Duane Carol Payne, age 80, of Bemidji, MN formerly of Walker, passed from this life on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at the Sanford Hospital in Fargo with his family by his side. He was born on March 22, 1938 in Wauzeka, WI, the son of Carol and Gertrude (Lenz) Payne.
Duane grew up in Boscobel, WI, and graduated from high school in 1956. Prior to his graduation, Duane joined the Naval ROTC and served in the Navy from 1955 to 1960. During that time, he attended college at the University of Wisconsin Platteville for Pre-Forestry. Following his college education, Duane was stationed on the USS Bigelow and traveled to various locations all over the world. Duane met Phyllis Frazier and the two were united in marriage on October 29, 1960 at the Boscobel Methodist Church in Boscobel, WI. He worked for the DNR Fish and Wildlife department in Wisconsin before being transferred to Denver, CO. The two moved back to Wisconsin where Duane worked for Commercial Credit. He was transferred to Hibbing where he was named “Man of The Year” for the company. The company also sent him to Omaha, NE and then to Bemidji, MN. He then accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Security State Bank in Bemidji. Duane started the Bemidji American Heart Association, was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church Glory Bound Singers, and a member of the Bemidji Lions Club. When Duane and Phyllis retired in 1996, they began traveling the world and were able to see many different places. They built a home in Walker and became very active with the Walker American Legion Post #134 and the Honor Guard where Duane served as Chaplain. He enjoyed traveling, wintering in Florida, volunteering as a driver for the VA Medical Center in Florida, fishing, hunting, RVing, cooking, and spending time with Phyllis and the rest of his family. He was always so proud of his girls, his grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Duane will be sadly missed by all his family and many friends.
The family that Duane joins again are his parents, Carol and Gertrude; one brother, Keith; and one sister, Marion Harris.
Those he leaves behind to cherish his memory are his bride of 58 years, Phyllis of Bemidji; daughters, Athena “Tina” Fossand and her husband Kelly of Pinewood, MN, Anita Zeller and her fiancé Scott Olson of Lakeville, MN and Alicia Beres of Minneapolis, MN; sister, Elaine Yonker of Boscobel, WI; grandchildren, Samantha (Kent) Johnson of Bemidji, Ben Fossand of Pinewood, Andrew and Hunter Olson of Lakeville, MN, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
A celebration of Duane’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Walker with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Rev. Matthew Vrudney will officiate. Honorary Urnbearers will be Jonathan Burk and Christian Burk. Military Honors for Duane will be accorded by the Walker American Legion Post #134 Honor Guard. Inurnment will take place on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Camp Ripley State Cemetery in Little Falls, MN.
Duane’s care has been entrusted to and will be honored by the Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be given at www.northernpeace.com