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Obituary: David Hillendahl, Petaluma outdoorsman, wildlife advocate

A longtime duck hunter, outdoorsman and advocate for wildlife, David Hillendahl of Petaluma died Thursday. He was 85.

"He really had a full life, all revolving around wildlife federations and nature," said his daughter, Lori Thornton of Tomales. "He had a bunch of old, close buddies from Petaluma. Up until the very end they were still old fishing and hunting buddies."

Hillendahl was born in Los Angeles, and at age 10 his family moved to a farm in Penngrove where he learned his love of nature, wildlife and hunting, Thornton said.

He served in the Army as a paratrooper stationed in Okinawa, Japan, during and after World War II and was discharged as a private first class in 1947 with victory and occupation medals, Thornton said.

Working as a maintenance supervisor at the Sonoma County Water Agency, Hillendahl loved his job of clearing creeks and ditches to help prevent flooding because it dovetailed with his interest in preserving wetlands.

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