Duane was born at home to Carl and Sadie Nygaard of Scandinavia, Wisconsin on October 14, 1937, the fourth of six children raised on the family dairy farm. He was baptized and confirmed at the Scandinavia Lutheran Church and graduated high school in 1956. In 1961 he earned his Bachelor of Science degrees in both Mechanical and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On January 21, 1961, Duane married his sweetheart, Valerie Jeanne Suits of Waupaca, Wisconsin. They began married life in Madison where he completed his studies and moved to Beloit to begin his first job as a product engineer at Beloit Corporation. Two children were born to Duane and Valerie, Beth and Pete. In 1966, Duane and Valerie moved to Wisconsin Rapids where he began work as an engineer at Consolidated Papers. Over the decades they restored their turn-of-the-century home on Fourth Street where they raised their children. Duane retired from Consolidated in 1998. Throughout his life Duane was an active volunteer in the community serving with Ministry Homecare, Wood County Transportation, Aging and Disability Resource Center, First English Lutheran Church, and the Salvation Army. Duane restored two 1929 Ford trucks and a 1946 John Deere LA tractor and was a talented woodworker and creative home handyman. Duane relished his role as grandparent to his five grandchildren and shared his good humor and exceptional visiting skills with friends and family alike.
Duane is survived by his wife, Valerie and children, Beth Nygaard (Mike Sims) and Pete Nygaard (Sara); five grandchildren, Rebekah, Sarah, and Benjamin Sims and Thomas and Hannah Nygaard,; and siblings, Dolores Knutson, Phillip Nygaard (Phyllis), Bob (Judy) Nygaard, and Carolyn McKenzie; and sister-in-law, Beverly Nygaard. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David Nygaard.
A memorial service will be held at First English Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, November 18 at 11 a.m. with visitation at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Scandinavia Lutheran Cemetery. Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Ministry Homecare or First English Lutheran Church.