During the early morning of February 14, 2013, Duane Charles Danforth passed away at his home in Miles City, Montana. He was with his wife at the time of his passing. Duane was 72 years old.
Duane Charles Danforth was born on August 17, 1940 in Miles City. He was the second son of Grace and William C. Danforth. After graduating from Custer County High School, Duane joined the National Guard, and also spent time as a mechanic, before eventually accepting a position guarding the contents of the Montana train car exhibit at the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, Queens. The exhibit featured gold nuggets and C.M. Russell artwork. Duane lived in New York during the length of the World’s Fair, from October of 1964 to spring of 1965, before moving back to Miles City. These years were the only he spent living away from his hometown.
While working as a bartender at the Elks Club (an organization he later joined), Duane met his wife, Sylvia Sue Loendorf, of Billings, Montana. They married at the First Presbyterian Church of Billings on August 26, 1967. Duane worked for Valley Motor/Carquest Auto Parts for over three decades, serving both as a traveling parts salesman and an in-store salesman. Since childhood he had been passionate about automobiles, and had an extensive knowledge of the makes and models of which he was most appreciative.
Duane also had a passion for extensive restoration of the two historic homes he owned and lived in with his wife and family, and was an avid viewer of This Old House long before there were entire television networks dedicated to home renovation. Duane enjoyed cooking and had many signature dishes—chili, Manhattan clam chowder, stuffed peppers and pie (cherry and apple)—were among his favorites to prepare. One of his daughters’-in-law pronounced his seasoned grilled hamburgers as “the very best burger” she ever ate. Duane’s other hobbies included reading, antiquing, classic movies, antique model trains, and collecting vintage coins.
Duane was preceded in death by his father William C. and mother Grace and is survived by his brother Dennis; his wife Sylvia; his son and daughter-in-law, William and Kristi Danforth of Anaconda, Montana, and their five children (Sheldon, Logan, Jessica, Morgan, and Charla); his daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Lonnye Finneman of Billings, Montana and their two children (Claire and Kate); and his daughter and daughter-in-law, emily danforth and Erica Edsell of Providence, Rhode Island.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Miles City is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Miles City Public Library, 1 South 10th Street, Miles City, MT 59301.