Duane Winston Churchill, 92, of North Pole, died Nov. 24, 2013, at his home in North Pole.
Duane was born in Spooner, Wis., on Sept. 8, 1921, and was raised on his grandparents farm. He began his working life off the farm as a machinist before he joined the Army
Air Corps and then the USAF, serving as a pilot and co-pilot in WWII
, flying 72 missions off the isle of Corsica, one of which earned him a Purple Heart
, the medal out of 13 he earned of which he was most proud. Later, he served as an air traffic controller in the Korean War
He took an isolated leave in Galena so he could bring his family up in 1962, retiring in 1965 as a Senior Master Sergeant and began another career as a boiler plant operator in civil service, on Fort Wainwright, for several more years. Fiercely independent, he continued to live at his home in North Pole in the company of his three cats, to whom he was devoted.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Geneva; daughter, Constance; parents, Deforest and Jeannette; stepmother, Evelyn; grandparents, Hiram and Grace Churchill; siblings, Beverly (Prosceky), Leila (Peterson Cadott), and Barbara (LaMay Holcome).
He is survived by sons, Richard and wife, Nancy Churchill, of Oshgosh, Wis.; Don and wife, Georganna Churchill, of North Pole; daughters, Kim Lea Beckett, of Indiana; Renee Annette Carnival, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; sisters, Betty Novotney, of Anchorage; Marion Taylor, of Ladysmith, Wisc.; and brother, Winston Churchill, also of Ladysmith; as well as grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A family gathering is being planned for the summer, perhaps in Wisconsin. Family contact is Renee Carnival, 415 Delaware St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648.
Arrangements were entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.