If you recognize my picture, you already know me. If you don’t, let me introduce myself. My name is Duane Erich Neumann. There will be a service for me held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Groton, South Dakota, at 11 AM on Friday, May 3. There will also be visitation at the Paetznick-Garness Funeral Chapel on Thursday, May 2, beginning at 5 PM with a prayer service at 7:00.
I was born on January 11, 1928. My parents, Arthur and Edwina, named me “Duane” because they liked the name… “Erich” after my father’s brother who came to South Dakota with him from their family home in Michigan while they were young men…and the “Neumann” designates my German heritage. It means “New Man.”
My last name seems predictive of my life as I was taught the Biblical narrative of Jesus from an early age. As the story goes, Jesus was God, who came to earth and died on a Roman cross to pay the penalty of all my crimes against God. When I believed that Jesus died for MY sin, I was changed, by the grace of God, into that “New Man” my name foreshadowed. As the scriptures say, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” The rest of my life had trials and tribulations, disappointments and failures, but the Creator God has held my hand through 91 years of life on this earth, and given me the greatest joy a man can have, knowing Jesus as my Savior and my Lord.
You may have run into me while I went to school in Groton, South Dakota, while I was stationed in Japan after World War II, or during the time I worked in the post office in Groton for 37 years.
My greatest earthly pleasure was having Dodie Hoops agree to be my wife and having her as my helper in life for 70 years. Dodie will tell you that we never had an argument during our marriage, and she is being honest. I told my wife that I loved her every day…except for a few times when I was away fishing…and I am being honest too. What an amazing blessing she has been to me.
God gave us children who proved to be more of a mixed blessing. Marsha, our first-born, married Drew Johnson and provided us with six grandchildren, Dodie Dru, Marnie, Chase, Abbie, Cade and Cramer. Mark married Laurie Aasness and had three children, Jacob, Jeffrey, and Emily. Brett married Lori Regier and added Jayme and Joshua to our list of grandchildren. God, in His sometimes hard-to-understand wisdom, has taken two of our children to be with Him, one son shortly before birth and Brett at the age of 48.
We presently have 14 great-grandchildren, some whose names I had difficulty remembering, and all of whom are being raised to know and love the Lord Jesus.
On April 27, 2019, I left behind my weak and frail earthly container and went to take up permanent residence with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I am not able to communicate to you what it is like here in heaven. Perhaps that is because the Bible tells us that “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Hope you will be able to join me in my new home…I wish you were here!
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