Dan B Gyllenskog, 65, passed away on Monday, May 12, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Logan, Utah, on Sept. 21, 1948, to Glen (Duke) and Laurel Bateman Gyllenskog. He attended schools in Smithfield and Richmond, Utah, graduating from Sky View High School in 1966.
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He enlisted at age 17 in the United States Marine Corps and was a member of the first Honor platoon of Marine recruits since World War II. Serving from 1966-1971, he fought in Vietnam from 1968-1969 and was awarded the Purple Heart.
He married his eternal companion, Patricia Ann Larson, in the Logan LDS Temple on Feb. 12, 1971. They are the parents of five children: Michael (Jennifer), Dani (Ross Hart), James (Wendy), Natalie (Blair Higley), and Jared (Brynn).
He worked as an apprentice and journeyman plumber for Hilco Plumbing for 13 years and retired from the United States Postal Service after 27 years.
He has been an active member of Smithfield American Legion Post 58 for over 40 years and served as Commander for over 30 years. He was a voluntary service officer for Veteran Disability Claims and helped many acquire their benefits. He arranged for, staffed and participated in funeral color guards for veterans throughout the region. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of homeless veterans and acquired many donations for the Fisher House in Salt Lake City. He was a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and served as an officer for the Department of Utah and Chapter 995. He was a charter member of the Cache Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12076 and currently serving as a service officer and elected position as adjutant. He was one of the two originators for the Utah Chapter of the Wounded Warrior Fund.
Dan was instrumental in organizing and naming the Cpl. Gerald Max Rich, Detachment #1352 of the Marine Corps League of Cache Valley and presently serving as Commandant. He was actively involved with acquiring toys and donations for Toys for Tots.
In September 2011, he brought the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall replica to Cache Valley and provided security and staffing for the event. The Wall held special meaning to Dan due to the fact that he always said "my name should be on there," as he lost many of his close friends and "brothers" on a day he considered his second birthday, Feb. 23, 1969.
He played tuba with the Cache Community Band for many years, participating in numerous parades and concerts in the valley.
Dan was a member of the NRA for over 20 years and an active participant in the Cache Valley Friends of the NRA, supporting youth hunter education (YHEC), gun safety programs and activities for valley youth, as well as support for the local public shooting range.
As a mountain man, Muskrat, he participated in muzzleloader competitions and was a black powder rifle marksman. He was adopted into the Willow Creek Free Trappers family, where he enjoyed many years of rendezvous and special friendships.
He won numerous Dutch oven cook-offs, which led to a family business called Dan's Dutch Ovens. He and his family catered numerous events from Idaho to Arizona.
He was an athletic booster and participated in the Veteran's assemblies at Sky View High School for many years. He donated gallons of blood to the Red Cross. Each Memorial Day he personally made sure there was an American flag on every veteran's grave in the Smithfield Cemetery.
Dan considered it a great privilege to participate with the Patriot Guard Riders. Their motto, "Standing for those who stood for us," is what he always advocated through his example of patriotism and loyalty.
The opportunity to be a part of the Michael J. Allred Ride for the Fallen event allowed him to become friends with a very special family and brought him great enjoyment.
He is survived by his wife, children, 15 grandchildren, two brothers (Jeff and Max), two sisters (Jane and Joy Page), and his mother-in-law (Dorothy Larson) with whom he has a special relationship.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a father-in-law (Lynn Larson), a brother-in-law (Richard Larson), and numerous military and mountain man friends.
A viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the Nelson Funeral Home, located at 162 E. 400 North in Logan, Utah. Funeral services will be at noon on Saturday, May 17, at the Smithfield 21st Ward chapel, 345 E. 300 South, Smithfield, Utah, with a viewing from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the Smithfield City Cemetery with full military honors. Condolences may be extended to the family online at www.nelsonfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to the Youth Hunter Education Challenge Program or the Utah Chapter of the Wounded Warrior Fund. Address information will be available at the funeral home.
Once a Marine, always a Marine … Semper Fi.
Nelson Funeral Home
162 East 400 North
Logan, UT 84321
Published in Logan Herald Journal from May 15 to May 16, 2014