Joseph Dale Dakan, 89, a resident of Chenoweth Creek Road, Elkins, passed away Saturday morning, May 15, 2010, in the cardiac care unit of Monongahela General Hospital after suffering a heart attack on Thursday night. Joe had battled heart disease for 30 years and had undergone open heart surgery twice at the Cleveland Clinic.
Joe was president and general manager of the Kelly Foundry and Machine Co. in Elkins.
Joe was born on Sept. 5, 1920, at Rosbys Rock, Marshall County, a son of the late Joseph Earl Dakan and Elsie Rhea Gorby Dakan.
On April 26, 1944, at the Grace Episcopal Church in Elkins, he was married to Margaret Nell "Peg" Kelly, now deceased.
Surviving are two sons, Joseph Gorby Dakan of Elkins and John Francis Dakan of Elkins; and one grandson, Joseph Clay "JC" Dakan of Elkins.
Joe attended elementary school in Rosbys Rock and graduated from Moundsville High School with the class of 1937. At the age of 16, he enrolled at West Virginia University in September of 1937. In 1941, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in agriculture. Following graduation, he came to Elkins and Randolph County and served from 1941 to 1943 as assistant county agricultural agent to the then county agent, Bob Hammer.
Joe was a veteran of World War II, having served from 1943 to 1944 in the 359 3rd Service Unit of the Medical Department of the U.S. Army at Fletcher General Hospital in Cambridge, Ohio, and Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio. He received an honorable discharge from military service on July 8, 1944. Following this period, he enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, for two semesters. He then served for one year as county agricultural agent in Romney.
From 1945 to 1948, Joe served as county agricultural agent in Greenbrier County. He had always remarked that the time spent in Lewisburg and Greenbrier County were some of his most enjoyable years. From 1949 to 1950, he served as state livestock specialist for the West Virginia University Extension Service working out of Olglebay Hall-WVU in Morgantown.
In 1950, Joe returned to Elkins and Randolph County and went to work for the Kelly Foundry and Machine Co. in Elkins for a period of 60 years. He worked for the foundry as shipping clerk, manager of the shipping department and served as treasurer of the corporation for many years. He then bought controlling interest in Kelly Foundry along with Steele Kelly in 1984. Upon the death of Steele Kelly, Joe bought complete control of the foundry and served as president and general manager up to the present time. He very much enjoyed the foundry business and watched the company grow to success and achieve the reputation as one of the leading producers of glass container mould castings in the United States.
Joe Dakan was an avid horseman and had ridden and trained western horses and cutting horses for many years. Joe loved to ride in the evening at his beautiful farm in Gilman. For a period of many years, he attended and competed in the Fort Worth Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas, the Augusta Futurity in Augusta, Georgia, the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, and all of the cutting horse events of the West Virginia Cutting Horse Association. He and his professional trainer, Grady Duncan of Winchester, Virginia, competed in and won many cutting horse events. He especially enjoyed going to Greenbrier County and competing in the cutting horse shows put on by his good friend, Jim Johnson.
Joe was an avid skier for many years and enjoyed making beautiful carved turns on the slopes of Canaan Valley and Vail, Colorado. Joe was a member of the Grace Episcopal Church of Elkins and had served as a vestryman from 1956-1958.
Joe was especially fond of his grandson "JC," and they spent many happy hours together. He was also very fond of "Peanut," his female Jack Russell Terrier who would jump in bed and snuggle up with Dad every morning. Joe will be sorely missed by all his friends and family, the employees of Kelly Foundry and all of his friends in the West Virginia Cutting Horse Association.
Friends may call for visitation Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins. A funeral service will be conducted at the funeral home Thursday at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Fred Bird and the Rev. Dr. Basil Hensley officiating. Interment will follow in St. Brendan Catholic Cemetery. The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Grace Episcopal Church, 212 John St., Elkins, West Virginia or the West Virginia Cutting Horse Association, Attn: Shawn Bolyard-Treasurer, 2326 South Mountaineer Highway, Thornton, West Virginia 26440. Tomblyn Funeral Home of Elkins is in charge of the arrangements for Joseph Dale Dakan. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.tomblynfuneralhome.com.