ARCADIA — Duane E. Ash, 82, of Arcadia passed away on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at CHI Health Bergan Mercy in Omaha.
Mr. Ash’s wishes were to be cremated. A Celebration of Life will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Arcadia United Methodist Church. The Rev. Dr. Jeff D. Hale will officiate. Military honors will be presented at the church by the Arcadia American Legion Post 251 and the U.S. Navy Military Honor Guard.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Arcadia Fire and Rescue Department or the family’s choice. Ord Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Duane Earl was born Jan. 7, 1937, at Gates to Raymond and Mabel (Dye) Ash. He received his education at Sargent and Comstock and graduated from Comstock High School in 1956.
Duane married Joyce Lewis in 1962. To this union a son, Duane Earl Jr., was born. In 1966, Joyce and Duane Earl Jr. died in a car accident.
Duane served in the United States Navy for 20 years. His service began in 1956, as an aircraft mechanic. He was on four different aircraft carriers, including the first nuclear carrier, the USS Enterprise. His service took him to 16 countries and continents, including two cruises to Vietnam. His favorite cruise was to Antarctica on an Ice Breaker. Duane made the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1973 and retired in 1976.
Following the Navy, Duane returned to Arcadia to farm with his brother, Dean. It was during this time he met Mary Peters and the couple was married on Aug. 5, 1977, at Broken Bow. In 1979, Duane and Mary moved into their home outside of Arcadia.
Duane began working at leveling land with his brother-in-law, Dwaine Johnson, in 1978. In 1988, Duane started his own land leveling business, Ash Construction, which he operated until retirement in 2008.
Duane was a member of the Arcadia American Legion Post 251, and the Fleet Reserve Association.
He was active in his retirement years and enjoyed golfing, woodworking and playing cards. Duane and Mary traveled and especially enjoyed trips to the Kentucky Derby, Huskers football games and Navy reunions.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary of Arcadia; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Dean and Marjorie Ash of Arcadia and Jim and Gay Ash of Sargent; a sister and brother-in-law, Beverly and Dwaine Johnson of Kearney; many nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Joyce Ash; his son, Duane Earl Ash Jr; a brother, Donald Ash; and a sister, Opal Kuh.