Duane J. Talge

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May 1, 1948 • April 11, 2019

Duane J. Talge, a long-time citizen of Moorhead, Minnesota, passed away peacefully at his adopted winter home of Carlsbad, CA, April 11, 2019, concluding a stoic, decades-long fight with heart disease.

A visitation is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with remembrances at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at Wright Funeral Home, 605 2nd Avenue South Moorhead. Duane’s memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 10, at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 4000 28th Street South Moorhead (with visitation at 1:00 p.m. and a reception to follow). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Moorhead Athletic Spud Boosters, Concordia College Cobber Football, or Good Shepherd Helping Hands.

Duane entered the world with his twin brother David, May Day 1948. They were a blessing to their parents, Bloyd and Lillian, who had lost twins Bruce and Blake before the war. Their sister Judy was thrilled to meet her little brothers. Together they shared a wonderful childhood on Lake Cameron in Erskine, Minnesota.

Huck Finn had nothing on Duane. From Boy Scout adventures on Lake Itasca to sandlot baseball games with lifelong friends from town, Duane was the quintessential Minnesota baby-boomer. He delivered fuel for his dad’s Standard Oil business, working as he would his whole life: hard. Handsome, blue-eyed, and impossibly tan, he was never lonely at high school dances. And as an Erskine Comet he did it all: band, choir, theater, and of course, athletics. Captain of the football and baseball teams, Duane stood out as a halfback and left-handed first baseman whose Ernie Banks bat was a pitcher’s worst nightmare. He wore his Erskine lettermen’s jacket with pride at his 50th class reunion in 2016.

Duane went on to Moorhead State College where, with his baritone voice and natural musical gifts, he studied to be a music teacher and coach. He loved to organize trips to the Boundary Waters with his M.S.C. pals and could occasionally be convinced to visit the Blackhawk. He paid his tuition by unloading crates and pallets at SuperValu in Fargo. The company soon recognized Duane’s brains over his brawn, launching him into a meaningful career as an executive in the food business.

An invitation to a buddy’s Benson, Minnesota wedding in Spring 1970 turned Duane’s life from good to great. There he met Lilla Forbord, and before long the two were inseparable (though who pursued whom still stirs debate). Lilla was not only his true love but also his best friend, inheriting that job from David when he passed in 1971. Her indomitable warmth and kindness sustained Duane for more than 47 years; he often said he didn’t know what he did to deserve such a faithful and devoted wife.

If you’ve spoken to Duane since October 1976, you’ve heard about his sons, Josh and Jordan. From North Shore Drive road trips in his old Porsche to boating adventures on Leech Lake, he was “Dad.” But he was also “Duane,” a peer and joint venturor in their activities and ambitions. He became a Moorhead and Concordia superfan, serving on the committee that built Jim Gotta Stadium and presiding at his beloved Moorhead Athletic Association. He savored every detail of the boys’ professional lives and beamed with pride taking their families to Disneyland in 2018. All the while he gave his sons the best gift a father can: he treated them like men.

Duane’s innumerable jokes and stories will echo through many friend networks, from neighbors on South River Drive where he restored his timeless home to “B-Dock” at Walker Marina where he moored “No Principals.” He was incurably handy and would drop everything to help friends with their home, boat, car, and garden projects. In the second half of his professional life, he helped these same friends as a trusted advisor with Gardner Financial before retiring last year.

Duane is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, and his sister-in-law Paulette Moe (David).

He is survived by his sister Judy (Brent) Running; her sons Darren and Dan Bushinger; his wife; his sons; daughters-in-law Maureen (Josh) and Karen (Jordan); grandchildren Thomas David and Eloise Catherine (Josh) and Lillian Cecilia, Hattie Pearl, and Alice Paulette (Jordan); as well as many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews in his wonderful Forbord family.

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