Cover photo for Duane Lee's Obituary
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1935 Duane 2021

Duane Lee

May 4, 1935 — August 26, 2021

In loving memory of  Peter “Duane” Lee, Reynolds, ND who was called home to be with his Lord on August 26, 2021 at Sanford Medical Center, Mayville, ND.

The 86-year-old area farmer was born on May 4, 1935, at home in Union Township,

Grand Forks County rural Hatton, ND.  He was the middle child of the late Peter Gustav and Tinka Olida (Olsgaard) Lee, along with older sister Phyllis and brother Vernon.

Duane received Holy Baptism (1935) and confirmed his Christian faith (1949) at Stjordalen Lutheran Church, Holmes, ND.  He was a lifelong member of Stjordalen until it’s closing in July 2005 when he joined Zion Lutheran in Reynolds (now Reynolds Lutheran).  He was a man of great faith reading his Bible regularly, once reading it cover to cover.  His faith carried him through many trying times.

At the age of 10, his parents bought the Ole Nesvold farmstead in Michigan Township where he resided until his death.     

He attended school 4 years at Union Township # 54, and graduated 8th Grade from Michigan Township # 86.  He was Valedictorian of the Class of 1953 at Reynolds High School.   He then attended 2 quarters at ND Agricultural College (now NDSU) returning home to help his father on the farm.

He played American Legion Baseball in Reynolds for 4 summers.  Following high school, he played one year for the Hatton Flyers Baseball Team and then the Holmes Softball Team for about 9 years.

On October 21, 1967 Duane was united in marriage to Janet Rae Curry at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Devils Lake, ND.  Rev. E. Leland Rude officiated.  They met at Bud’s Roller Rink in Moorhead, MN.  They were blessed with 3 sons.

Duane and Janet designed their farm home the fall of their 10th Anniversary.  Duane completed the home, after the basic structure was in place.  It included many built-ins and personal touches.   

He received the Eastern GF County Soil Conservation award in 1979 including a trip to Arizona.

He was involved in church and community ~ a member of  Stjordalen Church Council being treasurer for many years, a Sunday School teacher and on the Stjordalen Cemetery Association Board.  He served on many community boards including the Board of Directors for the Reynolds Coop Assn., Reynolds Farmers Oil Co., Central Valley Bean Coop of Buxton and the Michigan Township Board.

Some of Duane’s favorite things included countless hours in Lee’s Woodshop enjoying his woodworking hobby.  He took pride in his yard and most summer days found him riding his lawn mower.  He was an avid reader, crossword puzzle enthusiast and he had a love for history and could talk about events as if he had been there.

Farming was his life and the country called to him with its tranquility, independence, beauty, with the ebb and flow of the seasons and a nearness to the earth as God had made it.  He felt this way of life was a privilege and based on history, tradition and respect for those who left this heritage.  His Grandpa Carl Lee came from Norway in 1893 and started farming.  It has been passed down through the generations.  Duane was proud to have his son Mike farm a long side of him.  Duane retired in January of 2007, but continued to help out until 2020.

Duane was the last surviving member of his immediate family.

Survivors include: his wife, Janet of 53 years, 3 sons Mike Lee of Thompson, ND, Kevin (Julie) Lee of Papillion, NE, Allen (Nicole) Lee of Fargo, ND and four grandchildren, Brooke, Mason, Murron and Katrin.  Sister-in-laws, Penny Lee and Jana Wold along with 5 nieces Teri Forde, Cindy Potter, Vanessa Lee, Alycia Lee and Krista Wold and 3 nephews David Gifford, Steven Gifford and Derek Lee.

Duane was preceded in death by: his parents, Peter and Tinka, sister Phyllis Gifford, brother Vernon Lee, brother-in-law Stanley Gifford, grandparents ~ Carl and Bina (Storing) Lee and Ole and Bertha “Barbara” (Odegaard) Olsgaard and in-laws Hugh Curry, Jacob and Josephine (Sobak-Curry) Wold along with many cousins.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Buxton, ND.  Visitation will be held from 12:30 until service time.  Those in attendance are asked to wear a mask.  Interment will be held at Stjordalen Cemetery, in rural Reynolds, ND

In lieu of floral tributes, memorials may be given to Stjordalen Cemetery Association.

In Duane’s memory, treat yourself to a Snicker bar now and then.

An online register book may be signed at



To order memorial trees in memory of Duane Lee, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Immanuel Lutheran Church of Buxton

222 Pottle Avenue, Buxton, ND 58218

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