Austin, Minnesota - Dr. Duane John Wallaker, 93, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, died at his home in Northfield on Sunday, March 21, 2021.
Duane was born October 22, 1927 in Kenyon, Minnesota to John and Lydia (Domrose) Wallaker. He graduated from Kenyon High School and then served three years in the Navy. While serving in Jacksonville, Florida, he met and married Dorothy Lanier. After his service, he attended the University of Florida in Jacksonville. He then graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. Duane worked in Owatonna for one year with Dr. John Schoen and then purchased Dr. Bromley's practice in Austin. Duane was a very respected and beloved optometrist serving many families for generations. He and Dorothy had two children but were later divorced.
Duane was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church and sang in the church choir for many years. This is where he met Mary Lou Regner Anderson and they were married at St. Olaf Church in 1977.
The pride of his life was attaining a pilot's license and being in partnership in three airplanes. He flew quite extensively within the United States for many years. Duane also enjoyed many years of playing golf and going on fishing trips into Canada with a very fine group of men. He was a loyal member of the Noon Lions Club for over 62 years, sang with the Northwestern Singers and was in charge of the Lion's Eye Bank for many years.
Duane was a very loving, kind and generous husband and father and will be greatly missed by his wife, family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lydia and John Wallaker; son, Mark D. Wallaker; brothers, Don Wallaker and Larry Wallaker; sister Carol Kumm; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Ruby and Harold Regner; brothers-in-law, Harold Regner and Bill (Betty) Regner.
Duane is survived by his wife: Mary Lou Wallaker; daughter: Cindy (Rick) Story; step-sons: Marc Anderson, Cody (Kathy) Anderson, and Matthew (Anjali) Anderson; step-daughters: Julie Anderson, Susan (James Slavan) Anderson; grandchildren: Natasha (Randy) Beltran and Nicholas Mills; step-grandchildren: Brandy (Tom) Krachmer, Justin (Tina) Anderson, Jessica (Jason) Knighton-Johnson, Zachary Anderson, Ruby Anderson and Sophie Anderson; great grandchildren: Chase, Zeke and Charlie; step-great grandchildren: Trevor, Anthony, Dominick, Giacomo, Riley, Wyatt and Lila; step-great-great grandchildren: Amelia and Kasen; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A private funeral will be held for family at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary with the Reverend Liz Erickson officiating. Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery with Austin Post #91 American Legion in charge of military rites.
Memorials are preferred to St. Olaf Lutheran Church.
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Published by The Kenyon Leader from Mar. 24 to Mar. 25, 2021.