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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Duane by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“Smitty....I apologize for not seeking you out whenever I came home. We had so much fun roofing together and my memories of you and your character...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Rick Dobesh - Burke Roofing - IA

“Uncle You will be missed. But now you are pain free and happy. Say Hi to every one up in haven . ”
2 of 5 | Posted by: Barbara Knittel Kulhavy - SD

“I worked with Duane at the nursing home and he was great guy to work with. He was always so kind to the residents. I have some great memories. My...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Pat Doll - Brandon, SD - Friend

“Goodbye to a friend of many years. We attended Burke high for 4 years and continued our friendship till now. Thanks for your years of service to our...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: terry Eide - St George, UT

Confirmation class at Hope Congregational Church in Fairfax “My condolences to the family - especially to Twila. We shared the attached confirmation class around 1950 (Twila is front row far right) and I am...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Joe Eldon Thurstenson - AR


Duane Leroy Schmidt was born on May 13, 1937 at Burke, SD to John and Katie (Schrader) Schmidt. He was baptized at Carlock, SD. He attended the Burke Schools until 1956. A year later he enlisted in the United States Army.

Duane married Twila J. Bentz on July 11, 1958 at Fairfax, SD and to this union two sons, Kelly and Randy, and three daughters, Leann, Sonya, and LaVonn, were born.

Duane remained in the military and retired in April of 1979 with 23 years of service. His overseas tours included Hawaii, Germany, Korea, and three tours in Vietnam. During his military career his awards included the Good Conduct Medal (5th Award), the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver Service Star and four Bronze Service Stars, the Bronze Star Service Medal, and the Combat Medical Badge. Duane enjoyed the challenge of his military career and was proud of his service to his country.

After his retirement Duane worked at various jobs to include roofing, State Game, Fish, & Parks, nursing homes, and caring for the elderly at their home.

Duane spent his remaining years in Gregory enjoying morning coffee with his friends at Allen's Repair and everyday life with his very close and dear friend Virginia Soesbe.

After a long battle with complications due to diabetes, Duane "Jack" Schmidt passed away on December 3, 2015 at Avera Rosebud Country Care Center at the age of 78 years.

Duane is survived by Twila Schmidt of Lima, OH; two sons, Randy Schmidt of Butte, NE, and Kelly (Danielle) Schmidt of Brookings, SD; three daughters, Leann (Clint) Rolland of Lima, OH, Sonya (Joe) Lang of Britton, SD, and LaVonn (Patrick) Avila of Liberty, MO; grandchildren Shawn, Shelby, Cody, James, Chad, Reese, and Jack; a sister-in-law Vlesta Schmidt, and special friend Virginia Soesbe.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Florence, Esther Knittel, and Vivian Skyberg, and two brothers Fred and Robert.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Duane Schmidt, 78, of Gregory, SD, were held Tuesday, December 8, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home with Pastor Russ Grim officiating. A visitation was held Monday evening at the funeral home.

Heather Fox was in charge of registration.

Flower attendant was Calla Cerney.

Music was provided by Rose Frank, soloist, singing "One Day at a Time" and "You Raise Me Up."

Casket Bearers were Chad Lang, Jim Lang, Shawn Schmidt, Bobbie Soesbe, Allen Johnson, and Steve McDowell.

Military Honors provided by the Burke VFW.

Burial was in Graceland Cemetery, Burke, SD.