Duane R Grube Profile Photo
1948 Duane 2024

Duane R Grube

October 1, 1948 — March 12, 2024

Phillips

Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home is NOT assisting the family. We are posting this as a courtesy to the community. 

Of course, all people die, but not all people live. Duane Grube lived.  He lived until he decided he was ready for his next journey, with his adored wife and kids by his side, he passed away on 3/12/2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. Duane, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to all, packed much love and adventure in his 75 years. He would say “what a ride” it has been.

Duane was born on October 1st, 1948 in Dausman, WI, to Henry “Bud” and Arlene Grube. Duane moved to Abbotsford, WI, in 1964 as a sophomore, graduating in 1966 with a group of friends that would last him a lifetime. He joined the guards in 1968, married Diane Johnson in 1970, and raised two children together, Chad and Cami. Duane and Diane later divorced in the mid 90’s but not before walking through decades together in business, family and memories. 

His first opportunity at entrepreneurship came when he was 21 years old. In 1969, he established The Park in Colby, WI, a dance hall many enjoyed Friday night bops at, wedding receptions, area bands, and a few drinks. Duane was next involved in operating, and later owning, Duke’s Bowl in Abbotsford, WI, from 1972(ish) through the sale in 1995. Originally a 6 lane house, Duane expanded to 12 lanes in the late 70’s. Over the course of those “Duke’s days”, Duane solicited (sometimes begged) bowlers to participate in league nights, employed hundreds of people, created and managed a very successful tournament drawing bowlers from a five state region, hosted hundreds of bus stops of Viking fans heading to Packer games and hot beef slinging sessions, karaoke nights, holiday parties, special events, and overall provided a venue for the community, and friends, to come together as family. And that is what they did. Oh if that circle loop bar at Duke’s could tell stories! Casa Grande restaurant was opened under his ownership around 1987 until a fire destroyed it in 1990. Duane also tried his hand at politics, serving as Mayor of Abbotsford from 1985 to 1996. While all city business was important to him, maybe none more so than the Highway 29 bypass project. Duane worked hard with state officials to ensure the bypass came as close to Abbotsford as possible, fighting to minimize the impact on local businesses.  

In 1997 Duane moved to Phillips, WI, and purchased Harbor View. It was there he met Bonny, her three children, and later smashed a glass on the bar floor in a grand proposal. They married September 25th, 1999. Together they built Harbor View into a thriving business, the place to be on the lake, employing hundreds of people and forming countless friendships. Together they hosted numerous annual events, bringing many tourists to the area and providing the best entertainment for locals, including Lake-Rattle-Roll, The Harbor View Golf Outing, Treasure Hunt, Float-in/Fly-ins & Airshow, and the Polar Plunge. Following a beautiful remodel, they won Business of the Year in 2004. Everyone was always welcomed with a smile and left with a memorable story as told by the ever-animated Duane.

Duane had many fond memories of good times with friends and family over his years, from bowling, golfing, boating trips in Bayfield, ski trips, beach trips, hunting, RVing, snowmobiling or just sharing a cup of coffee in the morning. Duane and Bonny’s winter travels to Arizona were the highlight of his year, meeting new people and connecting with old friends; many would say “Duane never met a stranger.” Duane also loved his time, and the peace and quiet he found up north at the hunting land while grooming trails, “sharing” the bulldozer with his father-in-law, preparing his tiny house for the hunt, and most importantly time and tradition with the guys in camp. 

Duane’s big personality was always the main attraction throughout his entire life, regardless of where he went. He commanded a room, and people were naturally drawn to him. He could tell stories, usually with some level of exaggeration in it, a little swearing, varying degrees of loudness, likely his hands in the air, and maybe even an insult but if you were listening you were laughing by the end of it. Anyone who knew him won’t soon forget the sound of a conversation once had with him, or his clear facial expressions that let you know exactly what he was thinking. He was exceptionally generous with his time, attention, and his hands. He would help anyone, and taught all five kids to do the same (“you never know when you are going to need a favor”). His wisdom and advice will be cherished by his family and friends forever. Duane left a lasting impression on everyone he met, he was genuinely a great man. One of the best.

Duane is survived by his best friend and wife of nearly 25 years - Bonny Grube; his children: Chad Grube of Tomahawk, Cami Thalacker (fiancé Jesse McMahon) of Rochester, Sheri (Troy) Myher of Eau Claire, Brad (Stacy) Meskill of Phillips, Valerie (Johnny) Anderson of Eau Claire; 6 grandchildren: Peyton Myher of Mauston, Abigail Thalacker (Anthony Cincoski) of LaCrosse, Jacob Thalacker of Rochester, Brandon Myher of Eau Claire, Owen and Rolan Meskill of Phillips. 

Duane’s memorial service will be held on Saturday May 11th at the St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church at 655 S Lake Ave, Phillips, WI 54555 with the Visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m.; Memorial Service beginning at 11:00 a.m; and a Social to follow in the hall of the church. Plans are underway for a memorial bench to be crafted locally in Duane’s honor. ❤️

(Written by his daughters: 
Cami Thalacker and Valerie Anderson)
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Duane R Grube, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm

Saint Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church

655 South Lake Avenue, Phillips, WI 54555

Visitation will start at 9 a.m. and continue until the start of service.

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