June 6, 2023 at 3:26 p.m.
Edwin Conrad Duclos passed away comfortably and peacefully at home with family April 18, 2023.
A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. June 24 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grey Eagle, with visitation one hour before Mass. Luncheon will follow at the church. Inurnment will be at Fort Snelling Cemetery at 1:45 p.m. June 26, arriving at 1:30 p.m. for staging.
Ed was born Dec. 30, 1925, to John and Catherine (Hoffmann) Duclos in Freeport. He was the 11th of 13 siblings and would proudly tell you he had eight brothers and four sisters. The drought years of the early 30s hit family farms especially hard so Ed and his brothers had to leave school to help support their family. He had numerous jobs giving him a broad variety of skills. In 1944, when his country called, although not quite 18, Ed joined the Seabees. Because of his work experience, which included driving truck, Ed was pulled from boot camp to head up a truck battalion. He shipped to Okinawa and ran supplies to the frontline at night. At the end of the war, he moved to Minneapolis to find work. He had several jobs, landing one at which he could work double shifts. He was thrilled and grateful as it enabled him to get himself firmly established. He eventually took a job with Industrial Lumber and Plywood where he began as a truck driver and within four years became the yard foreman until he retired. In 1950, Ed married the love of his life, Verina “LaVerne” Bergmann. They settled in Minneapolis to raise their three daughters. Ed and LaVerne had an indefatigable partnership. They shared common values and visions for their family and each worked and sacrificed equally to make them a reality. Supporting their daughters’ education was of highest priority. Besides his work at the lumberyard, Ed always owned a business on the side – often piece work he could do in his garage. He had the opportunity to purchase a semi-tractor and three trailers to haul the sawdust from the lumberyard to turkey farms in the Owatonna area. He unloaded the sawdust by hand with a grain shovel year-round. Imagine 100-degree weather, inside a turkey barn, inside a semi-trailer shoveling sawdust by hand. Now that’s sacrifice in pursuit of a vision: his family. And never did you hear him complain. Ed was able to hold his long vision and not let the bumps and detours along the way derail him. He always had an attitude of gratitude.
In 1962, Ed and LaVerne purchased a lot on Big Birch Lake, starting with a small trailer house. At his girls’ insistence, they and LaVerne headed to the lake the day after school let out and did not return until the night before school began, with Ed joining them on weekends. In 1982, Ed and LaVerne built a home on the lake and eventually retired there. They were introduced to Las Vegas by LaVerne’s brother Mel who taught school there for 32 years. They purchased a home in Vegas and spent their winters there enjoying fishing, the beautiful environment that surrounds Las Vegas and, of course, some gambling.
While work was Ed’s MO, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and was strongly connected to nature. He loved just observing what was around him. He enjoyed building and repairing things and could truly make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. He a real eye for detail. But what he enjoyed most was being with family. Cutting the grass on his riding lawn mower, work by some people’s estimation, gave him the perfect position from which to watch his family enjoying themselves.
Ed was impeccably honest, always standing in integrity: what you saw is what you got. He listened more than he spoke. Commitment and loyalty were in his DNA. He was kind and generous, always ready to help friends and family. He was compassionate, wearing his heart on his sleeve. Ed had a soft spot for women, children, animals and anyone in need. It pained him to see any sentient being in distress or pain. And he rounded all this out with a great sense of humor.
Ed had a very strong faith which carried him through the tough times. He carried a rosary in his hunting jacket: after all, he said, there is a lot of time spent waiting, plenty of time to pray a rosary or two. He was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus.
Ed is survived by his three daughters, Sandy Duclos Field of Minneapolis, Linda (Dan) Barnier of Rogers and Kim Duclos of Las Vegas; grandchildren Rick (Patty) Barnier of Rogers and Eddie Barnier of Montana; granddaughter Blendy Orellana Andrade (Jamil Orfali) of Austin, Texas; sister Leona Wiehoff of St. Cloud; brothers-in-law Kenny (Marilyn) Bergmann and Don (Joan) Lambrecht; sisters-in-law Marie Duclos, Audrey Westbrook, Joanie (Mac) Haws and Janet Gibbons; and nieces and nephews too numerous to mention here.
He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVerne; parents; son-in-law Charles W. Field; sisters Barb (John) Thelen, Marie (Joseph) Zwilling and Sister (Francis) Gudilia, OSB; brothers Anthony (Eileen) Duclos, Alois (Loraine) Duclos, Hubert (Donna Mae) Duclos, John (Alice) Duclos, Joseph (Edna) Duclos, William (Regina) Duclos, Henry (Margie) Duclos and Lawrence Duclos; mother- and father in-law John and Hilda Bergmann; sisters and brothers-in-law Irene (Kermit) Lee, Ellen Lambrecht, Darlene (Erv) Schiffler, David (Blanche) Bergmann, Eugene (Regina) Bergmann, Duane (Anna Marie) Bergmann, Melvin Bergmann, Loren (Sally) Bergmann, Charles Wiehoff, Thomas Haws, Anthony Westbrook and George Gibbons; and to Ed’s great sadness, too many nieces and nephews to mention.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.neptunesociety.com/location/minneapolis-cremation for the Duclos family. In lieu of flowers, donations to www.smiletrain.org are preferred.