N. Duane Lien, age 89, of Crookston, MN, passed away on May 28, 2020, at the Villa St. Vincent in Crookston, MN, with his family by his side.
Duane was a lifetime member of the Crookston community. He was born on April 11, 1931, the son of Norton and Dorothy (Bollinger) Lien. He was baptized at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN, and was a lifelong member. He was raised on the family farm west of town in Lowell Township and attended country school. Growing up he learned the job and joy of being a farmer. When his family moved to Andover Township he attended Crookston Central High School. While in grade school he learned to play the violin from Sister Mary at Mount St. Benedict and later learned to play the tuba and played in the marching band, pep band, and the school orchestra until his graduation. He also remained active in his 4-H program through high school and was an usher at the Minnesota State Fair.
In 1949, Duane asked a girl, Doris “Dorie” Wermager, from his class to the senior prom. They were married on September 6, 1952 and rented an apartment in Crookston while he worked at the farm and Dorie did secretarial work. Duane and 3 of his friends from Fisher, MN, received draft notices and orders to report to Fort Riley, KS. Duane rented an apartment in Junction City and Dorie joined him. They spent their first Christmas there with Duane’s and the other 3 recruits joining them. When Duane received his orders to deploy to Korea Dorie returned home to live with her parents. Duane served in the 2nd Infantry Division as a radio operator and lineman. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and returned to Crookston. He and Dorie then bought his aunt and uncle’s farm in Lowell Township. He brought with him the first tractor he purchased when he graduated high school which is on display at the Crystal Museum in Crookston. He loved animals and helped to take care of beef and dairy cattle and horses at his family farm. He was elected to the Andover Board and served on the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Board. He was very proud to establish the school in 1991 when the addition was built. He also became involved in bowling and helped Glen Steiner to organize the Corral Classic tournament. Duane was honored as bowler of the year for 1972-1973 and appeared on the first live bowling show for WDAY. Duane had many sport interests including the Vikings, Twins, and the Wild. He also played cards, golfed, hunted pheasant and quail, and fished. He and Dorie enjoyed their home at Lake of the Woods and the boys brought friends to fish all year long.
In the early 1970’s Duane and Dorie founded Double D, Inc, a family corporation that is still operating today. In 2019, the family was honored by the Crystal Museum and presented a plaque depicting their 4 generations of sugar beet growers in the Red River Valley. He was a lifetime member of the Crookston and Fisher American Legion and the Veteran of Foreign Wars. He was elected to the Red River Valley Sugar Beet Board and then to a 12-year term to the American Crystal Sugar Beet Board. They also bought a winter home down south and spent 25 years with friends from MI, ND, NY, NH, and MN. fi When Duane finally semiretired his morning was taken up with the 9:00 am meeting of the minds at RBJ’s where he and his friends would meet to hash over the world’s problems. Over breakfast all would hear Duane’s contagious laugh as he won the final 6-5-4 game. This laugh stayed with him throughout his entire life as a farmer until the last seed was in the ground when he could finally go in peace.
Duane is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Dorie; sons Kevin (Pati) and Norlan (Kathy); 7 grandchildren, Andrea (Tyler) Ness, Alyssa Reitmeier, Amanda Lien, Brett (Kelly) Lien, and Maxwell, Sophie, and Austin Lien; 7 great-grandchildren, Masen, Jaxsen, and Reven Reitmeier, Cohen and Tor Lien, and Wyatt and Josephine Ness; and sister, Lila (Larry) Mertz; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, 8 sisters-in-law, 10 brothers-in-law, 2 nephews, and 2 great-nieces, and many longtime friends, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Blessed be the life and memory of a caring and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church School, the Villa St. Vincent, or Hospice of the Red River Valley.
A public visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN. Due to restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic only 70 people may attend the Funeral Service at 7:00 pm at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Pastor Steve Bohler will officiate. Burial will be at 11:00 am on Friday, June 5, 2020, at Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston, MN, with military honors being provided by the Crookston Area Veterans Council and the MN Army National Guard.