Daniel Brian Groat, actor and musician, passed away peacefully at his home in Oaxaca City, Mexico, on June 17, 2023. He was born in Michigan on June 1, 1957, to Patricia J. (Stoner) Groat and Wayne A. Groat, both of whom preceded him in death in 2002. He is survived by his first wife, Carol A. Essenmacher, and their two children, Dana T. (Bryan) Mathes and Abraham W. G. (Haven) Essenmacher; three granddaughters, Lydia J. Mathes, Brooke A. and Haleigh R. Chapman; sisters Martie L. Groat and Mary Beth Groat (Kevin) Bendall; half-sister Melinda R. (David) Prescott; uncle and aunt Ralph F. and Dorothy A. Stoner; nephews and nieces Nathan G. (Gina) Sherwood, Christopher B. Bendall, Carly E. (Thom) Pampuch, Brekke C. (Al) Wright; several great-nephews and nieces; and beloved cousins.
Dan married Elizabeth Alden Raz in November of 1986 and shared a doting and colorful 29 years with her until her death in 2015. Their shared acting and musical talents were often lent to performances both formal and impromptu. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Dan was a one-time member of the Texas musical group, Part of the Problem, an aptly named band for him to showcase his instrumental, vocal, and harmony-savvy musical talent. He also performed with musical groups Rozoff & Groat, Blended Spice, Cheap Seats, Legal Aliens, and with other also notable musicians in the United States and Mexico. He performed in plays on amateur and professional stages in Michigan, Texas, and Oaxaca, often “stealing the show” in dramatic, comedic, and musical leading roles.
Dan and Liz enjoyed traveling and warm climes, and decided to settle in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Dan loved Oaxaca’s surpassing beauty, history, cuisine, and climate. He leaves behind loyal friends in Oaxaca, especially Patty and Don Jungk.
Dan was blessed with more talent than he often knew what to do with, and many of us are the richer for having experienced slices of that talent. His astute, wry, and contrary (often just to be contrary!) observations on the passing scene were launched as if the conversation were already well underway, at times causing befuddlement and requiring deciphering; he was nearly always amusing; mostly. He was not a perfect human; who is? Dan didn’t so much march to his own drummer as tango his way through worldly doldrums, social norms, and expectations. He added a much-needed splash of defiant color regardless of whether folks needed or wanted it, and he will be missed. A private memorial celebration of his life is being planned for later this month.
The Groat family is being assisted by Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N. Marshall, Michigan 49068. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.