Duane grew up on a farm near Eureka SD and graduated from Eureka High School. He completed his college education and then entered the workforce having worked in high-tech in engineering management and supply chain management throughout his working career. He and his wife, Dorothy, are now retired and live in Texas.
Duane’s primary hobby has been genealogy. Having learned much about his heritage from his parents he has continued in the research of that heritage. He also found it interesting to look back in time when his grandparents were growing up on the plains of South Dakota. He discovered that postcards offer a unique way to see what his grandparents saw when coming to town from their farm homes as well as learning about what farm life was like for those immigrants or first-generation Americans. This interest continues He has been a speaker at numerous Germans from Russia conventions sharing his postcard images while explaining what each card exhibits.
Duane is a former member of the GRHS Board of Directors and is currently the president for the North Texas Chapter of Germans from Russia (affiliated with AHSGR and GRHS). He is also the president of the Glueckstal Colonies Research Association (GCRA).
He also has written numerous articles that have been published in numerous journals. His greatest achievement as a writer was to receive the Joseph S Height Literary Award from GRHS for his extensive article about the Eureka Lutheran College that closed in the early 1930s.
Duane and two other researchers published a book titled Researchers Guide to McPherson County SD Cemeteries in 2005. His second book Walworth County, South Dakota is a book focused on early photo postcards of the Walworth County located in north-central South Dakota. His most recent articles will also be found in an on-line publication called Postcard History.
The presentation titled “Through Grandfather’s Eyes” provides and illustrates how Duane has used photo images (in this case postcard images) to help explain how his Black Sea ancestors lived after they arrived in South Dakota in the late 1800s.
Bio Updated 1/2/2021
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