran track and played basketball, and enjoyed participating in theater. 

One of his greatest passions and hobbies was cars, and he spent countless hours working on them. He owned a ‘68 Coronet, ‘69 Charger, ‘70 Roadrunner, and ‘04 Corvette to name a few of his favorites.  Many of us have memories of him working on the latest car project: hearing the music coming from the shop where he was on his back underneath a car, tinkering away and as happy as can be.  

He first met Debby while attending bible school at Rosedale in 1979. After many weeks of friendship, they began dating, mostly long distance. One time he even hitchhiked the whole way from Iowa to Michigan. Barry married Debby Maust on May 10, 1980, in Pigeon, Michigan.  They enjoyed 43 years of marriage and had 7 children; 3 daughters and 4 sons. They raised their children in the same home where his grandparents Dan & Mildred had lived. 

Barry worked for Professional Muffler after high school, before becoming an apprentice with his father Lynn for many years. In 2005, Barry became the third-generation owner of Graber Heating and Air, with the first owner being Dan Graber and the second being Lynn Graber. Barry learned the tricks of the trade from his father Lynn, and enjoyed the continual challenge of problem solving. He then passed down the wealth of knowledge to his sons, the fourth-generation owners today. He loved serving people–finding the solution to problems and accomplishing tasks with speed and efficiency. He found great satisfaction in a job well done.

Barry served faithfully for many years on the boards of Crowded Closet, Pathway Christian School, and Crooked Creek Christian Camp. He also taught Sunday School, and worked with the youth at Sunnyside Mennonite Church over the past 44 years.

Barry loved spending time with his family–swimming, camping, hunting, roller coasters, hiking, bird watching, and water and snow skiing.  He loved driving cars: fixing them, finding deals, and buying even more cars.  Barry was an avid reader and loved to travel, making many long road trips to Oregon where two of his daughters live. Other favorites were the many family trips to Florida, Michigan, the coast, and the diamond mines in Arkansas. 

He had a gift of making every child feel like they were his favorite. Everyone he met was a friend, and no one was a stranger. He loved making everyone feel respected and listened to. He would often say, “No one will remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel.” Barry is a one-of-a-kind person and is irreplaceable in all our lives. As much as we miss him, we are blessed and grateful to have known and loved such an incredible husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend, and we cherish the years we were given with him.  The world was a better place because he was in it. 

Barry is survived by his wife Debby, his seven children and twenty-one grandchildren. Shannon & Konrad Krabill of Shedd, OR, and their children, Annika, Benson, Elissa, Carson, Carita, Kason, & Darison. Shelley & Randy Smucker of Harrisburg, OR, and their children Jocelyn, Charlotte, William, Archer, & Hayes.  Shawn & Heidi (Zook) Graber of Joetown, IA, and children Owen, Canon, Gloria, and Stellan. Shelby & Keilah (Brokaw) Graber of Wellman, IA, and their children Valor & Judah.  Shane & Fern (Kohl) Graber of Wellman, IA, and children Emma, Caspian and Felix.  Sheryl Graber of Kalona, IA.  Shaylon & Shaylee (Shryock) Graber of Wellman, IA. He is also survived by his parents, Lynn & Ruth (Bontrager) Graber, and his siblings Brent (Karla) Graber, Corby (Kris) Graber, Gene (Sue) Graber, Jana (BJ) Miller, 49 nieces and nephews and 61 great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his niece, Jaicey Miller.

Funeral service will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, February 2, 2024, at the Fairview Mennonite Church in rural Kalona. The Service will be livestreamed on the Powell Funeral Home Facebook page. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 2-7 p.m. on Thursday at Fairview Mennonite Church where the family will greet friends from 2-4:30 and 6-7 p.m. A  memorial fund has been established for Pathway School. The Yoder-Powell Funeral Home is caring for Barry and his family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barry Lynn Graber, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 1, 2024

2:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Fairview Mennonite Church

2605 540th St SW, Kalona, IA 52247

Family will greet friends from 2-4:30 and 6-7 pm.

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

Funeral Service

Friday, February 2, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Fairview Mennonite Church

2605 540th St SW, Kalona, IA 52247

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


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