Music 03

Dana Wall

January 1, 1933 ~ May 17, 2022 (age 89)


Dana Wall, 89, of Sun City Grand, Arizona, passed away from a heart attack on May 17th, 2022.

His many friends and loved ones, many having returned home for the summer, and scattered across the United States and Canada, are invited to celebrate his life, leave comments, and add pictures on the Camino del Sol Funeral Chapel web site: (Click on “obituary” at the top center of the page, click on Dana’s photo, click on “share memory.”)

We look forward to sharing and hearing memories from Dana's full life as a student, teacher, soldier, adjunct professor, school district administrator, writer, poet, consultant, speaker, on-camera interviewer, and friend.

Dana was born in 1933 to Harold and Ila Wall in Sioux City Iowa. His father, Harold, owned the “Wall Violin Shop,” a Sioux City landmark for many years.  He graduated from Central High School in 1951 and received a B.A from Morningside College in 1954. He went on to earn his Master's Degree and complete numerous additional graduate hours through the University of Minnesota, University of South Dakota, University of Iowa, and Iowa State University. From 1955 –1957 he served in the US Army and was stationed in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Schwaebisch Gmünd, Germany and separated with the rank of Sergeant. 

From 1957-1968 Dana was a Jr. High and High School English teacher in Sac City, Iowa (1957-1959) and Sioux City, Iowa at East Junior (1959-1962) and East High School (1962-1968).  His teaching in Iowa was interrupted for a year when he was awarded a Fulbright teaching grant to Great Britain and taught at the Edinburgh Academy in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1965-1966.  He became the Sioux City Community Schools English division head from 1967-1975 and then served as the English coordinator/consultant for the Western Hills Area Education Agency from 1975-1990. He was also an adjunct instructor at Morningside College and Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa and an instructor for the Iowa Writers’ Project at the University of Iowa.

During his career, Dana won a variety of awards and honors, published numerous articles and books, and was a speaker at scores of conferences and special events. This included serving as president of the Sioux City Toastmasters' Club in 1963, receiving a "Special" National Defense Education Act grant for composition, serving as president of the Iowa Council of Teachers of English (ICTE) from 1971-73, serving on the Sioux City Art Center Association Board from 1980-1983, and receiving the ICTE "Distinguished Service Award" in 1981. 

Dana was an excellent writer and published scores of articles, columns, and books. A sample includes “School Zone,” a regular column of Sioux City Community School news, and "Wall Den Notes," a regular humor column, in Sioux City Magazine. His article, “The Secret of the Stradivarius Sound,” was published by Newsweek Magazine on October 28, 2002. He was a contributing writer of educational materials to accompany Iowa, Portrait of America, a television series on Turner Broadcasting Network He also served as a reader/consultant for several Prentice Hall textbooks. His booklet, Iowish: What It Is and How to Speak It, had featured articles published twice on the A.P. wire service and in The New York Times. The popularity of the humorous guide to speaking like a native Iowan was so popular, he went on to write similar booklets for other regions, including Speaking' Mizzuran, Gobi Gred: How To Sound Like a Nebraskan, and Mare Kin: The Language We Speak Instead of English.  

After retirement, Dana and Barbara moved to Hideaway Acres near Yankton, South Dakota to enjoy boating and hiking and relaxing in their cabin on Lewis and Clark Lake. While there, he published a Hideaway Acres Newsletter and was elected to the Hideaway Acres Association Board of Directors and served as Vice President from 1996-2000.

In 2003, they moved full time to Sun City Grand, a retirement community in Surprise, Arizona. Dana continued to write and publish articles and also became an on-camera interviewer and program narrator for local access television, TV 22.  He also created and instructed a memoir writing class for the Sun City Grand Lifelong Learning Academy, through Arizona State University and was later appointed to the Board of Directors of the Arizona State University Lifelong Learning Academy.

Creative to the end, in April of 2022, Dana entered his first poetry slam.  He was the oldest participant and his dozen short selections were received with enthusiastic applause.  Among them was his most recent pun-filled limerick, "Alphabetigull.” 

Snoopy, of course, is a B-gull,
Jonathan Livingston, a C-gull.
But we all can rejoice
That the gull of our choice
Is the stately American E-gull.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara; his son, Steve and daughter-in-law, Cheryl Ann; daughter, Cheryl Lynn; and grandson, Dave.


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