Marilyn Lea Gabbard
Oct. 29, 1960 - Jan. 20, 2007
Command Sergeant Major Marilyn Lea Gabbard, 46, of Polk City, Iowa and formerly of Boone and Waterloo was killed when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in which she was a passenger crashed northeast of Baghdad on Saturday, January 20, 2007.
She deployed from Iowa on December 16, 2006, assuming her duties as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the National Guard Affairs Team in Baghdad, Iraq on December 26, 2006.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at the Boone High School Gymnasium, 500 7th Street, Boone, Iowa. Chaplain (CPT) Gary Selof will officiate.
Military personnel are encouraged to take the military shuttle from the Boone Iowa National Guard Armory to the Boone High School, with the last bus leaving the Armory at 10:40 a.m.
Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery, North of Madrid. Full military honors will be conducted at the graveside by the Iowa Army National Guard.
Visitation will be held on Monday, January 29, 2007 at the Central Christian Church, 8th and Greene Streets in Boone from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Family will be present to greet friends at the Central Christian Church from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family and a memorial will be established in memory of Command Sergeant Major Marilyn Lea Gabbard.
Marilyn was born on October 29, 1960 in Boone, Iowa, the daughter of Melvin Lee and Mary Lou (Banford) Van Cannon. She graduated from the Boone High School in 1979. Marilyn has lived most all her life in Boone and some years in Waterloo.
Marilyn married Edward Deloy Gabbard on March 16, 1990 in Waterloo, Iowa.
Marilyn began her 27-year military career as a private in the Iowa Army National Guard on October 28, 1979, serving as a personnel management specialist with Detachment 2, 47th Adjutant General Company, Boone. She last served as the State Operations Sergeant Major at the Iowa National Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters in Johnston.
Upon her promotion to Command Sergeant Major on April 1, 2001, she became the Iowa National Guard's first female Command Sergeant Major and only the second woman promoted to Sergeant Major in the Iowa National Guard. Among her military decorations are three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, which is bestowed to "members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguished themselves by outstanding non-combat meritorious achievement or service to the United States".
She has also served as the National Secretary for the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, as Past President (Army) of the Enlisted Association of the Iowa National Guard and as Past President of the Iowa Sergeants Major Association. She was a member of the American Legion of Boone and Polk City.
Marilyn enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She also enjoyed scuba diving, snorkeling, roller coasters, fishing, golfing and playing card games with family.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her father and her grandparents. She is survived by her husband, Edward D. Gabbard, daughter Melissa Danielson and her husband Ben, step-son Terry Gabbard and his wife Cathy, step-daughter Sherri Gabbard, step-daughter Kerri Wilson and her husband Rick, step-daughter Gerri Gabbard,step-daughter Mari Jo Scott and her husband Harold, step-daughter Deborah Pommier and her husband Michael, her mother Mary Van Cannon; her sister Marla Norem and brothers, Mark Van Cannon and Mike Van Cannon and his wife Carol; her grandchildren, Benjamin and Austin Danielson and step-grandchildren, Paul Gabbard, Sunnie Robinson and her husband Sean, Christopher Gabbard, Cassandra, Brianne and Courtney Wilson, Jessica and Jeremy Scott, and Kayla Pommier.
Schroeder – Walter Funeral Home at 5th & Story Streets of Boone is handling the arrangements.
Published in Boone News from Jan. 29 to Mar. 1, 2007.