"Dano" Richard Wilfong, 34, of Minot and Douglas, died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in Minot.
Dano was born at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 14, 1977, to Delmont (Monty) Wilfong and Diana Sue King. He was a 3 lb., 2.5 oz. miracle baby that struggled early as a baby with open heart surgery and seizures.
He and his family moved to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., in 1978. This place introduced him to T-Ball, a game that he loved to play. On Aug. 15, 1980, he was blessed with the birth of a new baby brother, Tad.
In 1984, he moved with his family to Atwater, Calif. Following his parents' divorce later that same year, he and his brother moved with his mother to Barboursville, W.Va., to live with his grandmother, Ruby Jean King. Dano and family then moved to Pocahontas County, Marlinton, W.Va., in 1985, to live with his grandparents, Richard and Jerry Wilfong, for approximately a year. Dano and his family finally settled in Hillsboro, W.Va., in 1987, where he would finish his education in 1996, graduating from Pocahontas County High School.
Not long after graduation he met a girl and moved to Valley Head, W.Va., and started his longtime restaurant career at the Skidder Restaurant on Snowshoe Mountain. In 1999, Dano moved to Spokane, Wash., to live with his father. Within a month of moving to Spokane, he and his brother endured the tragic loss of their mother due to an illness. With courage, Dano continued his career in the restaurant business.
Dano was blessed with the birth of a baby boy, Preston Cordell Wilfong, June 20, 2001. Dano always cherished his son. In 2003, he made a move to Boise, Idaho, and became the manager of an Outback steakhouse in addition to attending college at Boise State.
He moved to North Dakota in May of 2010 and started in the Teen Challenge Program, where he gave his life to God. Upon completion of the program he lived off and on in Douglas with his father and part time in Minot. He still maintained his restaurant career, most recently with Montana Mike's, which he loved.
Dano loved meeting new people, he also loved to make people smile and to cheer them up when they were sad or just having a bad day. He had a smile and a way with words that would brighten up anyone's day. Dano loved spending time with friends and family and he cherished all the times that he had with us all. Rest in Peace Dano, we all love you so very much, you brightened our days.
Dano is survived by: his father, Delmont "Monty" (Celeste) Wilfong, of Douglas; son, Preston Cordell Wilfong, Spokane, Wash.; brother, Tad Wilfong, of Douglas; grandmother, Ruby Jean King, Barboursville, W.Va.; stepsister, Retina LaValla, Moorhead, Minn.; stepbrother, Cody LaValla, Anchorage, Alaska; uncles, Kim Wilfong, Marlinton, W.Va., and Daron (Angela) Wilfong, Marlinton, W.Va.; aunt, Terri Dilley Jannette, of Nebraska, and cousins, Ben Wilfong, Crystal (Justin) Wilfong Kerr, Whitney Wilfong Brown, and Tyler Wilfong.
Dano was preceded in death by his mother, Diana Sue King; grandparents, Richard and Geraldine Wilfong, and grandfather, Darrell King.
Visitation: Will be held on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Funeral service: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at River of Life Assembly of God in Minot.
Interment: 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at Hatfield Cemetery in Barboursville, W.Va.
Memorial service: Saturday Dec. 15, 2012, at Central Union Methodist Church at 11 a.m. in Pocahontas County, W.Va.
Those wanting to sign the online memorial register or share memories and condolences are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).