Daniel Sherman Garber
May 2, 1949  -  July 23, 2017

Daniel Sherman Garber

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Hart Funeral Home Chapel
1506 N. Grand Ave
Tahlequah, OK  74464
Friday, July 28, 2017
2:00 pm
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Daniel Sherman Garber was born May 2, 1949 in Anderson, Missouri, the son of Ray and Mildred Irene (Sherman) Garber. He was the younger brother of Joe Garber, and grew up on a family farm in a home built by his grandfather Joseph Garber in Delaware County east of Jay, Oklahoma. He passed away on July 23, 2017 at his home in Cherokee County at the age of 68.

Dan was a 1967 graduate of Jay High School. Immediately following high school graduation he joined the U.S. Army, first serving in Germany, then in Saigon, Vietnam with the Army Security Agency. After duty in Vietnam he was stationed at Manassas, Virginia. Upon his discharge he enrolled in Northeastern State College, majoring in Political Science and Journalism, graduating in 1978. He worked as a reporter and editor at the Pictorial Press and as a writer for the Cherokee Advocate.

In 1981 he got his first law enforcement experience as a deputy for Cherokee County Sheriff Darrell Scott, then returned to the Pictorial Press, which later became the Tahlequah Daily Press, writing news and features and penning his well-read column “Dan About Town.” He was a ranger for the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, where he developed a love for the river which led him to become a steward of that and other streams for the remainder of his life. Dan then rejoined the sheriff’s office as undersheriff during the term of Sheriff Andy Sellers.

In 1992 he became an investigator for District Attorney Greg Combs, then continued under Combs’ successor Dianne Barker-Harrold. Upon the election of Delena Goss as sheriff, Dan returned to CCSO and served as her undersheriff until he retired in 2004. He was instrumental in securing the passage of a county sales tax which funded the construction of a new Cherokee County Detention Center.

Following his retirement, Dan devoted his time to veterans’ matters as a life member of American Legion Post 50, as a member of Post 3707 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and was a member of Chapter 31 of the Disabled American Veterans. He served as a state inspector for the DAV, was an active board member of Hope House and spent a great deal of his time as a member of Save the Illinois River, Inc. (STIR). He kept in touch with his Army friends from the Radio Research Communications Unit in Vietnam. The unit held reunions every two years, which he eagerly attended.

In 1989, Dan married Nancy Frank, a journalist, and the couple became the parents of Ginny Rae Garber, who in every sense of the word became and remained the light of their lives. Together, they enjoyed music, traveling, and the joy of being together.

Many area folks knew Dan as a journalist, a veteran and a lawman, but among a large and varied population he was best known as a musician and songwriter, playing guitar and bass with area bands. His songs included many which were often requested at musical gatherings, cleverly making listeners laugh out loud or shed a tear. Dan enjoyed attending bluegrass and other music festivals, and loved to gather with friends to play music at the river and in the comfort of their homes.

Dan was predeceased by his parents and is survived by his wife Nancy of the home; brother Joe Garber and wife Pat of Claremore; and daughter Ginny Rae Ogle and husband Ansel of Berryville, Arkansas. In his years as a family man, veteran, lawman, journalist, and musician Dan was blessed with many true, faithful and lifelong friends who will keep his memory alive in stories and song. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to American Legion Post 50, Hope House, or Save the Illinois River, Inc.

A memorial service will be held Friday, July 28, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Hart Funeral Home Chapel in Tahlequah. Interment will be at Fort Gibson National Cemetery at a later date.


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  1. Pat Shriver
    Tahlequah, OK

    What a shock! My prayers and sympathies to Nancy and family. RIP, Dan!

  2. Joseph E Baucom
    Independence, MO

    Dan, I only got to know you at the Reunions, but you will be missed as you were a great guy and fun to be around. Rest in Peace Now.

  3. Ed Perhay
    Las Vegas, NV

    It goes without saying anyone who was lucky enough to have known Dan knows he was the real deal. Many of us changed when we returned from the war, but I honestly say Dan was always the same, because he didnt need to change. His consistency, spoke well to his nature and his Cool Hand Luke personality. Once you were his friend, it was slam dunk you had someone who you could always count on. If I was given a preference of where to work, I always looked around and try teamed up with someone who always would put their shoulder the wheel, and work hard the entire shift like Dan. A common thread I read in him was the passion he put forward in all things he attempted. Always stayed late even though our trick was over to wrap things up and make them right for next shift. I dont think I be stretching it to say he was mild mannered, got along with all and pulled his weight and followed through with he said he would do. Like so many of the folks from the Group he possessed skills and talents well beyond many of the tasks we were called to do. And after reading his biographical sketch his work and play fit him so well. He took advantage of the unlimited talents he developed, and he shared with others. He made some good choices in his life and of course the best was his lovely wife Nancy. I had wish I lived closer so I could have visited more often than every few years at the reunions, but my spirits were always raised with kind thoughts and memories, which always returned when we talked. A good listener, focused and considerate to all he met. A superb sense of humor that constantly kept you smiling and laughing in his presence, was a common experience for me. I can honestly say I never heard him say a negative thing about anybody. He took the high road and found the good in people. He was level headed thinker and a straight shooter. You cant ask much more from a person. He had his standards and principles and lived by them regardless what other may have thought. And also a gentle guy, until of course he got his hands on his guitar, then you were at his mercy, on your way to his other world, wherever that may lead. Dan, never forgot his fellow veteran and worked continuously over the years with various groups. You cant help but love the guy. We all will miss Dan, a deuce and half, forever. A special guy we all had the pleasure of knowing as a coworker and good friend. I feel blessed..

