WNO Gone But Not Forgotten 

C. Duane Patterson

Years as a Wausau Noon Optimist

Wausau - Charles Duane Patterson (Duane), 88, passed away February 15th, 2021, at his home, with family at his side, after an extended illness. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joy; his children Elizabeth and husband Michael Hermsen (of Evanston, IL), Catherine and husband David Wood (of Houston, TX), and Thomas and partner Mark Jakusz (of Minneapolis, MN); and one grandchild, Charles Wood; and by his brothers Robert and Lewis and their families.

Duane was born in La Crosse, WI on July 16th, 1932, to Charles Robert and Jessie Grace Manser Patterson and grew up in the area around North Bend in southwestern Wisconsin. After several moves to other small towns in the area, he completed high school in Lime Ridge, WI, where he played on the basketball team and graduated as valedictorian in 1950. He went on to college at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. There he met Joy Forster, also a UW student, at Pres House, the campus Presbyterian church. After completing his BA in History and attending one semester of law school at the UW, he was called into the army as an officer. While in the service, stationed at Fort Monmouth in Red Bank, NJ, he married Joy on July 23rd, 1955. After three years, the couple returned to Madison, where Duane completed his law degree, serving as Editor of the Law Review and receiving the Order of the Coif.

Upon graduation from law school in 1959, Duane and Joy moved to Wausau, where Duane joined the firm of Smith, Puchner, Tinkham, & Smith (which by the end of his career was Patterson, Richards, and Hessert). He became a partner and engaged in an active legal career for 40 years, specializing in trusts and estates, as well as representing a number of local businesses. Soon after arriving in Wausau, he became active in local civic organizations, including the Marathon County Bar Association, Jaycees, United Way, and Noon Optimists. He was named Jaycee Young Man of the Year in 1967 and Optimist of the Year in 1974. Later, he was elected President of the Marathon County Bar Association in 1981 and President of United Way in 1985. He also served on the boards of a number of other community organizations. Even as he was busy in his career and in community organizations, he remained a strong family man. He was actively involved in the lives of his children, and he and Joy shared a strong and loving partnership.

Throughout his life, Duane was active in the church. In Wausau, he served as elder, deacon, and Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church. Duane was also an avid reader and book collector, with a passion for history, art and art history, and world travel. In his last years he was no longer able to travel, but he and Joy continued to enjoy visits from their family and friends. Duane's family would like to thank the many dedicated caregivers from TLC Home Care and the staff of Aspirus Hospice and Palliative Care who provided care and support in his last two years.

A private graveside service will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery, with the intent of a memorial service later in the year when it is safer to do so.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com

John L. Durkee

Years as a Wausau Noon Optimist

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the loss of our friend and fellow Optimist John L. Durkee. John L. Durkee, 78, of Wausau, passed away on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at home.

He was born to the late Kanter and Enid (Roloff) Durkee in Wausau on October 10, 1942 and grew up in Mosinee.  He met his future wife, Suzanne Dey, while attending U.W. – LaCrosse.  They were married on April 14, 1962 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

John excelled in sports, playing basketball, football, and running track in high school.  He played softball for many years in his adult life.  He enjoyed hunting in South Dakota, fishing in Canada, and camping.  He especially enjoyed the family reunions at Lake DuBay.

He was a member of the Wausau Wine Club and was very well-known for his wines.  John was involved in his church, Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wausau.  He served as an usher, President of the Church Council, and volunteered at the school.  John also was a member of the Wausau Noon Optimist Club and was very fond of the members.

Survivors include his wife, Suzanne; three children, Mindy (Gary) Randall, Mike Durkee, and Mitch Durkee; grandchildren, Derek, Hayley (Katy), Travis, Brenden, and Allyson; great-granddaughter, Emeriee; brother, Richard (Bliss) of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and sister, Sally Pecha of Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Melissa Jean; parents, Kanter and Enid Durkee; and sister, Margo Budnik.

The public visitation will be on Friday, November 6, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel, 522 Adams Street, Wausau.  There will be a private family service and burial on Saturday, November 7, 2020.  The service will be available for viewing on the website at a later time.

You may sign the family guestbook at www.brainardfuneral.com.

Due to current recommendations masks are required and social distancing will be observed.