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Duane Edward Miller “Stub” was born on a farm NW of Canova, SD on Jul 31, 1925, to Robert Vernon “Spike” and Velva (nee Bunce) Miller. After a long and full life, he passed away on Nov 3, 2023, at the age of 98. Stub was well known as a man small in stature but having a larger-than-life personality.
Stub attended country school in Miner County and graduated from Canova High School in 1943. He then joined the US Army and was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division. Stub and the 29th Infantry Division landed on Omaha Beach as part of the allied invasion of Normandy, France during WWII. Stub was wounded in combat on July 30, 1944, near Percy, France. After surgery and recovery in London, Stub rejoined the 29th Infantry as they fought throughout France, Belgium, and Germany. In January 1946, he departed from Bremerhaven, Germany and was discharged at Camp McCoy, WI.
In 1946, Duane married Loretta Lundberg and to this union a daughter Sandra was born. Duane worked for local area businesses and started farming with his father near Canova. In Feb 1954, Duane married Marcella Marquardt and together they raised eight children and 1 granddaughter. After decades of farming, they retired in 1985 and moved to Canova; their son Derrin took over the family farm.
Stub’s lifelong pastime was baseball. After WWII, Stub, his brothers, and several townsmen restarted an amateur baseball team that later became the Canova Gang. Stub attended 1000s of games as a player, coach, umpire, commissioner, fan and announcer. Over the years, his baseball teams won several state championships. Stub was inducted into the SD Umpires Hall of Fame in 1984 and the SD Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. He was awarded the Ralph Macy Man of the Year Award in 2006.
As a veteran and baseball enthusiast, one of Stub’s proudest moments came when he raised the American flag during the national anthem at Target Field prior to a Minnesota Twins baseball game in Sep 2018. More than 80 close family members and friends were in attendance for the event; Stub & Marcella’s 8 children held the American flag as it was raised during the anthem.
As a member of America’s “Greatest Generation,” Stub was proud of his military service and was a lifelong supporter of veterans causes. He was a member of the American Legion for 79 years, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of the 29th Infantry Association. He went on the Honor Flight to Washington, DC in 2009 and returned to Normandy France in 2012 where he received the French Legion of Honor Medal. Stub was also awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and other medals.
In his later years, Stub enjoyed baseball, golfing, playing cards and going out to the family farm.
Duane is survived by his children, Sandra (Jack) Mendonca of Ripon, CA; Duane, Jr. (MaryAnn) of Storm Lake, IA; Ed of Epiphany, SD; Joe (Laura) of Onida, SD; Rollie (Gina) of Dillon, MT; Stacy (Bob) Wingen of Epiphany, SD; Travis (Tara) of Salem, SD; Corey (Kelly) of Lexington, MO, and his granddaughter Amanda (Adam) Peterson of Fedora, SD. He is also survived by daughter-in-law Kim Miller of Epiphany, SD; special friend Rhonda Miller of Salem, SD; two brothers, Harold Miller of Lake Andes, SD, and Ron (Joann) Miller of Canova, SD; brother-in-law Ken (Sandy) Marquardt of Forest Lake, MN; and sister-in-law Joy Grapes of Salem, SD. Additional survivors include 25 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 57 years, Marcella; a son, Derrin; a grandson, Austin; siblings and in-laws Glenda (Reinhold) Callies, Robert (Marie) Miller, Jerry (Lassie) Miller, Anita Miller, Beverly (LaVern) Rapp, Elwood (Alice) Marquardt and Delbert Marquart.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Immanuel Lutheran Church or Canova American Legion.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 4pm to 6pm, with a Prayer service to be said at 6pm, all at Willoughby Funeral Home, Howard. Funeral services will be 10:00am, Friday, November 10, 2023, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 3 miles south of Canova.