Adrian Bennett Charles Duske, age 72, of Waverly, passed away Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Society, Howard Lake.
Adrian was born Sept. 24, 1941, in Minneapolis, the son of Otto and Alta (Nelson) Duske. He was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Montrose, and confirmed at the Waverly Presbyterian Church.
Adrian graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1959, and was a 1960 graduate of Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis in the field of auto mechanics.
Adrian and Anita Martha Rokke were joined in holy marriage May 5, 1962, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. God blessed their marriage with four children: Marjorie, Michelle, Melanie and Adrian, Jr. (Ben).
Adrian was employed in several occupations over the course of his life. He worked as an auto mechanic at two Oldsmobile dealerships in Minneapolis. He and Anita owned and operated a Mac Tool franchise. Adrian was a dairy herdsman for Ralph Douglas and John Varner.
He also drove a school bus for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted schools, and said the best part of this job was being surrounded by young children. He encouraged them and they respected him.
Years ago, Adrian and Anita also raised sunflowers near Newfolden in Marshall County.
Adrian lived in Waverly for most of his life, and was passionate about serving his community. He served as mayor of Waverly for 14 years (1971-1984), and was also a city council member. He served as chairman of the Waverly Planning and Zoning Commission for 15 years (1997-2011), as a fireman with the Waverly Fire Department for 16 years (1970-1986), and as an election judge for Waverly and for the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District for many years.
Adrian and Anita were active in several civic organizations, including the Waverly Boosters Club and the Waverly Snowmobile Club; and Adrian was a charter member of the Waverly Gun Club, as well as a member of the Waverly Sportsmen’s Club. He was also an enthusiastic HLWW Laker fan.
Adrian had many hobbies using his hands and his mind and it made him happy to figure out how things worked. He grew up in the Boy Scouts, and enjoyed hunting, camping, and the outdoors with family and friends.
Adrian played the trombone; and he and Anita entertained their children with beautiful duets on long car trips, singing songs such as, “Down By the Old Mill Stream” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
Adrian loved to read in a wide variety of subjects, particularly American history. His interest in the Civil War led him to become a Union Army re-enactor with cannon, mortar, and small arms with friends in Waverly, the New Ulm Battery, and the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery.
Adrian loved railroad trains particularly steam engines and was proud of his O-gauge Lionel Train collection. He, Anita, and their children also had many beloved pets over the years, including Rex, their first dog together, for whom they moved because their landlady wouldn’t allow pets.
Adrian is survived by his loving wife, Anita; four children: Marjorie Duske of Alexandria, VA; Michelle (Pat) Heuer of Waverly; Melanie Duske of Howard Lake; and Adrian (Rachel) Duske, Jr. of Waverly; six grandchildren: Meghan Williams, Jessica and Nathaniel Heuer, and Jakob, Leo and Eva Duske; a sister, Martha (David) Smith of Rockledge, FL; sisters- and brothers-in-law Marilyn (Dennis) Gray, Naomi (Dennis) Winkelmann, and John (Denise) Rokke; and many other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife’s parents, Arnold and Alyce Rokke; aunts, uncles, cousins, and many dear friends.
The funeral service took place Saturday, Nov. 16 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Interment will take place at a later date.
Casket bearers were Guy Berry, Jr., David Berry, Daniel Chaffins, Gordon Chaffins, Clifford Duske, Keith Duske, Steven Duske, Sr., and James Francis.
Adrian’s grandchildren, his brothers-in-law, and his many, many dear friends and extended family were honorary casket bearers.
Visitation and a prayer service took place Friday, Nov. 15 at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.
Memorials are preferred to the Waverly Fire Department or St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family. Online condolences may be made to www.thepetersonchapel.com.