Duane Nelson Hoff was born on October 19,1930 to Walter and Agnes (Nelson) Hoff at his family’s home in Redmound, Wheatland Township, Vernon County. He is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Dana (Carr) Hoff, a son Duane Dean of Viroqua, a daughter Deeann, a son-in-law David Morgan and a granddaughter Milana of Charlotte, N.C.
After attending high school for one year, Duane stayed home to help his father on the farm while his brother, Parker, served in the Army. When Parker returned from the service, Duane went back to high school and graduated in 1950 from Viroqua High School. After that, he attended an auto mechanics course at the La Crosse Vocational School while working at a gas station in La Crosse.
From there, Duane moved to Kenosha, where he built Nash automobiles. He then moved to Milwaukee, where he worked at Pate Oil Co. and gained proficiency in blending motor oil and manufacturing lubricants. He returned to the La Crosse area in 1954, where he drove a taxi for a while before returning to the family farm for a short time to help his folks after the death of Parker. It was also during that time that Duane joined the Wisconsin Nation Guard, where he proudly served, attaining the rank of Spec-5.
Duane and Dana Carr were married on September 3, 1955 and they moved to Retreat, where Duane drove a D-X fuel truck for Tom Dagnon. After three years, Duane and Dana moved to Viroqua. Duane spent a summer working on an expansion of Vernon Memorial Hospital, and a winter working for Sloane Brothers in Westby.
In 1959, Duane and Dana bought the Mobil service station in Viroqua. In 1968, Duane started driving school bus for Viroqua Area Schools, which he did for 42 years. In 1974, he bought Viroqua’s Mobil bulk fuels distributorship. Dana served as bookkeeper, while Duane delivered gasoline and fuel oil, while still operating his Mobil service station.
In 1961, son Dean was born and three years later, daughter Deeann came along. In 1970, Duane, Dana, Dean and Deeann assisted in the building their A-frame house south of Viroqua, where Duane and Dana lived for over 45 years. They sold the A-frame in 2016 and moved to Dana’s ancestral farm, which they purchased after the death of her family. The Carr Farm has been in Dana’s family since 1880.
In 1997, after 38 years, Duane sold the Mobil service station. He continued to drive school bus for Viroqua Area Schools until he reached age 80. After that, Duane stayed busy by working part-time at the Nelson Agri-Center, finally retiring at 85.
Duane and his family are members of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where they had been married. He also sang in the church choir and served on the church council. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, including serving as it’s director, sang in the Viroqua Barbershop Chorus and was a longtime member of the Lions Club. Duane also loved the 4th of July and fireworks, for nearly 40 years, he and his son along with many loyal volunteers coordinated the City of Viroqua’s annual display. Duane was a lifetime member of the Coulee Antique Engine Club and his 1929 Ford Model A pickup is still in the barn at the farm. He loved Henry Ford, as he put the world on wheels and Duane tried to keep them full of gasoline.
For many summers, Duane and his family spent many Sundays waterskiing on the Mississippi. He and Dana enjoyed traveling throughout the states, including a six-week, 10,000 mile driving trip to Alaska, and several cruises. He also enjoyed collecting vintage Fords, including a 1941 Ford American LaFrance fire truck, along with reading, watching the History Channel, cutting wood and mowing lawn on his antique Farmall A tractor. He truly spent his life doing what he wanted to do.
Duane was proud of his Norwegian heritage. He and Dana toured Europe extensively and visited family in Norway. They also visited her family area in Denmark.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Parker and Darrel, a sister Bonita Jerman and a niece Sonja Jerman.
Interment in Viroqua Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or the charity of your choice in Duane’s name.
The Roth Family Cremation Center is serving the family.
To plant a tree in memory of Duane N. Hoff, please click here.