Donald J. “Rocky” Rock, 88, of Benton, passed away Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at his daughter’s residence in Orange Beach, Ala. Services were 2:00 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2018, at Casey Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Cuba City where Rev. Bill Vasey officiated. Burial was in Shawnee Cemetery in New Diggings. Friends could call from 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday at the funeral home before the service.
Donald was born on Jan. 8, 1930, in Darlington, the son of Abner and Florence (Alderson) Rock. Donald was raised in New Diggings where he and his twin sister, Dolores, started school at the age of four. He later graduated from New Diggings High School in 1948. He was an outstanding basketball player in his day and was a member of the New Diggings Midgets Basketball Team that went undefeated three years in a row. Donald served in the United States Army Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion with an honorable discharge in 1952.
Donald was united in marriage to Carolyn Ethel Solem on July 6, 1957, at the Masonic Temple in Evanston, Ill. He worked at Willow Engineering Company in Galena, AY McDonald in Dubuque, and then worked at John Deere Tractor Works in Dubuque where he retired in 1987. Donald also helped on the Coulthard family farm for over 50 years.
Donald was a member of the Benton Fire Department, the Galena Elks Club, the Masonic Olive Branch Lodge #6 and a charter member of Cole Acres Country Club. He was the longtime coach of the Women’s Benton Merchants Fast Pitch Softball Team, played on the Old Timers Men’s Slow Pitch Softball Team and was a longtime member of Rocky’s Bar Bowling Team. Donald was also a member of the Old Timers Basketball Team where he was known for his hook shot and free throw shooting. He was a long time White Sox fan, a Detroit Lions fan and a lifetime fan and supporter of the University of Kentucky. On Nov. 17, 2010, Donald was commissioned a KENTUCKY COLONEL by the governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Donald spent 32 years as a winter resident (snowbird) of Gulf Shores and later Orange Beach, Ala., where he enjoyed the warmer winters and met many new friends.
Donald is survived by his daughter, Linda (Paul) Ponder, of Orange Beach, Ala.; grandchildren, Travis (Robyn) Ponder and Kinsey (PJ) McInerney; great-grandchildren, Lydia and Lucy McInerney and Dylan and Ethan Ponder; a twin sister, Dolores Hutchinson, of Platteville; a nephew, Joe (Julie) Thompson and a niece, Carolyn (Harold) Ensch, both of Shullsburg; and some dear cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn; his parents, Abner and Florence (Alderson) Rock, his father and mother-in-law, Lavern and Julia (Johnson) Solem; a sister, Betty (Rock) Thompson; and a nephew, Jerry Thompson.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Shawnee Cemetery Association, 2311 Shawnee Road, Shullsburg.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.caseyfuneralhome.net.