Obituary: David Gerald Dailey
David Gerald Dailey, age 72, died peacefully at his home in Pinedale on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, after a long and courageous battle with back, heart and lung issues.
David was raised in International Falls, Minn., and volunteered for military service directly from high school in 1968. A Vietnam veteran, David served as a U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) Light and Heavy Weapons Specialist from 1968-1973 in the 5th and 7th Special Forces (SF) Groups in Vietnam and surrounding countries, as well as serving as a Special Forces Weapons Trainer at Fort Bragg, N.C.
His SF service continued from 1973 until 1976 in the Panama Canal Zone. While serving in the SF, David also competed in SF airborne jumping competitions, completing 680 parachute jumps during his military service.
After serving in the military, he moved to Estes Park, Colo., where he worked in the building construction trade, including renovation work in the infamous Stanley Hotel depicted in the Jack Nicholson movie “The Shining.”
In 1981, David moved to Butte Falls, Ore., where he became a volunteer EMT-2 and lead ambulance attendant for the tiny community of Butte Falls, as well as a Search & Rescue (SAR) volunteer EMT for Jackson County, Ore. In 1984, while on a SAR field training mission, David met and later married his wife of 37 years, Cindy Stein, a newly recruited volunteer and EMT for the same Jackson County SAR team. Both David and Cindy then joined the Oregon Army National Guard, where David served as a Medic and Section Leader in the 1st BN, 186 Infantry, Headquarters Company (HHC) in Ashland, Ore. David reached the rank of Staff Sargent and earned the U.S. Army Achievement Medal in 1989 for his exceptional leadership and army readiness training of his medic troops.
In 1992, David and Cindy moved to Pinedale, Wyo., where David worked as a general contractor specializing in log-home building, finish carpentry and restorations for 15 years. After this, he shifted to part-time work due to progressive spinal deterioration.
One of his favorite part-time jobs was working as a contracted horse packer for U.S. Forest Service, packing Ogden Regional Office vegetation inventory crews to remote locations throughout the Bridger, Gros Ventre and Teton wilderness areas for several summers. He also served for over 10 years as a water master/ditch rider for the New Fork and Green River irrigation districts before fully retiring.
David was a true American patriot and proud conservative constitutionalist, an avid reader of non-fiction and science fiction, a talented and creative wood carver, and an HO-scale model railroader.
He truly enjoyed the magnificence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains, where he lived and recreated for over 40 years, camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and packing, kayaking, ATV trail riding, and hiking with his wife Cindy and their beloved dogs and horses.
He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
Those who wish may contribute donations to one of David and Cindy’s two favorite charities: Homes for Our Troops in Taunton, Maine, or Happy Endings Animal Rescue in Pinedale.