Alfred Duane Lee, age 93, of Yankton, South Dakota and formerly of Gayville, South Dakota, died on Monday, June 15, 2020 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton.
A private family memorial service will take place at Gayville Lutheran Church. Burial will be at the Bethlehem Cemetery in rural Menno, South Dakota at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.
Alfred Duane Lee was born on May 14, 1927 in Yankton, SD to Alfred and Alice (Amundson) Lee. Duane grew up in the Mission Hill area where he attended rural grade schools. He graduated from Gayville High School in 1945 and attended Yankton College the following year. In 1947, Duane joined the United States Army and was stationed in Germany where he served as a military policeman at a prisoner of war camp during World War II.
Following his service, Duane moved back to the Yankton area where he farmed and worked as a heavy equipment operator, retiring from the Yankton County Highway Department in 1997. He never married but was a devoted son, brother, and uncle to his three nieces. He loved visiting with relatives and was a faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Yankton for many years. Along with his ushering duties, Duane was a member of the church quilting team, running the serger and helping out any way he could.
Following his retirement, Duane became an avid gardener, planting as many as 100 tomatoes each summer. His produce was always given away to friends and family members. In 1991, Duane moved to an apartment in Gayville to be closer to his sister. He became a member of Gayville Lutheran Church and never missed a Sunday worship service or Sunday dinner with his family until he moved to Walnut Village Senior Living in Yankton.
Duane is survived by his sister Ardys Olson of Gayville, nieces: Cathy (Tom) Schaefer of Minnetonka, MN, Cyndi Beers of Gayville and Cheri (Larry) Buffington of Gayville; great nieces and nephews: Ryan Schaefer, Ali (Joel) Vos, Luke and Maren Buffington
Duane was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Maxine; and brother, Milfred “Jake” Lee.
Cards can be mailed to Ardys Olson, PO Box 98 in Gayville, SD 57031 or a message can be left online below.