    Meet you on the meters Dan!


  4. Tommy and Ann Rhodes
    Ridgeland, SC

    Dan and I served together in Saigon. He had a personality that made you want to be around him...not loud, but soft spoken...fun....down to earth. He was a man of great character and integrity....a country boy like so many of us. We were definitely out of our element over their, but like so many who served, we had a bond that would last a life time. We got together once at a reunion in Dallas and it was like time had not passed.
    I was greatly saddened and shocked to hear of his passing from Mike.... Rest in peace my brother and I glad our paths crossed.
    May God bless and comfort his wife, daughter and brother and all of his family.

    Tommy and Ann Rhodes

  5. Eugene Whitley
    New Bern, NC

    Rest in Peace my Brother.
    An ASA and Vietnam veteran (1966-67).

  6. Evelyn Gravitt
    Tahlequah, OK

    Sincere condolences to the loving family of this gentleman and gentle man.

  7. Robert "Rob" and Dara Raley
    Tulsa, OK

    I was blessed to have Dan in my life and the opportunity to work with him at the District Attorney's Office, and in particular the Dist. #27 Drug Task Force. So many great stories and memories of Dan make me smile and laugh. Dan was a incredible and wonderful Man and a great friend. Dara and I send our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers. Rob

  8. Jimmy Clowdus
    Stockbridge, GA

    Very sorry to hear about Dans passing. Was with him in Vietnam 509th RRCUV in 1969. I always enjoyed working with him. We had good times together. I remember him now. Sure he will be greatly missed..


    R I P

  10. Mary Armstrong Maeder
    Claremore, OK

    I count it an honor to have been a classmate and friend of Dan. He will be missed by many.

  11. Jeannie and Wes Benge
    Park Hill, OK

    Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  12. Carolyn Allen
    Tahlequah, OK

    Dan was a kind man and an excellent musician. He was my brother in law many years ago. He was always very kind to our mother.

    Carolyn Allen

  13. LaVerne and Holly Mixon
    Chino Valley, AZ

    Our love, tears and prayers for Nancy, Ginny, Ansel, and all the family members and friends who are hurting at the sudden loss of this most wonderful man. Wish we could be there with you.

  14. Brian Dacus
    Lindsay, OK

    I thought the world of Dan. He was about the only person I would take advice from and I had to ask him for it. I sure am going to miss him. I'm really glad I had the privilege to meet him.

  15. Joe & Jean Baxter
    Midwest City, OK

    We are SO sorry to hear about Dan, and we send our deepest sympathy and our love to Nancy and all his family.
    Dan was always pleasant and kind to me, and I was proud to consider him a friend. His music was fine, and special.
    He will be missed, but will remain in our hearts. Joe Baxter

  16. Rita Reid Smith and Mike Smith
    Manhattan, KS

    Nancy and family,
    Our deepest sympathy to all of you. May the love and memories you will carry forever in your heart give you strength, comfort, and peace. Yesterday morning, before learning this, I mailed a note to you regarding our 50th reunion, which should arrive in a few days. I'm very sorry for my unfortunate timing. Both you and Dan were missed at the reunion, but we're all grateful that we were able to re-connect in these later years. Dan was a unique man who touched many lives, and we will all miss him together now. Love and prayers, Rita and Mike

  17. Grant and Sandra Craig
    Eldon, OK

    Our deepest sympathy to Nancy and Ginny - Dan was a wonderful man, always so friendly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all the friends that Dan has made throughout the years. The Craig Family loved him dearly!

  18. Donnie Bowin and Family
    Parkhill, OK

    My regards to the Dan Garber family. This came as such a surprise. I cannot imagine what Nancy and Jenny are going through. I am forever grateful for Dan's guidance and friendship throughout the years. He was a very good man!

  19. Catherine Martin & Laura Duke
    Charlotte, NC

    Our love and prayers go out to our family and friends who are mourning the loss of a great man.

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