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Obituary - Gaylord Dathan Walls


Last updated 7/16/2021 at 11:43am

Gaylord Dathan Walls

Gaylord Dathan Walls

April 21,1942 to May 15, 2021

Gaylord passed away in his home at the age of 79 on May 15, 2021 in Las Vegas, NV.

He was born on April 21, 1942 in Big Sandy, MT to parents Elba and Irene Walls (Davis). Gaylord was the youngest of five sons. He went to school and graduated in Box Elder, Montana.

Gaylord taught educational psychology and study skills at the University of Great Falls, several Montana tribal colleges, and Boise State University. He always had a special awareness of traditional cultures and customs, which he often shared with others.

He spoke to various groups, multicultural panels, and other audiences in the Boise area to promote cultural diversity. He helped establish and served as the vice president of the Ada County Human Rights Task Force as well as help with the organization of the Ada County MLK Human Rights Week activities. He was a member of the Rosa Parks Scholarship Fund committee. He donated time to the Epilepsy League of Idaho as well.

He was especially committed to Native American education. He earned special recognition for Dedication and Service to Indian Education from the National Indian Education Association in 1990. He earned a master's degree in education and administrative planning from Harvard University. Walls earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education from Weber State University. He played football for both Montana State University-Northern and Weber State University.

Of Native American and African American heritage, Walls was the first person of color accepted into the Montana Military Academy and commissioned as an officer in the Montana Army National Guard. He retired as first a minority assistance coordinator and later an academic advisor/study skills professor from Boise State University. He worked previously as a grant writer for many Montana tribal agencies as well as RJS and Associates out of Rocky Boy, Montana.

Gaylord Walls married Penny Estell on December 20, 1969, in Big Sandy, Montana. They were happily married for almost 50 years. He enjoyed holding multi-cultural celebrations at his home, golfing, and political discussion.

Gaylord is survived by his children, Janine Estell-Steppe of Tualatin, OR, and Travis Walls of Las Vegas, NV; four grandchildren, Dakota, Bridger, and Jaden Steppe and Malia Walls.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Penny Walls; his parents, Elba and Irene (Davis) Walls, and his brothers, Parnell, Elba, Mainard, and Ermine Walls.

There will be a celebration of life at Beaver Creek Park, Hill County, Lion's Campground in Montana for Penny and Gaylord on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Family and friends are invited. RSVP to Travis at [email protected] or Janine at [email protected] .


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