Duane Knolton Judd passed away peacefully in his home in Boise, ID, surrounded by his children, on December 22, 2020.
Duane was born on September 22, 1936, in Weiser, ID. He grew up on the family farm near Crane Creek, where he learned the value of hard work from his parents. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse before attending and graduating from Weiser High School. He became an entrepreneur in his late teens, hauling milk for the neighboring farmers to make payments on his new pickup truck. Despite the hard times and hard work, he had a happy childhood and loved his parents and three sisters dearly.
Having always been interested in aviation, Duane joined the Air Force in 1957, planning to become a pilot. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, he and several others in his group learned that their paperwork for flight training had been lost, so he opted to attend technical training and become a mechanic. He loved serving his country and spending time surrounded by airplanes, and he gained many lifelong friends during his five years in the Air Force.
After leaving the Air Force, Duane lived with one of his good Air Force buddies, Bill Warnick, in Southern California. They were roommates and worked together at Rocketdyne, working on components for the NASA Apollo and Gemini missions. At the time, he started looking for a church to attend. His friend Bill shared his LDS faith, which led to Duane’s baptism as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While attending a church meeting in Santa Monica, he was greatly impressed by one of the speakers, Sharon Woolley. He got a friend of a friend to introduce them and asked her out on a date. They were married later that same year in the Los Angeles LDS temple.
Sharon and Duane settled in Canoga Park, where they started their family. Shortly thereafter, he started studying for an accounting degree, taking night classes while working full time. He eventually graduated from Cal State Northridge with four of his five children attending the graduation ceremony. He worked as a cost accountant for various companies throughout his career. Through layoffs, recessions, and economic ups and downs, he always worked hard and remained positive. He was a loyal and valued employee in several different industries, from aerospace to farm equipment to hardwood.
Duane was a soft spoken and patient father, but he also loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor. He was generous with his time despite long workdays and commuting in Los Angeles rush hour traffic. He was always in charge of bath time for his young children, faithfully attended their soccer games, and drove them on their early Sunday morning paper routes. He often made sure to spend one-on-one time with each child with weekly nights out to the library and to get ice cream. He was a good listener and so understanding. He loved the outdoors and spent many summer vacations camping and hiking in Yosemite with his family. While he didn’t become a career farmer, he loved farm equipment and gardening and was a master tomato grower.
After retiring in 2004, Duane and Sharon moved back to Idaho, settling in Boise, where he developed a love of teaching at a local business college where he taught accounting courses. When Sharon learned about an opportunity to teach at a university in China, Duane agreed with much trepidation about moving to such a foreign country. He quickly fell in love with his students, however, and relished his experience there. They taught for two school years and made many treasured friends.
After returning to Boise for a short time, Duane and Sharon soon became ready for the next adventure. They were called to serve as missionaries for the LDS church in South Africa, traveling to many countries in the southeastern parts of the continent. Again, Duane quickly grew to love the African people.
The desire to serve and teach others continued throughout his life, and he volunteered to do everything - from teaching ESL to refugees to teaching prison inmates how to research their family histories. He was an attentive and loving grandfather, always willing to play a game, read a story, or get down on the floor with his grandkids to follow their lead and play make-believe. His service was never done in expectation of public recognition or glory but with humility and lack of judgment towards those he helped.
Duane was preceded in death by his wife Sharon and is survived by his five children, Marné Judd Cales, Curtis Judd, Corey Judd, Cary Judd, Maren Judd Ou Yang, and ten grandchildren, who will miss him greatly.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 2, 2021, 1:00pm, at LDS chapel located at 3700 S. Maple Grove Rd., Boise, with visitation beginning at 12:00pm. (Due to CO-VID limits, the service will be livestreamed; link will be listed below.
Interment with military honors will be held at a later date at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
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