Friend of Dulas Excavating, Allen Miller, 56, dies

Al Miller

Allen Eric Miller, age 56, of Mankato, died Thursday, March, 29,2012, at Mayo Clinic Health System, Mankato, just shy of a one week anniversary celebrating his life with friends at a benefit.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at SS.Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Mankato.  Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m., Monday, April 2, 2012.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato Dialysis, SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, or the 1st Presbyterian Church.

Allen was born April 14, 1955, to Charles W. and Anmarie E. (Schulte) Miller in Mankato.  He graduated from Mankato High School in 12973 and from Mankato Vo-Tech in 1975 with a degree in Ag Mechanics.  He was united in marriage to Linda Zilka on June 26, 2004, in Mankato.  Al was employed by RDO Equipment of North Mankato and for the past 11 1/2 years was self employed in mechanic work.  He was a member of SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and was a volunteer with the St. Clair Fire Department for over 18 years.  Al enjoyed being outdoors, dancing, bicycling, motorcycling, playing cards and spending time with grandchildren.

Al is survived by his wife, Linda; three children, Erica (Tobias0 Bonthrone, Nate Miller and girlfriend, Shayna Baker, and Adam (Ashley) Miller; mother, Anmarie Delp; eleven siblings; nieces, nephews, many friends, and extended family.

On March 25, 2012, the friends and family of Al had a benefit to help defray medical costs for his family.  We are all glad to have seen Al one last time and is watching down on us from up above.  Dulas Excavating Inc. sends their condolences to Allen’s family.

Longtime John Deere Dealer, Duke Durfee, dies

Duke J. Durfee

Duke J. Durfee, 88, of Bonita Springs, FL, and Grand Rapids, MN passed away earlier this month on March 9, 2012, in Naples, FL.

Duke was born February 14, 1924, to Duke S. and Grace (Blazey) Durfee in Kane County, Illinois.  He grew up in Wheaton, IL, and entered Purdue University in the fall of 1942 on a football scholarship.  Enlisting in the US Navy in January 1943, he served in the North Atlantic and Pacific theaters on the Destroyer USS Eberle.  He returned to Purdue in 1946.  From 1949 to 1956, he managed family farms in DuPage County, IL.  Joining Caterpillar Tractor Company in 1956, Duke served as Field Engineer in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1957-1961, and as East African District Representative in Nairobi, Kenya.  In 1963, he established one of the earliest Deere & Co. Construction Equipment dealerships in North Mankato, MN.  Active in the industry, he served as President of Deere’s Industrial Dealer Association, Minnesota Land Improvement Contractors and a founding member of the Board of Directiors of the Construction Management course at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Duke had a lifelong love of flying.  In retirement he volunteered with Angel Flight of South Florida, which arranges free air transport for charitable needs.

Duke is survived by his wife of 62 years, Shirley Harris Durfee, daughter Barbara Phillips of Plano, TX, sons Duke H. Durfee of Bloomfield, CA, Brian Durfee of Eau Claire, WI and his sister Jane Skinner of Princeton, IL.

No funeral service is being planned.

Dulas Excavating Inc. sends their condolances to the Durfee family.  Duke was a true friend of the industry and will always be remembered.