Archived Story

M. Duane Norgaard, 83

Published 9:55am Friday, March 7, 2014

M. Duane Norgaard, 83, of Austin, Minn., died unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.


Duane was born on Oct. 11, 1930, at Naeve Hospital, Albert Lea, Minn. The youngest of five children to Peter and Dagmar Norgaard, they lived in a log cabin on a farm near Moscow, Minn., at the time of his birth. From there they moved several times before making Hayfield, Minn., home in 1944. Duane was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in 1945.

Duane attended and graduated from Hayfield High School in 1951, with his high school sweetheart and future bride Margaret Bell. He played basketball and football all through his high school years, particularly excelling in basketball. Duane started work at Austin Dairy at which time Duane and Margaret were married on Sept. 15, 1951. They moved to Austin at which time he was employed by the Hormel Company in June of 1952. During those first years he continued playing city league basketball, also officiating some games and was an active Boy Scout Leader.

Besides working at Hormel, Duane owned and operated a Phillips 66 Gas Station off of I-90 from 1965 through 1971. He couldn’t have done it alone without the faithful help of John Pumroy who Duane held a special place in his heart for. Duane retired after 41 years of service from Hormel in 1993.

Duane and Margaret were married for 54 years at which time Margaret passed away in 2005. Duane was very devoted to Margaret and spent many years as her primary caregiver while she battled cancer. He stood by her every step of the way. Together they had a cabin at French Lake alongside Duane’s two brothers and many nieces and nephews. Duane taught a majority of those nieces and nephews how to water ski and hand made many pairs of water skis and water boards for them. After French Lake, they bought a camper and went on many vacations with their children, friends and relatives. In their retirement years, they spent a lot of time camping on Mille Lacs Lake. Duane loved fishing, hunting, camping, gardening and passing on his Danish traditions with celebration of lots of Scandinavian food, particularly his famous pancakes, with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Spending time together with family was of major importance to Duane.

Duane is survived by his daughters, Diane (Dale) Thompson of Villa Park, Ill., Cheryl (David) Pyburn of Lansing, Minn., and Carolyn (Bobby) Ko of Alexandria, Va.; seven grandchildren, Bridget Pyburn, Andy (Carrie) Thompson, Jessie (Ryan) Rau, Heather (Matthew) Aarsvold, Cassie (Andrew) Manicone, Corbin Ko and Nathan Ko; seven great-grandchildren; a brother, Norman Norgaard of Nevis, Minn., and special friend and companion Dona Jacobsen of Austin.

He is preceded in death by his wife Margaret, his parents Peter and Dagmar Norgaard, three siblings, Lester Norgaard, Kai Norgaard, Ellen Garlock and special nephew David Norgaard.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin with Reverend Make Olmstead officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Dodge Center later that day.


By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

Editor's Picks