OBITUARY: Daniel Duane Granberg

Daniel Duane Granberg

Montrose resident Daniel Duane Granberg, 24, passed away on Friday, Sept. 3, at approximately 20,000 feet, on the Integral route of Illimani Mountain in Bolivia, of high-altitude pulmonary edema.

Daniel Granberg was born on Jan. 7, 1997, in Salida, Colorado. The family lived in Buena Vista, in the shadow of Mt. Princeton, for the first five years of his life, then moved to Delta, where he began to study violin, joining the Valley Youth Orchestra, in which he played until he left for college.

The family moved to Montrose in 2006, where Daniel attended school, graduating as valedictorian of Montrose High School in 2015. While at Montrose High, Daniel excelled in debate, attending numerous state competitions, was in all-state choir, and played percussion in the marching band all four years. Not having a physics teacher during his senior year, he taught himself physics and scored the highest possible score on the AP exam.

He attended Princeton University from 2015-2019, graduating with a degree in mathematics and a minor in humanities. While there, he participated in numerous vocal groups, including Glee Club, Chapel Choir, and Chamber Choir, loving it and making many close friends.

It was at Princeton that Daniel began to travel the world, both solo and with the choirs, visiting Nepal, Morocco, and other countries in Africa and Europe.

After graduation, he took a job as a remote programmer for NRECA, which allowed him to continue travelling the world; he lived and worked in Poland, Russia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, and India. During Covid, he came back to Colorado to be with family, exploring the area where he grew up. He climbed numerous 14’ers, backpacked the Colorado trail, and explored the deserts of Utah.

He then turned his focus to Latin America, travelling to Puerto Rico, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and lastly, Bolivia.

During his travels, he learned French, Spanish, a variety of ethnic dances, surfing, rock climbing, paragliding and mountaineering. He always carried at least two books (sometimes textbooks) in his backpack while he traveled, teaching himself numerous academic fields up to a PhD level, as well as learning from everyone he met. A friend from college said that he got along with so many people because he was so curious and generous in conversation, seeking to understand others selflessly, without passing judgement.

It is almost impossible to capture how unique this young man truly was. His Facebook page is a testament to the sheer number of people he touched- people from all over the world- who will always remember his smile, his genius intellect, his consistently positive attitude, and endlessly open curiosity.

Those of us who knew him will feel his light our whole lives.

His college friend Andrew Hunt perhaps said it best:

“I can’t help but feel angry at the unfairness of Daniel’s death. Daniel squeezed so much joy and newness out of each day, and everyone he met got so much out of each day with him too. My heart is broken thinking about what the world lost, to those who knew him, to those who never got to know him, to all of the careers and endeavors in which he would have thrived in the next 60 years. However, I’m comforted knowing that Daniel experienced more life and adventure than most humans ever do. More than anyone I know, he lived life to the fullest.”

Special mention must be made of the Bolivian Andean Socorro rescue team, who literally brought him across a knife edge traverse, at night, by headlamp, in a storm, at 30 below zero. They did some phenomenally difficult climbing in truly record time, going 36 hours without sleep.

Daniel is survived by his father, Duane Granberg; his mother, Jean Granberg, and his two sisters, Jennifer and Janae Granberg.

A memorial service will be held at the Montrose Botanical Gardens at 1800 Pavilion Drive, Montrose, Colorado, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26. Reception following.

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