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Dr. Dwylan "Rocky" Gardner

Dr. Dwylan "Rocky" Gardner, age 84 of Ridgecrest, California , died April 18, 2010, in Ridgecrest, California.

Dwylan "Rocky" Gardner was born September 3, 1925, in Burke, South Dakota, the son of Samuel Gardner and Anna Haman. He graduated from Gayville High School in South Dakota in 1943. After graduation, he joined the Merchant Marines, followed by service in the 11th Airborne Division as a paratrooper, the National Guard, and the Army Air Force stationed in Alaska.

Rocky was an avid pilot, and owned his own plane flying back and forth from Inyokern to South Dakota to visit family and friends.

He attended fifteen colleges and held degrees ranging from Education, Coaching, and Physical Education, Business Education, and Counseling. He received his Doctorate in School Administration. Rocky taught Algebra, English, History, and was a coach at Murray Junior High School from 1959 to 1973. In 1973, he became the principal of James Monroe Junior High School and retired in 1980. He also served as a member of the Sierra Sands School Board after retirement.

He is survived by his sister Nedra Kaufman of Yankton, South Dakota, a niece Alana Tamasiea and her husband Bill, and five great-nieces and nephews.

Rocky was preceded in death by his wife Gladys, and his parents Samual and Anna Gardner.

Visitation will be held 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, at the Holland and Lyons Mortuary in Ridgecrest, California.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 22, at 10:00 a.m. and the Holland and Lyons Mortuary.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, at the Wall Cemetery in Wall, South Dakota, with Pastor Sheri Fadley officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rocky Gardner Scholarship Fund, c/o Nedra Kaufman, 2920 Adkins Dr, Yankton, SD 57078.