Cover photo for Chester William "Bill" Duerre's Obituary
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1936 Chester "Bill" Duerre 2023

Chester William "Bill" Duerre

September 21, 1936 — April 18, 2023


Chester William "Bill" Duerre, 86, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully with family at his bedside on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in Naples, Florida.

The family of the late Bill Duerre will host a Celebration of Life Reception for family and friends on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 820 Main Street, Webster, SD. The reception will be held from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall (lower level).

Bill was born September 21,1936, in Webster’s Peabody Hospital to Alice Barber Duerre and Chester Paul Duerre of Lily, South Dakota. Bill attended school in Lily where his family lived on the land homesteaded by his maternal great-grandfather in the 1880’s; he graduated in 1954 where he played basketball throughout high school. He attended Northern State College in Aberdeen his freshman year, and then transferred to The University of South Dakota in Vermilion, upon encouragement from his sister who was a student there, and from which he earned an undergraduate degree in 1959 and a master’s degree in 1967.

Bill joined the Army National Guard a few days after his 18th birthday as he began his freshman year in college. The following year at USD, he became a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and was in the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation in 1959, he entered the U. S. Army and served as a Signal Corps officer with specialties in communications electronics and public affairs until his retirement in 1981. Bill served at 12 duty stations during his military career including a three-year tour in Alaska (1962-65), two tours in Vietnam (1967-68 and 1970-71), and a two-year tour in Seoul, Korea (1977-79). He served stateside at Fort Ord, California; Readiness Command at MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida; Army Aviation Center, Ft. Rucker, Alabama; and at The Pentagon where he spent the last years of his career with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service which provided live satellite coverage of sports, news, and entertainment programming to our troops overseas.

Upon retirement from the military, Bill and his family decided to remain in the Washington, D.C. area, living in the Northern Virginia suburbs. Bill went to work for five years with a cable operatorship as they needed his satellite expertise and he sought to learn more about cable television operations. He thereafter moved in a new direction into real estate sales for four very successful years and then into real estate management from which he retired at age 80.

Throughout his adult life, Bill loved to exercise at the gym several days per week, play basketball and golf, and take the family’s wonderful Siberian Husky of 14 years, Lady, for long walks daily. He flew single-engine aircraft for a number of years, many times with a real estate friend who piloted with him in flying to more than 40 airports in Virginia and Maryland. He learned to love the St. Louis Cardinals when he was a very young boy listening to KMOX on his father’s car radio, lying in the grass beside his pony, Spotty, and remained a loyal fan for the remainder of his life. Bill served on several local community boards and on church council in Virginia. He frequently visited his original hometown of Lily and nearby Webster and enjoyed having as many family members with him as possible each summer visit and during pheasant-hunting season. Bill’s love for his family was absolutely paramount, along with his faith, and his kindness toward others throughout his life was one of his greatest gifts.

Bill is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Susan, and three children, Blake (Sharla), Minnetonka, MN, Jennifer Horner (Gary Bitter), Madison, WI, and Marisa (Scott) Glass, Severna Park, MD, grandchildren Alyssa, Ashley (Jason), Paul, Alex (Erika), Adam (Nicole), and Gabrielle, and great-grandchildren Landon, Jack, Lucy, and Leo. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara D. Holtze, Omaha, NE, and nephew Rex Holtze and family, Omaha, NE. Bill was preceded in death by a son from his first marriage to Muriel Pfister, Peter William Duerre (1964), and by his parents.


Memorials are suggested to P. A. C. H., Webster, South Dakota; Fisher House Foundation,; Tunnel to Towers Foundation,

To send flowers to the family in memory of Chester William "Bill" Duerre, please visit our flower store.


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