Ronald Lee Duernberger, of Antigo, died Monday, July 1, 2019, surrounded by the love of his family and the supportive care of Aspirus Wausau Hospital staff. He was 81 years old.
Ron was born on December 31, 1937, a son of William and Edna (Weed) Duernberger by a mid-wife at their home at 132 North Ave, Antigo. He was united in marriage to Sandy Fleischman on July 5, 1958, while stationed in Hawaii. She survives.
He was a graduate of Antigo High School in 1956, with a close group of classmates who continue to gather several times a year to enjoy their friendships.
He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959 having been stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.
After military service Ron held several jobs in the Antigo area before he and Sandy purchased a grocery store in Elcho where they operated a successful business with their four children for 13 years. Upon selling the store in the early 1980's Ron transitioned into a successful career as a residential and commercial painter, retiring in 2005.
Ron had an undeniable love of the outdoors, and sharing that with his family and friends. So many late nights and early mornings of trout fishing with buddies and family; looking to fill his creel or hook that elusive big German brown. There were countless hours spent as a youth and adult, sitting silently watching intently for the sight of a buck's rack...tracking a flight of ducks in the sky...reacting swiftly to the flush of a partridge from a road's edge.
Ron had his "40" of woods, and its roads he always kept mowed. There was firewood to be made, trees to be tapped for sweet maple syrup and laughter, talk and relaxation around the fire pit. Picnics, parties and horseshoe games with his league buddies were always come-as-you-are affairs to be fully enjoyed. Ron shared freely all of these facets of himself equally with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, extended family and friends, both old and new.
Survivors including his wife are a daughter, Robbin (Michael) Dailey Sr., Antigo; two sons, Ronald Duernberger, Jr., Antigo, Rodney (Gloria) Duernberger, town of Marathon; a sister, Cheryl (Blaine) Knowles, Wausau; a brother, William (LaVonne) Duernberger, Wausau; a daughter-in-law, Lisa Duernberger, Middleton; seven grandchildren, Madeline and Emily Duernberger, Nicole (Michael) McCann, Michael (Hillary) Dailey II, Lessli and Kelsey Duernberger, Nicholas Duernberger; six great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law James (Barbara) Fleischman; a sister-in-law Claudia Deakin.
He was preceded in death by a son, Regan Duernberger; his parents; a sister, Delores Marx; and two brothers-in-law, Robert Marx and Larry Deakin.
The funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at SS Mary & Hyacinth Catholic Church with Rev. Zach Weber officiating. Antigo Veterans will conduct military honors following services at the church. Burial will take place Wednesday in Queen of Peace Cemetery.
Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday at the Bradley Funeral Home and 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday also at the funeral home. A parish wake service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Online condolences at www.bradleyfh.com.
Through Ron, we all learned the value of a wry, fun sense of humor and the lessons that a bit of common sense can teach us. Even though Ron's light has now dimmed, the memories and a flicker of his flame remains in us all who were ever touched by his life.
"We would like extend our deepest sympathy to Sandy and her family for their loss.As we go through life, we come across certain people who leave a deep impression on us. Ron was one of those for me. He was a joy to work and spend time with. Jon Zalewski"
"Sorry to hear of Ron's passing and my condolences to the entire family. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the Duernberger's store and fun times with the kids. In 1977 I had painted his Cadillac, upon delivering the car he offered to give me more money than my quoted price. It was the only time in my life it ever happened. Wonderful Man! Wonderful Family!"
"Dear Sandy and Family
I was so sorry to learn of your husbands passing. I always thought the two of you made such a handsome couple. I was so pleased to see at our 50th high school reunion that you and Ron were still together and happy--really blessed my heart. Continue to keep friends close and keep moving forward--it helps, I know. I am widowed 14 years on the 13th. A friend always, Janet (Rosio) Schoblaska"
"My deepest sympathy to the entire family for the loss of what I have learned to be a great husband, father and friend. May you be comforted with the many wonderful memories. "
"I remember Ron well as a classmate in Mr. Cramer's Latin class. He was a very lively personality, almost universally well-liked among his classmates at Antigo High School. His family can deservedly be proud of Ron as they observe his passing. Mel Hoke, Class of 1955"
"Sandy and family, We were so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of such a fun loving wonderful man. He lived life to it's fullest and anyone who knew him was truly blessed by a friendship that will forever be in our hearts. Please let us know if you need anything....hugs to all. Love, Jim and Missy Grones
"Lisa, Nick, Sandy, and the rest of the family- Sorry to read about the death of your father in law/Grandpa/husband/loved one. The obituary write up is a wonderful tribute to his life. May you find comfort in shared memories, support in love shared and peace in the knowledge that he now shares eternal life with those who have gone before him in the arms of God forever. Thinking of you. Prayers. Jeanne and Jim Peters, formerly of Deerbrook, now Platteville Wis. "
"My deepest sympathy to family and friends. Many conversations as Ron and Sandy sat on the front porch of their house in Elcho. Ron and Sandy made you feel like family in their store as they touched many lives...and Ron made awesome brats too!"