Bill Duer, 83, was born in Confidence, Iowa on October 1, 1934 to Chester William Duer and Neva Pearl Holder Duer. On the morning of September 20, 2018 at Legacy Lodge the Lord called him home to be free of pain in heaven.
He graduated from Russell High School in 1953, at which time he left to Des Moines to drive a truck for a steel company. In January of 1954 Bill joined the Marines and was stationed in California. While on leave June 26, 1956 he met Carol Joanne Nelson, and it was love at first sight. After being discharged in November of 1956, Bill and Carol were married at the Union Park Methodist Church in Des Moines. Doug was born in 1959 while Bill was working for Western Electric in Des Moines. Bill moved the family to Fontana, California and while working for Kaiser Steel, Linda was born in 1963. In the winter of 1963, Bill brought the family back to Melrose, Iowa to take over the hardware store. Lauri was born in October of 1964, and Michelle was added in March of 1968.
While in Melrose, Bill helped his mother with the cattle operation on the family farm. After the kids went to school Carol managed the store while Bill became self-employed as a plumber/electrician, and operated an excavator in the local community. Bill also served as Mayor to the City of Melrose, at one time was the Fire Chief, and provided honor guard services while carrying out his duties for the Melrose American Legion Post #685. In 1981 and 1982, flooding changed the business’ in Melrose. Bill and Carol sold the hardware store, and purchased the Post Office and moved it up out of the flood plain. In 1989, after several back surgeries Bill was forced to retire from his plumbing and excavating business.
Bill’s hobby in woodworking led to him building a shop just north of his house, for the next 20 years Bill filled his kids houses with several treasured wood items ranging from shelves, crosses, and picture frames to complete bedroom sets. After years of watching his own kids in several sporting events, Bill enjoyed following his grandkids and cheering them on also. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to fish, hunt, mushroom hunt, and play golf. Always remembering that if he stayed too long, where the closest lilac bushes were so as to get himself out of hot water when he arrived home too late. Bill was always a prankster who loved play with the grandkids and wrestle around with them when he was able. After living in Melrose for 50 years, Bill and Carol moved to their current residence at Friendly Acres in Chariton. In his final years he enjoyed watching old western movies and putting together jigsaw puzzles with whoever wanted to help. Bill never met a stranger, and always loved visiting with family and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Chester and Neva Duer. He is survived by his wife Carol Duer, son Doug Duer of Des Moines, daughter Linda Friestad of Des Moines, daughter Lauri (Wrandy) Polo of Chariton, daughter Michelle (Todde) Folkerts of Chariton. Siblings Geneva Bequette of Monahans, Tx, Tom (Sally) Duer of Runnells, Nancy Moore of Des Moines, and Patty Duer of Ankeny. Grandchildren Jesse (Laura) Probasco, Alex Probasco, Bryan Friestad, Holly (Lee) McFall, Sam Polo, Seth Polo, Will (Sarah) Folkerts, Tyler (Cori) Folkerts, and Micaela Folkerts. Great grandchildren Sayge, Paislee, Natalie, Eleanor, and Huxlee.