Cover photo for Duane Westly's Obituary
Duane Westly Profile Photo

Duane Westly

April 10, 1966 — September 29, 2023

Jasper, Minnesota

Duane Westly

 

Duane Lyle Westly was born on April 10, 1966, to Hiram and Marileen (Koopman) Westly in Pipestone, Minnesota. He grew up in Pipestone as the youngest of eleven children. As a child Duane spent a lot of time with his friends outdoors, riding bike, playing games and learning how to be a card shark. He developed his lifelong love for boxing at the age of 13. When he was older, if he wasn’t boxing, you’d find him hanging out with friends, often going to the Hatfield Hollyhock Ballroom dances.  He graduated from Pipestone High School in 1984 and then moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota to study Criminal Justice at St. Cloud State University. While living in St. Cloud, Duane worked as a bartender at the Best Western Hotel at the age of 18, beginning a 39-year bartending career. He graduated with his Bachelor's degree in 1989.  In 1990, Duane was married to Linda Smidt. In 1991 he moved back to Pipestone to be close to his ailing mother, and began working for Southwest Mental Health Center, as well as several other facilities, as a youth case manager. In December of 1998, Duane and several friends opened the Wildwood Steakhouse in Pipestone. In 2001, the Wildwood was sold, but Duane stayed on as a Bar Manager at what would then be named Sharkee’s Bar. During this time, Duane also worked at Pipestone Systems as a preg-checker for confinement hogs. 

In October 2002, Duane met the love of his life, Melonie Viney while bartending together at Sharkee’s. In 2003, he moved to Ihlen, Minnesota. Duane began working for New Horizon Farms as an ultrasound technician and preg-checker, as well as bartending part-time for Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls, SD. On October 15, 2005, Duane took Melonie’s hand in marriage. In 2006, Duane began bartending part-time at the Legion, along with his other full-time and partime job.  In 2009, he moved to their beloved home in Jasper, Minnesota. He proudly continued to work for both New Horizon Farms, and the Ramkota. He cherished having the opportunity to work alongside his wife, as a great team for most of their years together. In April 2022, Duane was saddened to give up his work career, as he was diagnosed with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. That same year in September, his wife, Melonie, was diagnosed with two forms of breast cancer. The couple worked together to “tag team” their treatments and operations taking care of one another. Duane endured nine months of some unresolved symptoms until January of 2023, when it was discovered to have metastasized to his brain. Following the removal of the tumor, Duane had 4 wonderful months where he finally was able to feel normalcy and enjoy life. In May of 2023, symptoms returned, and a couple of weeks later he was declared terminal. On Friday, September 29. 2023, Duane passed away peacefully in his home in Jasper at the age of 57.

Duane was proud to be known as the most sought after bartender around. He was competitive, a trait that helped him become a very talented boxer.  In 1981, he earned Silver Gloves, and Golden Gloves in 1983, at those boxing tournaments.  Duane had a firm belief in God and grew his faith immensely over the years. He was a humble and kind man. He was always great with kids and had dreamed of opening a boxing gym someday to be able to teach and work with kids. He enjoyed watching sports, especially the Minnesota Vikings, but also always rooted for the Minnesota Gophers and Minnesota Twins. He had many interests including travelling, cooking, finding new recipes, playing pool and darts, card tricks, fishing, campfires, boxing, UFC, reading devotionals, and sharing his knowledge and skills of boxing.

He always enjoyed being with family. One of his most cherished places was enjoying the peacefulness of his acreage, sitting on the porch (especially the top porch) with his wife just listening to the trees and birds. His most favorite place he had ever traveled to was the Black Hills, especially the Badlands. He loved playing darts which he was very good at. Most recently, he really enjoyed Wing Wednesdays in Hatfield and Friday night Crab Leg Buffets. Duane was well known by so many, and had a very quick, witty sense of humor.  He could walk in and light up a room. His coworkers would often find funny poems or notes left by him. He was a hard worker in every sense, never losing that strong work ethic. He could get along with just about anyone and appear to stay cool under pressure. He appreciated staying busy with his jobs and enjoyed working hard, but always took the time to acknowledge the beauty in the sunrise and sunset. Duane remained a true fighter, he never threw in the towel throughout this entire journey.

On his behalf, Duane would want these words carried on, “GO VIKINGS!....SKOL!” and the memory of him doing his "Happy Dance" enjoying life.

Duane is survived by his wife, Melonie Westly from Jasper, MN; children, Austin (Samantha) Westly of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Nate Latham of Sioux Falls, and Isaac Westly of Jasper; grandchildren, Josie Westly, Motley Latham, Opal Westly, and Eli Westly; siblings, Janice VanRoekel of Pipestone, MN, Dale (Linda) Westly of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, Tammy Thompson of Sisseton, South Dakota, Teresa (Matt) Mattson of Sisseton, and Mark Westly of Houston, Texas; as well as many nieces and nephews; and his beloved family pets; Bella, Tubby, Jack and Alice.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Conrad and Mert; brothers, Darryl, Dennis, and David; sisters, Janet and Debra; and his father-in-law, George Viney.

 

Memorials are preferred to be directed to the family.

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Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, October 5, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Peace United Methodist Church - Pipestone

500 7th St SE, Pipestone, MN 56164

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 6, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Peace United Methodist Church - Pipestone

500 7th St SE, Pipestone, MN 56164

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Celebration of Life Gathering

Friday, October 6, 2023

5:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

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