Dennis Harvey Darrington, 76, of Waubay, SD, passed away on March 12, 2023, after a long battle with Parkinson/Lewy Body Dementia.
Memorial Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at Fiksdal Funeral Service in Webster. Services will be livestreamed on Fiksdal Funeral Service Facebook page. Pastor Mike McCarlson will officiate. A lunch will be served following the service at Waubay Community Center.
Memorial Visitation will be 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 24, 2023, at Fiksdal Funeral Service and will close with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m.
Dennis was born on March 22, 1946 to Harvey and Leola Darrington in Watertown, SD. He grew up south of Waubay on the family farm. In June of 1964, shortly after graduating from Waubay High School, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He became a rifleman with Sargent rank, was stationed in Okinawa for four months and then Vietnam in 1965 to 1966 with Delta Co. 1st Battalion 9th Marines. Dennis was awarded the Bronze Star with a “V” for Valor for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance in action. Following the service he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at Northern State University and then a Master’s Degree from the University of South Dakota. On August 1st, 1971, he married Donna Shawgo, they were blessed with three amazing daughters and nine grandchildren.
Working from the Pierre, SD federal building, his career as a Federal Probation Officer took him on travels through SD Reservations, most extensively Pine Ridge.
Dennis had a passion for U.S. & Native American history. He enjoyed countless trades of collectibles, traveled to gun shows and sold antiques on Ebay and in two antique stores. He spent every fall pheasant and fowl hunting with friends and family, took trips elk hunting in Montana on occasion and enjoyed ice fishing near Akaska, SD. His daughters attended many of his adventures with him. Dennis invested in horses resulting in some of the best memories made with his daughters. He and Donna hosted numerous gatherings of friends and family over the years and enjoyed several family vacations. Dennis raised a large garden every year and later a pumpkin patch large enough to host kindergarten field trips with horseback rides.
Dennis gave much to his communities as a volunteer. He was a governor-appointed Fort Sisseton State Park Commissioner, church council member in Pierre and Waubay, Addiction & Prevention Board member, Toastmasters, Hughes Co. Sportsman Club, Day Co. Economic Development Board, Day Co. Museum of Wildlife, Science & Industry, helped with the annual American Legion Turkey Shoot event, and more.
In recent years he lived in Hot Springs, Pierre and Sioux Falls. He enjoyed Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson, watching Fox News, reading and visits with friends and family.
Dennis was extremely proud of his daughters and good friends he came to know over the years.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Darrington; daughters, Danae (Collin) Gregerson, Darah (Tyler) Melroe, Dalyn (Chris) Rhoades; and Daughter by choice, Cindy (Lynn) Rall; his nine grandchildren, Cole, Wyatt, Cooper and Chase Gregerson; Jacey and Jaxen Melroe; Drew, Kate and Maverick Rhoades; his brother, Jim (Jann) Darrington; nieces, Danya Darrington and Dulce Davis; as well as beloved cousins, great nephews and dear friends.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Harvey and Leola Darrington; father and mother-in-law, Don and Dorothy Shawgo; brother-in-law, Terry Shawgo; grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Condolences may be sent to Darah Melroe – PO Box 227 – Britton, SD 57430. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to SD Parkinson Foundation: 1000 N. West Ave., Suite 220, Sioux Falls, SD 57104; South Dakota Wildlife Federation: 415 S. Pierre St., Pierre, SD 57501, and The NRA Foundation: 11250 Waples Mill Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030, or online at nrafoundation.org.