Duane M. Riley

On March 5, 1926 in Osceola Township, Minnesota, Everett and Sarah Riley announced the birth of their son Duane.  He had many fond memories growing up on the family farm with his sister, Deloris.  He developed a strong work ethic and a love for animals.  Although farming was very hard work, Duane loved every minute of it.

After graduating from Hector High School, Duane enlisted in the US Armed Forces.  He proudly served his country during World War II.  Following his honorable discharge, Duane furthered his education by completing a number of agriculture classes.

As a young man, Duane met his future wife, Eleanor “Betty” Chapin.   They exchanged wedding vows at the Minnehaha Methodist Church in Minneapolis on Valentine’s Day in 1947. When he and Betty were first married, they farmed in Hector.

Duane and Betty were blessed with five children, Diana, Darlene, Lou Ann, David and Nancy. He was a hard worker and provided a good life for his family.  As time went on Duane took a job with Cargill. This took the family from Minnesota to Iowa and finally back to Minnesota. After his time at Cargill, Duane accepted a position at Pillsbury on May 15th 1961 and remained there until his retirement April 1, 1988. He worked on the Research & Development team. As one of his achievements, at Pillsbury, he was recognized for his patent for flexible food packaging for the astronauts in the US space program.

Duane and Betty created special memories for 19 summers renting a cabin on Howard Lake, were they spent many hours fishing and enjoying each other’s company.  Duane and Betty also enjoyed sitting out in their porch at home, admiring their flower gardens and watching the birds.  Duane truly loved all animals, and he always made sure his bird feeders were full.

The most important things in Duane’s life were his faith and family. He was a longtime member of Friendship Church in Prior Lake. In recent years he attended Eden Baptist Church in Burnsville and has  been blessed by being part of this church family.  Both churches embraced Duane and he made many wonderful friends. Duane and Betty instilled the value of family in all their children. The Riley family gathered together for every holiday, and they always enjoyed being together.   

Duane was a thoughtful and generous man.  He was selfless and was always doing things for others. He had a kind heart, good sense of humor, and will be missed deeply. Duane will be remembered always by his children, Darlene (Bruce) Russo, Lou Ann (Howard) Uhr, David Riley, Nancy McCann; grandchildren, Heather (Andy Schoeberl) Uhr, Sarah (Nick) Hansen, David (Dorotea) Pumper, Riley and Danny McCann; great-grandchildren, Nikki Davidson, John and Vanessa Pumper, Penelope Schoeberl; great-great-grandchildren, Jayden and Jameson Davidson.

Duane passed away on April 18, 2017 at the age of 91.

Duane was greeted in Heaven by his beloved wife, Betty; daughter, Diana Pumper; grandson, Troy Pumper; parents, Everett and Sarah; sisters, Deloris Riley and Shirley Mullinax.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM with visitation from 9:30 – 11:00 AM at Eden Baptist Church in Burnsville.  Pastor Dan Miller will officiate, and Pastor Doyle Van Gelder will lead Words of Remembrance.  Pallbearers are Danny McCann, John Pumper, David Pumper, David Singer, Paul Scheunemann and Rufino Hernandez.  Duane will be laid to rest at Spirit Hill Cemetery in Jordan.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Julie Sandish :

    Deepest condolences to Nancy and her family. You all are in my thoughts.

  2. Nancy — your Dad was a good and kind man, husband, father. The legacy he leaves behind is amazing. He will be missed by many.

    I received this poem from a friend, after my Dad died. It still brings a tear to my eye, but it also brings me a lot of comfort.

    God be with all of you over the next days, weeks, months, as you all adjust to the “new normal”.

    I love you…Alice

    I stood watch as the little ship sailed out to sea.
    The setting sun tinted it’s white sails with a golden light and as it disappeared from view, a voice at my side whispered, “he’s gone”.
    But the sea was a narrow one and on the further shore a little band of family and friends had gathered to watch in happy expectation.
    Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail, and at the very moment my companion whispered “he’s gone”, a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, “here he comes!”.

  3. Tricia Willger :

    Our deepest sympathy to the Riley Family, love and prayers, The Willger Family-Mike, Tricia, Lindee, Jace Andra and Tate

  4. Mary Olds (Andersen) :

    So sorry to hear of your loss Nancy, you and your family are in my prayers.

  5. Helen Nyquist :

    My sympathy to your family at Duane’s passing. I am his
    first cousin, Helen (Kirkpatrick) Nyquist. My dad, Thomas,
    and Sarah Riley were brother and sister . Duane and I
    exchanged letters over the years and he and Betty
    sometimes visited us when they were staying at the resort
    at Howard Lake. David was often along. Blessings and comfort.

  6. Bethany Smoak :

    To Nancy, Riley, and Danny McCann:
    May you feel our hugs holding you when you have sad moments missing this sweet man. I will miss his smiles & positivity…it will live on in all of you. Sorry for your loss.
    With Love, The Smoak Family

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