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Obituary: Col. Duane C. Oberg '55

(USAF Ret.) Duane Carlton Oberg, age 79, died at home in Renton, WA on May 16th of congestive heart failure, with his beloved wife of 54 years, Patricia Lynn Oberg, by his side. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a date to be scheduled.

With his passing, Duane joins his brothers Lurelle (Lou), Kenneth, and Darrell, as well as his father George and his mother Violet. He is survived by his wife Patricia and his sister Liane (Lynn) Ekedahl of Kalamazoo, MI, his daughter Alecia McClure and her husband Peter of Boulder, CO, his daughter Kristin Burdick and her husband Tim of Waterbury, VT, his son Erik and his wife Elena of Colorado Springs, CO, and his grandchildren Kyle, Evan, Hannah, Rilo, Theo, and Wills.

Duane was born on August 1, 1932 in Milwaukee, WI, but spent his youth in Woodstown, NJ. He graduated from Woodstown High School in 1950, where he played football and earned his Eagle Scout. He also developed the work ethic which he carried with him the rest of his life, delivering the local paper and working in a local ice cream factory.

Duane graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration. He participated in Antioch's renowned work-study program, and spoke fondly of his experiences outside the classroom, managing a local union office in Chicago and traveling the southeastern US as an employee of the Burlington Railroad. At Antioch, he met Patricia O'Mahony and they were married in New York City on December 28, 1957.

Duane was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1957 and served as an Air Force Officer for 32 years, achieving the rank of Colonel. He was a Master Navigator and a logistician who flew over 4,000 hours in seven different types of aircraft, including 140 combat missions in South Vietnam and Laos. He attended the National War College in Washington, DC from 1976-1977. He served as Wing Commander of Yokota Air Base, near Tokyo, Japan from 1980-1982.

During his career, Duane was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Bronze Star. He also earned advanced degrees from Auburn University (MBA), the University of Dayton (MPA), and George Washington University (MS, Int'l Affairs).

Following his retirement from the Air Force, Duane worked for another decade in a variety of positions in the Defense Systems Division of The Boeing Company. In his lifetime, Duane traveled to over 80 countries. He particularly enjoyed visiting many of the world's outstanding museums, often reading every description at every display. He took a special interest in the exploration of the South Pacific and in 2002 fulfilled a lifelong dream when he visited Easter Island with his son Erik.

Duane loved and spoke frequently of the many pets who accompanied him and he moved his family from station to station. He was a prodigious reader, who enjoyed nautical books, military fiction and history. He was also a movie enthusiast. Duane volunteered with and served on the board of the People's Memorial Association and was a member of the University Unitarian Church in Seattle. Duane will be remembered for his devotion to his family and the value he placed on hard work and achievement. He took enormous pride in the success and accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.