site image
phone local_florist


Duane A. Traverse

June 15, 1928 ~ May 11, 2018 (age 89)

Duane A. Traverse, 89, of Wausau, Wisconsin (formerly of Kentwood, Michigan) went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 11, 2018 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  Duane was born on June 15, 1928 to the late Ross Calvin and Laura Isabel (Holtom) Traverse on a farm near Constantine, Michigan where he spent his childhood.  He graduated from Constantine High School and then enlisted in the Navy.  At Great Lakes Naval Station, Duane was part of the U.S. Navy’s drum and bugle corps.  He was stationed in Washington, DC and served 5 years as a cryptographer both as an enlisted sailor as well as a civilian employee during the last years of WWII and the beginning of the Korean Conflict.  He then went on to earn a Terminal Certificate in Drafting from Michigan State College.

While in Washington, he met Dorothy Muller from Toronto, Canada who was visiting friends in the area.  Married in 1954, they first resided in Lansing, Michigan and then in Grand Rapids.  Duane worked for Warren Holmes Company in Lansing, Michigan, for Grand Rapids Lumber Company in Grand Rapids, retiring in 1992 from his position in the Production & Inventory Control department of Westinghouse ASD / Knoll Group in Kentwood.  Health reasons forced a move from Kentwood, Michigan to Wausau, Wisconsin in late 2016 where Duane was cared for in a local memory care facility and Dorothy lives with their daughter Valerie Buch and family.

Duane was a family man.  He devoted much time and travel to attending the music and sporting events in which his children and grandchildren were involved.  He was a Sunday School teacher, a Boys Group leader at church and a Cub Scout leader.  Duane was a member and treasurer of the Woodland Carvers Club.  Duane enjoyed woodworking, woodcarving, gardening and in later years genealogy.  He loved music especially Christian, classical and opera.  Duane was a helper, he would do anything for anybody.  After retirement he and Dorothy traveled to the coasts of both the US and Canada, to the British Isles and visited family in France and Switzerland.  Duane received great pleasure from being with his entire family.  When asked "what would you like for your birthday/Christmas" he would say "for you to come home".

Duane is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Dorothy; their children Ross (Diane) Traverse of Middleville, MI, Valerie (Paul) Buch of Wausau, WI and Neil (Linda) Traverse of Colgate, WI.  Grandchildren are Laura (Tony) Jennings, Jeremy (Annie) Traverse, Josh (Anna) Traverse, Kaitlin (Nick) Tomkins, Hallie Traverse, Mia Traverse, Matthew Buch, and Bethany (Nate) Hettinga.  Great grandchildren are Lily, Chavah, Ezra, and Matthias Traverse.  He was preceded in death by his brothers Robert and Raymond Traverse.

The family wishes to extend their thanks to the PCW's, CNA's and nurses that cared for Duane at his home in Kentwood and at Stone Crest Residence in Wausau, for all their heartfelt care and compassion. 

A visitation in Wausau will be held from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 9, at Zaagman Memorial Chapel, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Visitations will be held from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on June 8, 2018 and again from 10:00 am until the time of services on Saturday, at Zaagman Memorial Chapel, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Graveside services will be held at Pine Hill Cemetery (Kentwood) following the service. 

Donations in memory of Duane may be sent to Beacon Bible Camp (Torrance, Ontario, Canada or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dad, Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure.  You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.

© 2019 Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS