HAZEL GREEN, Wis. — David A. Duda, 85, of Hazel Green passed into the next life on Friday, November 13, 2020, at Epione Pavilion, Cuba City, WI. Dave was resilient, diligent to overcome multiple health challenges over the previous eight years. COVID-19 became the invader he could not conquer.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date with military honors accorded. Burial also will be at a later date. Haudenshield Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Cuba City, WI is serving the family.
David was born to Frank A. and Celia C. (Chitko) Duda, Goodman, WI, on February 9, 1935. Growing up on their dairy farm, he was no stranger to hard work. Tragedy struck the family when Dave was eight years old. His sisters Margaret and Sylvia perished in a fire that destroyed their family home. From that time on, Dave worked like a man alongside their father, building a new home and doing farm chores which included driving a tractor. His first job away from the farm was as a young teen: cheesemaker in Armstrong Creek, WI.
He starred on Goodman High School’s championship football team. Affectionately called “Moose”, that nickname was still heard around the room at his 50th class reunion. Men and women classmates greeted him with honor and delight. He served in ROTC throughout high school and also while getting his degree in Food and Dairy Science at Iowa State University. Dave paid his way at Iowa State University by doing dishes, pots & pans at a sorority house. He had a lifelong aversion to Macaroni & Cheese because the baked-on residue made him late for class every time it was served. Doing dishes didn’t cover tuition payments, so there were quarters when Dave took a break from classes and worked for Good Humor in Chicago. His job there was to mix ingredients for the chocolate in which the ice-cream-on-a-stick was dipped.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University, Dave was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Korea and entered as 2nd Lt. in Artillery. He became the unit Commander — 1st Lt. Highlight of his time serving in Korea was while on leave in Japan. Dave climbed Mt. Fuji and had his walking stick branded at subsequent stations along the ascent. He married Phyllis Anderson in 1962. To their union was born three sons. That walking stick would become his sons’ pride and joy for Show ‘N Tell days at school.
His career took him from Ladish Company to Schlitz and Stroh breweries. You might want to thank David Duda, Project Director, if you enjoy wine coolers. After retirement, Dave worked seasonally for 10 years at Central Michigan University Biological Station on Beaver Island, Michigan. He married Marilyn Clark, on Beaver Island, Michigan, Christmas Eve of 2002.
Dave loved maps, cooking, trees, flowers, newspapers and was a lifelong devoted Packer fan. He enjoyed good food. Favorite baked goods were Hot Cross Buns at Easter and home-baked pies which he especially enjoyed at breakfast. Dave was a great cook; his sons are as well. Dave was quick to do the dishes and wash baking bowls when someone else was in the kitchen. He was a voracious reader. A lifelong learner before the phrase was coined. The last book he was able to appreciate and lauded was, “In Pursuit of Silence” by George Prochnik.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; sons, Michael (Shelley) Duda, of Burlington, WI, Daniel (Jennine) Duda, of St. Paul, MN, and Kirk Duda, of Boulder, CO; four grandchildren, Amanda (Andrew) Books, Nathan (Cassie) Duda, Harrison Deaver and Glory Duda; three great-grandchildren, Alayna, Emma, and Aspen River; three sisters, Arlean (Lee) Schumann, of Fence, WI, Carol (Carl) Bishop, of Crossville, TN, and Janice (Tony) Mastrogiacomo, of Greer, SC. He also leaves to mourn loving nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors. He was preceded in death by two sisters; his parents; first wife, Phyllis; brother, Jacob (Jack); and Jack’s wife, Vinnie.
In lieu of plants & flowers, a David A. Duda Memorial Fund has been established with future selection of non-profit recipient(s). Memorials may be mailed to Haudenshield Funeral Home, c/o David Duda Family, PO Box 825, Cuba City, WI 53807. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.haudenshieldfuneralhome.com.
Special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey White, MD, & Dr. Chadwick Nachtman, MD, of Medical Associates. Also to caregivers and staff at Epione Pavilion and to Hospice of Dubuque.