A celebration of life for Duane L French, age 90, will be held Tuesday June 13th 2023 at 2 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church Milaca, MN with Rev. Tim Bauer officiating. Visitation will take place Monday June 12th 2023 from 5 – 7 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. He passed away on June 1, 2023 surrounded by his family at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, MN due to declining health. Duane L. French was born on September 25, 1932 in Webster, Wisconsin. He was the 2nd of 3 children born to Mayer and Agnes (Kuhnly) French. He was baptized Lutheran and a faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Milaca.
During his school years he lived in many communities in Wisconsin & Minnesota due to his father’s employment as a manager of the Land O’Lakes dried milk plants. Duane graduated from high school with the class of 1950 in Whitehall, Wisconsin. In 1951 he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, and after his first year in various schools, he was transferred to an Air Sea Rescue Unit in Coral Gables, Florida as an electronics specialist radio operator, and he reached the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer. His service involved many rescue missions in the Caribbean and included trips to Havana, Cuba and Nassau, Bahamas. After his discharge in June 1954, he was briefly employed by 1st National Bank of Milaca. During that time, he met the love of his life Lorraine Eggen of Milaca, MN, and they were married October 27, 1956. To this union two children were born, Karolyn Kay and Dean Lyle.
His employment years included a multitude of endeavors: Land O’Lakes, UNIVAC, FABRI-TEK, State Farm Ins., Ogilvie State Bank, and owner of French’s Bar and Grill in beautiful downtown Bock, MN. The last 20 years of employment were with the U.S. Postal Service, and he retired in December of 1995. In his younger years he enjoyed hunting, fishing, card clubs, dancing, and auction sales. Cherished memories were created with the French families at Viola Lake, WI and the Eggen families at the Pete Eggen farm. Early travels to England, France, and Mexico fostered their retirement travels to the Southern United States; first with the 5th wheel and later by car. He loved to read and was an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. He was a loving husband and father and extremely proud of his families and their accomplishments in life. He loved the rewards of being a grandpa, and this included living in the country feeding the wildlife, family gatherings, wood-working in the shop, maintaining the lawn, and sharing acres of laughter with his children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Karolyn, sister Donna Larson, parents Mayer and Agnes, and other cherished relatives and friends. He is survived by his bride of 66 years Lorraine, son Dean (Audrey) French, grandchildren Tim (Katie) Elwood and their children Ava and Scarlett, Chase French, and Meg French, brother Bob (Joyce) French, God-children David Larson, John Eggen, and Brian Braaten, and many other extended family members.
Casual attire is welcomed