Duane David Guenthner, 89, was born June 13, 1931 in Hazen, North Dakota to Reinhold and Elizabeth (Isaak) Guenthner, and came into this world with twin brother Byron weighing in at 2 ½ lbs each. He left this world on February 22, 2021 just weeks after his twin brother to join him in heaven.
He grew up on the family farm near Hazen, where he received his elementary education in a one-room school house. From 1945-1948 the family lived in Walla Walla, Washington and then moved to a farm in Silesia, Montana. After Duane graduated from Joliet High School in 1949, he then worked on the family farm until he was drafted into the Army to serve in the Korean War. He married Mary Ann Mohr in 1956 and settled in Laurel, where they raised two daughters.
Duane began working at Farmers Union Refinery (CHS) in 1955 where he worked for 41 years and was very involved in the oil workers union, holding several offices. Duane was a man of great faith and a devout member and served in many capacities including church elder at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He also was active in politics and was a charter member of the Laurel Jaycees.
Duane was an all-weather fisherman and enjoyed watching sports, especially his grandchildren’s sporting events. Duane was a hard working jack of all trades and will be remembered for his gregarious and friendly nature. He loved music – playing the piano, organ, guitar, accordion and singing with gusto. He was proud of his German heritage and for many years played the role of preacher in the Laurel Herbstfest pageant.
He is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 64 years; his daughters Rebecca (Andy) Lahl, of Bloomington MN and Rachel (Tom) Gappa, of Park City, MT; grandchildren Katie (Eric) Norheim, Rachel Lahl (fiancée Brian Bell), Drew Lahl; Alex (Ivy) Gappa and Leslie (Ty ) Bermas; and greatgrandchildren, Connor and Audrey Norheim; his brothers Harold (Delores) of Caldwell, ID and Theodore of Fromberg; and sisters-in-laws Arlene of Laurel and Nancy of Billings along with many nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Reinhold and Elizabeth, sisters Frieda Wells and Edna Arthurs, brothers Alvin, Howard, Raymond, Byron and John.
The family is very grateful for the support and care provided to Duane by St. John‘s United staff over the past 4 years.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at St. John’s Lutheran Church 417 West 9th Street Laurel, MT 59044. Interment with military honors will take place at the Park City Cemetery at 1:15, following the luncheon. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church at P.O. Box 185, Laurel, MT 59044 or charity of your choice.
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