- Special Sections
November 9, 1920- November 18, 2011
Duane was born November 9, 1920 in Westmore, Vermont as the youngest son of Isaac Allen Wilson and Ina Elizabeth (Hinton) Wilson. He spent his early years in Island Pond, Vermont and Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1937 and from Trinity College in 1949 where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in General Science.
Duane served in World War II in the U.S. Army's 156th Battalion from 1942 to 1943. He married Helen Henrickson of Granby, Connecticut in April of 1943 and their beloved son Keith was born in March of 1949.
Duane began his early career in management with the Roerig division of Charles Pfizer in Boston and Chicago and then with Lloyd Brothers (Hoechst Pharmaceutical) in Michigan. In 1963 he went on to establish and run an executive search and career coaching firm in Michigan entitled Duane I. Wilson Associates. Finally, he established another company, VERITAS: Truth in Capabilities, which was a background verification company from which he never seemed to actually retire.
Duane experienced profound sadness in this life with the loss of his first wife Helen in 1985 and the death of his dear son Keith in 2000. Duane was the last of his siblings, 10 in all, to pass away.
Duane remarried in April of 1995 to Ellen Clarke. Duane and Ellen had known each other since working together at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Chicago. Duane was a resident of Troy, Michigan from 1961 until his death. He and Ellen split their time between Michigan, Southern California and Vermont until his health failed. Duane leaves behind his wife Ellen of Laguna Woods, California as well as his nephews John Wilson of Del Mar, California and Earl Wilson of Connecticut.
Duane had a keen mind and many interests. He held several patents for inventions, belonged to many organizations and was an avid writer. He loved to golf, bowl and was a professional horseshoe pitcher. He enjoyed stamp collecting and joined a stamp collecting club in his later years. He was always researching current events with his computer and belonged to a computer club in California as well.
Duane was active in Masonic organizations as a member of Corinthian Lodge #241, King Cyrus Chapter #133 Royal Arch Masons (serving as High Priest in 1979), Detroit Commandery #1 Knights Templar, Monroe Council #1 Royal Select Masters, and Detroit York Rite College #1. He was a former member of the Detroit Concert Band and Masonic Temple Association in Detroit. Duane was an active Rotarian and a member of the Bloomfield Hills Rotary Club and its Board of Directors. He was a member of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Finally, Duane liked people and people liked Duane. He was a wondrous storyteller with an imagination as big as a child's. He had a deep and abiding faith that sustained him in times of deep sorrow of which he surely did experience. Though successful in business, his most profound success is his legacy of love and care. Duane passed away on November 18, 2011 at home with his wife Ellen in Laguna Woods, California.
Interment is at Hillside Cemetery in East Charleston, Vermont.