In loving memory of

Duane George Billman
July 24, 1935 - April 10, 2019

Duane George Billman was born in Ft. Madison, Iowa, on July 24, 1935. He died Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at Henry County Health Center.

He graduated from Ft. Madison High School in 1953 and went on to Iowa Wesleyan College, earning a bachelor's degree in 1957. Duane began his teaching career in Rapid City, South Dakota, teaching middle school art for 12 years. There he met Nancy Boyce, his beloved wife of 54 years. They were married in Deadwood, Aug. 27, 1964.

In 1969, the Billmans moved to Danville, Iowa, where Duane started the art department at Danville High School. He taught K-12 art for 27 years before his retirement in 1996 after almost four decades of instructing and inspiring generations of students. Duane also worked at Geode State Park for 25 years in the summer months as the "night ranger," supervising the campground and patrolling the 1200-acre park.

Since his youth, Duane enjoyed breaking, showing and reining Quarter Horses and attending local rodeos. Later, he served on the Burlington SnowBull board. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter (game and mushrooms), fisherman and cross-country skier. Duane loved cats and always offered a welcoming lap in his recliner. He spent many hours in his workshop, using his artistic talents to craft birdhouses and other unique projects for family and friends. A devoted member of Danville's Congregational United Church of Christ, he served as a trustee for many years.

He was preceded in death by parents John Schubert Billman and Dorothy Hushaw Fleming. He has four sons: Ross Billman of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Coe Billman and wife Kathleen of Ft. Madison, Iowa; Jon Billman, wife Hilary and grandchildren Sam and Avalyn of Marquette, Michigan, and granddaughter Hailey Brey and husband Brad of Austin, Texas; and Clay Billman, wife Ginger and grandchildren Abbey and Allie of Stillwater, Oklahoma. He also leaves a loving sister-in-law Donna Boyce of Oklahoma City.

Duane Billman never met a stranger, and he will be remembered by many as a selfless servant and animated storyteller who would talk your ear off.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, April 19 at The Congregational Church of Danville. Pastors Carl Vass and Steve Parker will officiate. Inurnment of his cremains will be held at Jaggar Cemetery at a later date. The family will receive friends at a luncheon at the church immediately following the service.

Memorials are encouraged to the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. Online condolences may be left at


Chuck and Diane Heinrich wrote on Apr 13, 2019:

"Our Sincere Sympathy to Nancy and Family, we met Duane and Family in 1973 when we moved to the same neighborhood in Danville, a Gracious Man and a Great Friend!!"

Bill Raschendorfer wrote on Apr 12, 2019:

"My Deepest Sympathy to the Billman family. Mr. Billman was the reason that I went into art education. He always went above and beyond for his students and never gave up on them. I'm thankful for all he taught me and feel fortunate to have had him as a teacher. I'm grateful that our paths crossed in this life. He will always be fondly remembered. ."

Beth Dockendorff wrote on Apr 12, 2019:

"My condolences to the Billman family. Mr. Billman taught me art from kindergarten to senior year. He was a great teacher and I have only good memories of his classes."