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HOOKER, Okla. – Trooper Gary Daffern, 63, died Friday, July 30, 2010, at his home.

He was born Nov. 4, 1946, to Dewey Mitchell and Hazel Marie (Willis) Daffern in Wiley, Colo.

In high school, he played football, baseball and basketball.

He married Jelela Jean Bearden July 2, 1965, in Boise City, Okla. She survives.

He attended the junior college in Independence, Kan., built boats for the Starcraft Boat Company, managed the Daffern Standard Service gas station and built homes before joining the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 1971. He continued as a state trooper until his retirement in 1996.

In 1973, he was awarded Trooper of the Year award when he saved a woman from a burning vehicle in Tulsa, Okla. In 1978, he was a member of the first OHP pistol team where he competed in many national championships. He was honored as one of the Oklahoma Governor’s top 20 shooters in the state numerous times and was also the first OHP trooper to be named to the President’s top 100 shooters in the nation in 1980. He also holds the state record for shooting five targets in 1.84 seconds with a 12-gauge pump shotgun.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf and carpentry.

He is also survived by three children, Tonya and Paul Brooks, Monty and Jenny Daffern and Casey and Kimberly Daffern; his siblings, Joe and Judy Daffern, Ellinwood, Charles and Wilma Daffern, Colorado Springs, Colo., Doug and Ilene Daffern, Boise City, Myrtie Gourley, Kansas City, Mo., and Barbara and Melvin Smith, Henderson, Iowa; and his  grandchildren, Jacey Brooks, Jahna Brooks, Tessa Brooks, Harrison Daffern, Melanie Daffern, and Kyeson Daffern.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, E-Vona Thrall and Merl Cook; and two brother-in-laws, Melvin Cook and Gene Gourley.

o Funeral services were at 2 p.m. today at the Hooker High School Auditorium with Matt Richardson, Monty Daffern and Casey Daffern presiding.

Burial will be at the Hooker Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Hooker Golf Course or the American Cancer Society and may be left at the Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Box 745, Hooker, OK, 73945.

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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