MADISON—Daniel J. Duerst, an extraordinarily kind and patient husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend, as well as a passionate golfer, card player (especially with his buddies on Wednesdays), gardener, deck builder, lover of Buicks and a good dancer, played his last hand and passed away peacefully surrounded by dozens of loving family members after a short but truly courageous battle with lung cancer on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. He was only 72…far too young to be sent on his next journey.
He was born on Feb. 8, 1945, and was later joined by three brothers and two sisters. “Danny” was the ultimate big brother to the rest of his siblings: David, Debbie, Darrell, Dora and Dean. Even though he sometimes had to play the role of enforcer to his younger brothers and sisters, he was always looked up to for his patience and kindness.
Dan graduated from Madison West High School in 1962 and proudly served our country with honor in the U.S. Army and National Guard. In 1966, he met the first love of his life, Susie (Everson). Soon he joined the ranks of fatherhood with the birth of Stephanie and Stacy. After his time in the service he landed a job at Flad & Associates, where he was introduced to the art of printing. This led him to a job at Straus Printing, a place he always recalled dearly. The family spent many weekends at their cabin in Tomahawk, sharing time with family and friends on the pontoon boat, sitting around the fire or enjoying dinner and drinks at The Bull & The Beaver, Schafer’s Wharf or Bessie’s. The cabin also gave Dan plenty of opportunities to build, fix and generally putz with stuff.
He met Mary Gritzmacher in 1992, and they began a long and loving life together travelling, golfing, gambling, gardening and canning. They enjoyed spending time with and hosting their many friends and family members.
Dan was fortunate to finish out his career doing what he loved most, spending eight years mowing, planting, fixing and putzing for Edgewood College. In his final days he was able to make some final trips to Ho-Chunk and spent plenty of time enjoying the presence of his family and friends.
Dan is survived by his daughters, Stephanie (Todd) Franklin and Stacy (Mike) Couey. When Dan and Mary married, he added more children to his family: daughter, Jodi (Troy) Nolden; son, Jeff (Maricel); grandchildren, Justin and Logan Couey, Taylor Franklin, Austin (Emma) Nolden, Keith (Rachel) Nolden and Miranda and Emma Reyes; brothers, Darrell (Debbie) and Dean (Nancy); sister, Debbie (John) Johnson; sister-in-law, Peggy (Wayne) Soehnlein; brother-in-law, Jim (Sherry) Soehnlein; nieces and nephews, Christine (Greg) Dodson and their children, Carrie Kaminski, Lyndsay Johnson (Kevin), Cody and Halley Johnson, Nick (Natalie) Duerst and their children, Jennifer Duerst (Derrick) and her child, Sarah Stokes (Jesse Noble), and Jacob, Marley and Reggie Duerst. He is also survived by Dawn Cherek and her children, Carli and Cierra; and his guardian angel, Mickey Thome-Neitzel.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary; and his first wife, Susie (Everson); parents, Wally and Imelda “Mel” (Daniels) Duerst; brother, David; sister, Dora (Mike) Stokes; and nephew, Benjamin Duerst.
A Celebration of Dan’s life will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Sept 16, 2017. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.
Whether you knew him as Danny, Dano, papa or grandpa or grandfather-sir, Dan will always be remembered as a kind, patient, caring and funny man.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff from Agrace HospiceCare, especially Heidi, Teresa and Meaghan. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive