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Duane Halvorson

Feb 28, 2020


Duane Francis Halvorson

Apr.22, 1952 – Feb. 25, 2020

Duane Francis Halvorson, 67, Minot, died Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at his home due to complications of Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.

Duane was born on April 22, 1952, in Rugby, ND, a son of A. Melford and Theresa (Bischoff) Halvorson. He was raised on the farm near Knox, ND, attending elementary school there. He then attended Rugby Public School, graduating in 1970. He then attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, graduating in 1973 and attaining his Masters Degree in 1987.

Duane started his teaching career at Linton High School in Linton, ND. He taught for the next forty years from villages in Alaska, International School in Nairobi, Kenya to an American/Canadian School in Caracas, Venezuela that needed accreditation for the oil companies. He began teaching at Minot State University, Minot, ND, in the fall of 1991 in the Humanities area. He said he couldn’t count the number of students he had on campus and at Minot Air Force Base. His students remembered him for getting them to read again and writing papers that they had to correct again and again until they corrected all the errors. He wanted them to all know how to write. He believed you could not write unless you read. You needed to see how other people wrote. The more you read the better writer you became. Duane loved school, taking classes each semester at Minot State University while teaching. He had a Master’s Degree plus 90 semester hours. His additional hours were in Biology and other sciences.

Debra Kunkel and Duane met in 1991 when Duane returned to North Dakota. On the 4th of July of 2010, Duane decided it was time to tie the knot. Duane planned and did everything for the wedding, which took place on August 7, 2010.

Duane enjoyed gardening from a young age. At the age of three, he was lost at the farm for many hours until his mother saw his blonde head in the corn field checking crops. He continued to garden throughout his life. He planted a two acre garden each year, giving most of the produce away each year to family, friends and anyone that would take it. Duane and Deb planted thousands of trees on the

farm trying to give back for the wildlife.

Music was his life! Starting piano at age six and continuing while he was teaching at the university. Duane practiced five to six hours per day to be able to play at concert level. He loved his grand piano and his

pump organs. He started the trumpet when he started at Rugby Public School. He always gave Tilman Hovland the credit for enjoying playing the trumpet. He also loved playing the accordion.

Duane had a great voice and sang with any choir that would let him. He enjoyed years of singing with the Minot Chamber Chorale and the Renaissance Feast. He loved singing in the Messiah each year.

As anyone who met Duane knows, he loved to collect antiques. He changed every couple of years the items he collected. He had a number of shows displaying collectibles, from the Taube Museum to the Minot

State University Art Center. His latest show was his collection of Aluminum items. He was so very proud of that show.

Duane also loved to travel and was lucky enough to travel to 59 countries (which three no longer exist). Throughout his travel, he met many people who have remained friends.

Duane is survived by his wife, Debra; his mother, Theresa Halvorson, Bismarck, ND; sisters, Janice (John) Hoiland, Minot and Glenburn, ND, and their stepdaughter Lyndee (Tyler) Heser; and Judith (George) Railsback, Bismarck, ND, their children Sarah (Logan) Reindel and their children Emma, Brettley and Henry; Nick Railsback, Jake Railsback, and Karla (Douglas) Johanson and their children Katie (Kevin) Moore, Mary, Chris and Rachel; brother, Mark J. Halvorson, Bismarck, ND; nieces, Joanne (Jon) Carillo and girls and Brenda Halvorson and son; in-laws, Donna and Lenny Noyes, Louisville, KY, Rachel Gerle, Sierra Vista, AZ, Judy and Dwight Holen, Mesquite, NV, Dennis and Nancy Kunkel, Lakeville, MN, and Dan Rostad, Rapid City, SD; Godmother,

Betty Axtman, Rugby, ND; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Duane was preceded in death by his father, Melford Halvorson; brother, Byron Halvorson; in-laws, Lester and Anna Marie Kunkel, Joseph Gerle, Barbara Rostad and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral: Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.

Visitation: Friday, February 28, 2020 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot, ND

Memorials are preferred to Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot, the Minot Area Symphony, any local music program or to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot, ND

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