Cover photo for Duane Jennett's Obituary
Duane Jennett Profile Photo
1931 Duane 2011

Duane Jennett

February 3, 1931 — December 26, 2011

Funeral services for Duane Jennett, age 80, of Ortonville, formerly of Montevideo, will be held Friday, December 30, 2011, at First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville, beginning at 2 p.m. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Pastor Marlene Elmstrom will officiate. Interment will be in Mound Cemetery.

Duane Wilton Jennett, known by his friends as Dewey, was born in Carol, Iowa, to parents John Gerald and Ellen Bernadine "Petey" (Mendenhall) Jennett on February 3, 1931. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska for occupational opportunities. In 1940, they moved to Venice, California, where Dewey's father worked at Boeing Aircraft to support the nation's war effort.

After WWII, the Jennett family moved to Montevideo, Minnesota to assume duties in the family business. Duane graduated from Montevideo High School and entered college at the University of Minnesota, playing football under the coaching of Murray Warmath. After a tour of duty with his National Guard unit at Camp Rucker, Alabama, he transferred to Mankato State and played football and ran track until his graduation. He returned to Montevideo to begin his teaching and coaching career and remained there until his retirement, at which time he moved to Ortonville, Minnesota. In Montevideo, he also met and married his lifelong love and helpmate, Mary Gruse (an Ortonville native), who was also teaching in Montevideo. They were married on August 14, 1960.

Duane's name must also be coupled with athletics, for he coached football, track, girl's volleyball, and girl's tennis. Duane thoroughly enjoyed coaching women's sports, which surprised him! In coaching, Duane found his greatest joy and success: developing in youth the discipline, competitive spirit, and attitude that would carry them through life.

Duane had additional talents and interests: he became a respected athletic official and a sports announcer and radio personality with his own "easy listening" program on the Montevideo radio station. Duane also sang for many years in the choir of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Montevideo.

Among the qualities that marked Duane's entire life were his genuine love of competitive sports as a character-builder; his honest, straightforward attitude; and his warmth and enthusiasm. The world has lost a genuine "straight arrow" who lived by a powerful set of principles. He was a kind and loving man who reached out to others and made friends easily – a man whom all would be proud to claim as friend.

The mark of a man's character is his reaction to the events of his life. In Dewey's case his final weeks of illness exemplify his character - though gravely ill he maintained a calm, positive attitude, uncomplaining to the end.

Duane passed away on Monday, December 26, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, having reached the age of 80 years.

Duane is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter, Susan (Matt) Woodcock; son, Paul (Lori) Jennett; five grandchildren – Eric, Mark, and Kate Woodcock, Lake and Hayden Jennett; his sister, Jan (Phil) Garrett; and other relatives and devoted friends.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents.


First English Lutheran Church

Ortonville, MN 56278

Friday, December 30, 2011
1:00 PM


First English Lutheran Church

Ortonville, MN 56278

Friday, December 30, 2011
2:00 PM


Mound Cemetery

Ortonville, MN

Friday, December 30, 2011
3:00 PM


Visits: 26

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send a Card

Send a Card