DUANE "LEROY" DOUGLAS WICHERN was born on September 23, 1961 to John Joseph and Shirley Jean (Hall) Wichern in Tyler, Minnesota. He grew up on the family farm near Tyler where he helped every day alongside his Dad and brother tending to the sheep and crop farm. He was baptized and confirmed at First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. He attended school in Tyler, graduating with the final class of the Tyler Danes in 1981. During high school he enjoyed playing football and basketball and in his younger years he loved being a part of 4-H. After high school he attended Worthington Community College and played football while there. He was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Judy Serie, on December 22, 1984 at St. Dionysius Catholic Church in Tyler. The very next day he was out trapping by noon, such was his love for the outdoors! Their union was blessed with five children. Duane continued to live and work on his farm for the rest of his life. In 2001 they built their dream home on the farm and have enjoyed it since. Throughout his battle with cancer he still enjoyed helping on the farm where he could. He was in the fields doing tillage just this past fall. Duane passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the Avera McKennan Hospital and UHC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 61.
Duane was a member of First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. He served on the Tyler Lumber Company board for 19 years. He was a strong, selfless man, and was maybe occasionally stubborn. He strived to be a helpful neighbor, giving his time and friendship freely to those nearby. He was a loving, caring, and kind husband, dad, and grandpa to his dear family. He was always proud of their accomplishments. Duane was the type of person who avoided showing emotion or finding himself in a situation where he had to be emotional, but in his later years he softened and his family enjoyed seeing that side of him. Duane loved being outdoors. He spent countless hours fishing and hunting, especially coyotes, deer and geese. Visiting with family and friends was one of his favorite pastimes. Most of all, he loved being with his family.
Duane is lovingly remembered by his wife, Judy, of Tyler, Minnesota; five children, Joseph (Colleen) Wichern of Tyler, Minnesota, Douglas (Kirsten) Wichern of Augusta, Maine, Kayla (Austin) Mann of Waverly, Minnesota, Jerry (Brittney) Wichern of Tyler, Minnesota, and Janel (Brett) Peterson of Lake Benton, Minnesota; 8 grandchildren (and three on the way), Brayden and Carter Wichern; Bailey and Baby Wichern (February 2023); Henry, Lincoln and Samuel Mann; Baby Wichern (June 2023); Kylar, Paxton and Baby Peterson (October 2023); one brother, John M. (Dawn) Wichern of Tyler, Minnesota; one aunt, Helen Murphy of Bloomington, Minnesota, and one uncle, Morris Fehl of Lake Benton, Minnesota. Duane was preceded in death by his parents.