Those who knew him say Dana Doll was a supportive father from a close-knit, hardworking family.

Doll, 47, passed away at York Hospital on Monday after his tractor rolled over him. The Manheim Township resident left behind his wife, Leslie, both parents, three sisters, and three sons, according to his obituary.

David Lentz, director of sales for the Pennsylvania Holsteins Association, said he has known Doll since they used to compete against each other in 4-H shows. He last saw Doll earlier this month at the 4-H district show in Shippensburg, he said, where both had children competing.

"He just has always been a nice humble man, kind of soft-spoken but when we got talking cows, he was always lively," Lentz said. "My last lengthy conversation with him was, 'We can't believe we were just here doing this and now our kids are.'"

Linda Spahr, an animal dairy science educator with 4-H, said she got to know Doll through his sons, who have been involved with the organization for at least 15 years.

Spahr also said her last time seeing Doll was at the Aug. 1-2 show, where Doll's son, Kasey, won supreme champion. Spahr said Doll was constantly supportive in a way that didn't draw attention to himself.

'Huge loss': "Dana (Doll), to me, was the ultimate family man; he was always there," Spahr said. "He was a background man — he was always just there in the background. It's a huge loss."

Spahr noted that Doll's entire family would come to 4-H events; she said the siblings all lived around Dar Dale Farms, the business owned by their parents, and all of them were always together.


"Everything they did was a family affair," she said.

Dave Sterner, head coach for the South Western youth wrestling team, said he knew Doll for about 20 years as the coach for each of his three sons.

Over the years, he said he got to know Doll and his wife as well.

"He's someone you could count on," Sterner said. "He was one of the good ones."

Nancy Hughes, 81, has lived next-door to the Doll family's farm for 60 years; she said the Dolls are most recognizable for their work ethic.

In the spring, she said they would sometimes begin working at sunrise and still be plowing at midnight.

She has a son around Dana Doll's age, but said they didn't play much as kids because the neighbors were always busy working on their farm.

"That family was a hardworking family, and those kids, they worked from the time that they could do anything," Hughes said.

The family declined comment on Wednesday.

— Reach Michael Tabb at