Daniel A. Granzella

Born: Thu., Apr. 14, 1927
Died: Thu., Apr. 26, 2018


Memorial Mass

11:00 AM Wed., May 02, 2018
Location: St. Joseph Catholic Church


Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries

Music by The Piano Brothers


Daniel A. “Danny” Granzella, 91, also known as Papa, of Salida, died April 26, 2018, at his home, surrounded by his family.

He was born April 14, 1927, at home in Salida to Sylvester and Martha Granzella. He grew up on a farm, the second of five children.

He attended St. Joseph Elementary School and graduated from Salida High School in 1945.
When World War II broke out he wanted to enlist, but his parents refused to allow that because his uncle, Cyril Coster, had been killed in the war.

After graduation he was drafted by the Army.

When his uncle’s body was returned to the U.S., Mr. Granzella was allowed to return home for the funeral. Gasoline was rationed at that time, and family members helped him with gas stamps to get back to his base in Fort Sill, Okla.


He was honorably discharged at the end of the war.
He married the former Katherine Spino on Aug. 8, 1948. This year they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

He was best known for his work with automobiles and for his contributions to the community over the decades.

He began working with cars in 1942 while he was still in high school. Later he owned and operated Salida Motors from 1969 until 2002, when he retired.

He began his career with a summer job at Y&R Auto Co., owned by Viva Young and a man whose last name was Roar. He and Dick Martin bought the business in 1965 and changed the name to Salida Motors.

Salida Motors moved from its downtown location to U.S. 50 in 1976. In 1978 they sold the dealership and it became Salida Ford, but Mr. Granzella and partner Dick Martin ended up getting it back when the new owner became ill. Once again, the name became Salida Motors.
In 1982 sons Rusty, Rocky and Dave joined him in the family business. The business was sold to Town & Country in 2002.

Over the years he and his wife contributed to countless civic and community organizations. When he was named Man of the Year for 1999, Ken Brandon introduced him as “an invisible pillar of the community – a behind-the-scenes kind of a guy” who at that time supported 35 clubs and organizations and remained committed to his family, especially his 17 grandchildren, his church and community.

Among the contributions he and Mrs. Granzella made were the scoreboard and lights for the revamped Marvin Park baseball fields and contributions toward lights on the football field and the addition to the old Salida Hospital (now the Touber Building).

He was a member of Salida Elks Lodge for 41 years, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Knights of Columbus, Order of the Sons of Italy and St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Among the organizations and causes he supported were Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, TLC, Spartan Booster Club, many other youth organizations and 4-H fairs in Chaffee and several surrounding counties.

He was an avid hunter and was especially supportive of the Salida schools athletic programs and auto shop program. In addition to donating cars for students to work on, he allowed the use of his facility and specialized tools to train the students.

He was preceded in death by his parents; uncle, Cyril Coster; sons Danny Joe and Danny Ralph; a brother Ralph who died at birth; and sisters, Olga Biundo and Zita Milder.

Survivors include his wife; daughters, Didi (Roger) Oldemeyer and Melodie Granzella; sons Rusty (Tangie) Granzella, David (Gail) Granzella and Rocky (Lisa) Granzella; grandchildren, Eric Walker (Monica Quintana), Amanda (Matt) Mercado, Talli (Chris) McKittric, Gino Grasso, Fabio Grasso, Rosie (Tyler) Baecker, Heather Granzella (Patrick McGinnis), Dakota Granzella, Dillon Granzella, Martina (Richie) Cahill, Mariah Granzella, Mackenzie Granzella (Clinton Doran), Nico Granzella, Megan (Bob) Garfio and Jamie Granzella; 14 great-grandchildren; and brothers, Ralph (Esther) Granzella and Cyril (Sharon) Granzella.

His memorial services will be at 11 a.m. May 2, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery.

Because Mr. Granzella was such a devoted working man and sports fan, his family has asked that folks not “dress up” for his services but come wearing Spartan gear, jackets or hats from Salida Motors, or just ordinary working clothes for whatever job they do day to day.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made through Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home to the Daniel A. Granzella Memorial Scholarship Fund for vocational students at Salida High School.

Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida.

Online condolences may be offered at lewisandglenn.com.


Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Direct website to florist ordering, saving on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Steve Roley
   Posted Mon April 30, 2018
A real Icon to the Salida area will be truely be missed by all and the Roley Family. RIP Danny

Gene Castellucci
   Posted Mon April 30, 2018
To The Granzella Family:
I am so sorry for your loss, we will miss him greatly. I pray he will save us a beautiful place to rest with him in HEAVEN. Danny was one of the first people to welcome me to Salida and has always been a good friend and brother Knight.

May he rest in peace.

Jerry & PJ Harrington
   Posted Mon April 30, 2018
Our love and condolences to the family. Danny was a wonderful person, and Jerry said he was the BEST mechanic he ever had. Our town will miss him for sure.

Joe Beakey
   Posted Tue May 01, 2018
In 1960 when Salida had a stock car track (now the fairgrounds) "Danny" Granzella helped me build and maintain my "37" Plymouth stock car, after hours at the Y & R Garage. His mechanical instruction and influence helped me as an aircraft mechanic in the 26 years of serving in the USAF. He is truly a man among men.

Watson Family
   Posted Tue May 01, 2018
People sometimes leave an ❤️ imprint on our lives. I can say that this is true for both Papa and Nane. It was an absolute blessing to share a big part of our lives with them. Thinking and praying for comfort over the entire Granzella family.
Love, The Watson's

Kathy Domjanich
   Posted Tue May 01, 2018
I cannot even begin to convey my deepest sympathy for your loss. From all I have read, Papa was a truly wonderful man in many regards. I am sorry I did not get to have more time to know him and carry the groceries in for him but I am so very blessed to have had the very tiny amount of time I was permitted! We all are 'just passing through' and it seems that Papa G really left behind an amazing amount of the good he had in him. He will be missed terribly and remembered fondly with love!

Janella Martinez
   Posted Thu May 03, 2018
What a huge loss to our community! Danny was such a great community supporter who humbly gave back. The support did not go unnoticed. There are no words to help with your loss.
Please, accept our love, thoughts and prayers.
Lawrence & Janella Martinez

Lala Keserich
   Posted Thu May 03, 2018
Dear Granzella Family:

I have enjoyed the times spent with the Granzella family through the years. Our lives have entangled in so many ways. I share many memories with three of your grandsons, with my two sons growing up with three of your grandson. We had a business relationship with your family as well as forming a personal relationship with you through the years. Also, I watched your daughter-in law Gail grow up before she was a member of your family. So, I feel I can speak with some wisdom, on the following thoughts I have that I would like to share with you about Danny.

My thoughts are with you during this time. Danny was truly one of the people I respected the most through the years I spent in Salida. I truly believe that if you were to look up the definition of Grandfather in the dictionary, the name Danny Granzella should appear as there does not exist a finer description. He loved each and every one of them and their presence always brought a special sparkle to his eye.

Danny may not have held an MBA from any university, but his business sense was better than any business professor could have taught. He listened, observed and through the years knew what had been successful and what had not and he was able to apply it in his businesses. He was able to survive the tough years in Salida to still be there to enjoy and reap the benefits of the good years.

If some people might have been jealous or envious of Danny’s success, if they stuck around long enough they or their family members probably at one time or another reaped some of the benefits. The Granzella family were very generous in giving back to the community. They chose not to live in a big McMansion but a simple life on Blake Street that had an open- door policy and was often filled with family and friends and no one ever went away hungry or empty handed.

In closing when I think of Danny, in my mind, the picture I will envision will be him sitting quietly in his chair next to Katherine at the ball park. On the other side of him will be Mel, who has pulled up a chair next to him, Danny is quietly listening as Mell is telling him a story or two.

Peace be with you all.

The Keserich Family

Lala, Nick, JP and Family

Copyright © 2018 Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home and Fairview Cemetery. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |