Kerry Michael Wolf (Navy Chief Petty Officer - Retired), 50, Rapid City, S.D., and formerly of Minot, died Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City of Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Kerry was born in Long Beach, Calif., on April 10, 1962, to Clinton and Linda (Yuly) Wolf. The family returned to Minot upon his father's Navy discharge, where his father became a member of the Minot Police Department in Minot in 1966. He attended Lincoln Elementary, Bishop Ryan, and Minot High School graduating in 1980.
Kerry enlisted in the Navy in February 1980 using the Early Entry Program. He had a long and distinguished career of 23 years with the Navy, achieving the rank of Chief Petty Officer (DCC), and retired on June 21, 2002.
Kerry served the following commands: RTC San Diego; USS. Dixon (AS37); USS. Robert E. Perry (1073); USNR, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii; USS. Callaghan (DDG-994); Fletragru, San Diego; USS. Kinkaid (965) and Atgpac, San Diego.
He was awarded several decorations and medals including: Navy Marine Corps Life Saving Medal, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, (4) Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorius Unit Commendation, USCC Meritorius Unit Commendation w"/O", two Navy "E" Ribbons, 5th Good Conduct BLK 13 Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and the U.S. Coast Guard Special and Operations Service Ribbon. He upheld the highest standard of leadership, dedication and professionalism in support of the Navy and was always a morale booster for those with whom he so honorably served.
He was once married to Monica Smith and Joy Grihalva but was later divorced. Also, he was married to Jolee Wright, who passed away from cancer on July 24, 2011.
After Kerry's military career he was employed at (SAIC) AM Sac in San Diego, and resided at Santee, Calif., and Lake Morens, Calif. In the summer of 2006 the family moved to Rapid City, where they purchased a ranch with quarter horses and Kerry became employed at Action Mechanical as a plumber. Kerry was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2009 and underwent a stem cell bone marrow transplant at Auera McKenna Cancer Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Kerry enjoyed boating, fishing, family outings, and motor home camping trips. He especially liked to enjoy the sand dunes near Yuma, Ariz., with his dune buggies and quads. He entertained friends, neighbors and family with many splendid grilled foods. He always maintained a swimming pool for all the neighborhood children and had the brightest Christmas lights on the block. He never missed a day of flying the Navy flag and U.S. flag on his pole. His rottweiler dogs, Gracie and April, were his bookends.
Kerry is survived by: his parents, Clinton and Linda Wolf, Minot; daughter, Heather Wolf, and son, Cody Wolf, both of Rapid City; grandson, Anthony Gillenwater; sister, Natalie (Jim) Boe, Valley City; brother, Mark (Gardi) Wolf, San Diego; nieces, Ashley Boe, Sophia Boe and Brittany Wolf; uncles, Curtis Yuly, Jerry Stout, Art Christianson, David Hovde, Ken Wolf, Mike Wolf and Ray Wolf; aunts, Rita Wolf Hovde, Ruth Wolf, Patty Wolf, Karen Wolf and Sharon Yuly; grandmothers, Bernice Leathes Yuly, Minot, and Alice Karp Wolf, Tempe, Ariz.; many extended cousins from the Jerome and Patricia Wolf family and Perry and Grace Leathes family as well as friends from the Navy, San Diego, Lake Moreno and Rapid City; cousins, Don Sebo, Terry Sebo, Chuck Sebo, Cindy Sebo Jones, Jody Benson Dregseth, Steven Benson, Farin Yuly, Diane Yuly Watts, Damon Gleason, Dana Gleason, Kathleen Pouncy, Karla Mack, Cindy Johnson, Stephanie Stout, Jeffrey Stout, Tim Wolf, Mary Zimmerli, Rhonda Wolf, Jason Wolf, Teresa Hovde, Nancy Hovde, Pricella Peterson, Danielle Olson, Brent Wolf and Mathew Wolf.
Kerry was preceded in death by his grandfathers, Herbert L. Yuly and Anton J. Wolf; aunts, Delores Christianson, Kathleen Johnson, Carol Stout and Bev Yuly; uncles, Allan Yuly, Eugene Benson and C.J. Johnson; sister-in-law, Regina Wolf; grandson, Kalston Gillenwater; and daughter, Marlee Wright Wolf.
The family wishes to extend our thanks to the staff of Avera McKenna Cancer Center of Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as the Rapid City Cancer Center and Rapid City Regional Hospital, who cared for Kerry in his courageous struggle with this illness.
Fair winds and following seas to our blessed loved one.
Mass of Christian Burial: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Minot.
Vigil prayer service: Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 7:30 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home Chapel, Minot.
Visitation: Tuesday, from 2 to 6 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to Bishop Ryan High School or Saint Jude's Children Cancer Center.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories and condolences are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).