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Bobby F. Dannels, owned Artisans Alley in Falls; Sept. 1, 1926 -- March 7, 2011

Bobby Floyd Dannels, of Grand Island, who owned and operated Artisans Alley in Niagara Falls with his late wife, Joyce, died March 7 in a Doylestown, Pa., nursing home after a brief illness. He was 84.

After they retired in 1980, Mr. and Mrs. Dannels designed and built their shop at Rainbow Boulevard and First Street, next to the Native American Center for the Living Arts, The Turtle, and realized their dream of bringing American-made crafts to the heart of the Niagara Falls tourist district. Mr. Dannels closed the store and sold the property in 2004.

Born in Kane, Pa., he grew up in Buffalo, was a graduate of Riverside High School, where he played varsity football, and served in the Navy during World War II. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Buffalo and was a chemist for Occidental Petroleum for 30 years.

Mr. Dannels' "curiousity and Bohemian spirit led him to many adventures," his daughters noted.

He learned to sail, built his own sailboat and was a member of the Parkway Sailing Club. He established a greenhouse in his basement, grew hundreds of orchids and was a member of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society for many years. He also was an accomplished woodturner and produced many bowls, nutcrackers and decorative items that were sold in the shop.

He took up skiing at age 45 and made yearly trips to ski in the Alps. He traveled extensively, visiting the far corners of the earth, from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic Circle. His last trip took him to Alaska in 2009.

His wife of 50 years, Joyce Hall Dannels, a registered nurse, died in 2001.

Surviving are two daughters, Lisa Osborn and Betsy Payn; a son, Bruce; a brother, Andrew; two sisters, Margaret Wilson and Joann Carbone; and a companion, Carolyn Rice.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday in St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road, Grand Island.