Duane Wilaby, 90, of Rochester, MN, formerly of Brookings, passed away Friday, March 19, 2021, at Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, MN. Private family graveside services will be held with a memorial service to be held at 10 a.m. May 8, 2021, at Rude’s Funeral Home. Rude’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Duane Marvin Wilaby was born on Jan. 12, 1931, in Brookings County, the son of August and Sylva (Carter) Wilaby. Along with his seven brothers and sisters, Duane grew up in a farming family - milking cows, tending other farm animals and crops. Duane attended several country schools across Brookings County, Bushnell and the White High School. Duane served in the United States Army from 1952-1954 during the Korean War; primarily stationed in Germany. After returning from Army active duty, Duane married his sweetheart, Darlene Alexander, on March 4, 1955, in Volga, SD. Duane and Darlene resided in Brookings, raising three children – Donald, David, and Diane. Duane worked several years at the Farmers’ Cooperative in Brookings and worked on the construction crew that built the Co-op concrete elevator on Third Street. Duane and Darlene founded Wilaby Trucking in 1961 – delivering livestock, seed, and grain from farms to markets across the region for the next 24 years. After retiring from Wilaby Trucking, Duane continued to drive trucks part-time for other companies for another 16 years.
Duane was a life member of the VFW and American Legion in Brookings. He was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Brookings. Duane and Darlene loved to dance and socialize with friends at the VFW, Legion and Elks clubs in Brookings. After retirement, Duane and Darlene could be found at senior citizens dances throughout the area – Brookings, Elkton, Madison, and Watertown. They seldom missed a dance night!
Duane is survived by two children, Donald (Sarah) Wilaby of Englewood, CO and Diane Wilaby of Rochester, MN; four grandchildren (Charles, Henry, Erin and Heather); three brothers, Merlin (Charlotte) Wilaby of Port Orange, FL, Loren (Darla) Wilaby of Hot Springs, SD and Dennis Wilaby of Rapid City, SD; and two sisters Lois (John) Chudzinski of Fayetteville, NC and Jean Schultz of Dundee, MI. Duane was preceded in death by his parents; wife Darlene; son David, and two brothers Robert and Delman.
Condolences may be sent to the family through the www.rudesfuneralhome.com.