Ronald D. (Rocky) Danner, 81, of Fayetteville, a world-renowned barbecue expert, passed away on Thursday (Nov. 21, 2019).
A native of Indiana, he was the son of the late John D. Danner and Neomi Ruth Reynolds Danner Shake. He was a veteran who served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman during the Korean Conflict. He was a 32nd degree Mason of the Indiana Harbor Lodge No. 686 and a member of the Scottish Rite.
He was an avid hunter and sportsman who competed in many shotgun, pistol and rifle shooting competitions and many hunting and fishing expeditions, including a South African safari. He worked as a supervisor, managing the shipment of structural beam in the 21 inch merchant mills and 4x yard at Inland Steel.
After 33 ½ years, he retired to Tennessee to make his home in the hills of Mimosa Community.
He had a passion for barbecue and grilling, which led him to pursue a prominent position in the international barbecue community. Stateside, he was a staff writer for the National Barbecue News, a Master Barbecue Judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) and the Memphis In May (MIM) annual competitions. He was an Ambassador and Mentor for the International Teams, attending the annual Jack Daniel’s World Invitational World Barbecue competition. He enjoyed and helped children compete in the Kid’s-Que barbecue competitions.
Internationally, he was vice president of the World Barbeque Association where he organized barbecue events, competed in contests and instructed barbecue lectures in over 28 countries. He was featured in TV broadcasts in Great Britain, Norway and the U.S., and his cooking techniques were published in books and magazines. He had many barbecue friends from all over the world.
He loved his family, traveling, hunting, fishing, grilling and his farm life. He was of the Baptist faith.
Rocky is survived by two sons, Jeff (Charlotte) Danner of Arizona and Jae (Sandy) Danner of Indiana; one daughter, Rhonda Kohman of Wisconsin; four grandsons, Jacob, Joshua, Christian and Parker Danner; two granddaughters, Reese and Ryan Kohman; companion, Judy Flynt; special friends, The Pickett Families, Danny Montgomery, Eulus and Bettye Quick, and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by a sister, Rita Shake.
Visitation will be at Meng Funeral Home, Odon, Ind., from 4 until 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3. The service will be at 11 a.m.., Wednesday, Dec. 4, with military honors. Burial will be in the Walnut Hill Cemetery in Odon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.