Cecil Gartner

Cecil Gartner, age 87 of Philip, South Dakota , died December 16, 2008, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Cecil R. Gartner was born November 27, 1921, in Platte, South Dakota, the son of Wallace and Ila Collene (King) Gartner. He grew up in Platte until 1930, when the family moved to Philip. Cecil received his education in rural schools in the area. After his schooling, he moved to Washington State where he worked on a wheat farm, prior to moving back to Philip where he worked for Mac McIlravy on his sheep ranch.

Cecil entered the United States Army on September 24, 1942. He was assigned to the 235th Engineering Battalion, stationed in Italy, Africa and the Philippines. He was honorably discharged on December 12, 1945.

After his honorable discharge, Cecil returned to Philip where he worked as a carpenter in the Philip-Kadoka area.

He was united in marriage to Eunice Conlee in 1947. They lived in Philip before moving to a farm-ranch in Milesville area where they remained until 1965 when they moved to a farm-ranch in Quinn. In the fall of 1972 they moved to Rapid City where Cecil did carpentry and construction work.

His wife Eunice preceded him in death on January 25, 1975. Later that year, Cecil returned to Philip where he worked construction and carpentry.

Cecil was united in marriage to Audrey (Schonrock) McIlravy on November 26, 1977, at the Presbyterian Church in Philip. They made their home on the farm-ranch north of Philip until moving into Philip in 1983. Although Cecil moved to Philip, he was still very active on the farm-ranch.

After Audrey's death on August 26, 2000, Cecil remained in Philip, where he has since resided.

Cecil was a member of the United Church of Philip, the Masonic Lodge, VFW, and American Legion Post #173, all of Philip.

Survivors include three sons Danny Gartner and his wife Cathie of Gillette, Wyoming, Marty Gartner and his wife Debbie of Philip, and Todd Gartner and his wife Cheryl of Box Elder; two daughters Cindy Whitney and her husband Donald of Piedmont, and Jill Knight and her husband Sonny of Smithberg, Maryland; eleven grandchildren; one step-grandson; six great-grandchildren; two step-children Betty Bohlander and her husband Clarence of Sugar Grove, Illinois, and Robert McIlravy of Rapid City; one sister Evelyn Henricksen of Willmar, Minnesota; and a host of other relatives and friends.

In addition to his first wife Eunice and his second wife Audrey, Cecil was preceded in death by a daughter Brenda, and four brothers Francis, Harold, Herbert, and Cliff Gartner.

Funeral services were Friday, December 19, at the United Church in Philip, with Pastor Kathy Chesney officiating.

Interment with military honors by the American Legion Post #173 of Philip, was in the Masonic Cemetery.

A memorial is established.


Friday, December 19, 2008-10:00 a.m.

United Church

Philip, South Dakota


Pastor Kathy Chesney


Cynthia Finn -Pianist

Barb Bowen -Vocalist

"Amazing Grace"

"In The Garden"

"On Eagles' Wings"


Karl Schulz - Ronnie Gartner


Danny Gartner - Marty Gartner - Todd Gartner

Brandon Whitney - Coddy Gartner

Chase Gartner - Tyler Gartner


Wheeler-Brooks American Legion Post #173

Masonic Cemetery

Philip, South Dakota