Duane Ray Puffer

Posted 9/14/23

Duane Ray Puffer, 73, of Redfield, SD, passed away Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen, SD.

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Duane Ray Puffer


   Duane Ray Puffer, 73, of Redfield, SD, passed away Thursday, September 7, 2023, at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen, SD.

   Visitation will be from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield.  A prayer service and time of sharing will begin at 6:30 p.m.

   Duane’s funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, at Redfield Methodist Church in Redfield.  Pastor Melissa Rowenhorst will officiate.  Following lunch and fellowship at the church, burial will take place at Altoona Cemetery in Hitchcock, SD. 

   Both the prayer service and funeral service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website below Duane’s obituary.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home (www.hykefuneralhome.com).

   Duane was born in Huron, SD on April 19, 1950, to Wendell and Lois (Poe) Puffer.  He attended Payne School, a country school near Hitchcock, before transferring to second grade at Hitchcock Public School.  He graduated from Hitchcock High School in 1968.  Duane received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1972 from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD.   He continued his education and went to grad school at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD.  He obtained his sociology degree before completing his master’s degree in special education. 

   On August 31, 1979, Duane married Lila Shaw in Huron, SD and was blessed with children Mary and Stephen.   Duane worked at the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield until 1985.  He then moved to Abel Inc. in Dickinson, ND, before moving back to Redfield in July of 1986.  Duane and Lila purchased the Wilson Motor Inn in Redfield from Lila’s parents in December of 1990.  He was an excellent businessman and continued as the owner and operator of the hotel until his death.

   When he was younger, Duane enjoyed fishing, hunting, playing chess with his brother, and Star Trek.    Later hobbies included collecting vintage cars and watching anything political.  Duane was a wonderful husband and dad, but he was put on this earth to be a grandpa. 

   His family never saw him angry.  He will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity. 

   Duane is survived by his daughter Mary (Steve) Lei of Sioux Falls, SD; siblings: Joanne (Don) Kopp of Rapid City, SD, Don (Jo) Puffer of Talent, OR, Dean Puffer of Aberdeen, Dan (Julie) Puffer of Fremont, NE, and Diane (Jim) Stoley of Grand Forks, ND.  He is also survived by his brother-in-law John (Lisa) Shaw of Creston, IA; sister-in-law Vicki (Shorty) Tassler of Pierre, SD; grandchildren:  Trevor (Chelsey) Bultje of Baltic, SD, Brianna Bultje of Sioux Falls, Bryson Bultje of Sioux Falls, Joshua (Erica) Whitener of Moore, OK, Amanda (James) Wilson of Yukon, OK, Kassandra Lei of Pierre, Matthew Monroe of Sioux Falls, and Darrah Monroe of Sioux Falls; five great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and special friends Donna Fortin, Jeremiah and Rayna Johnson, and Emma Wright. 

   He was preceded in death by his wife Lila, parents Wendell and Lois, and son Stephen Whitener.