Duane Allen VanDerWerff

Duane Allen VanDerWerff

Duane Allen VanDerWerff, age 87, was born July 4, 1936 in Holland, Michigan, to Albert Roy and Bertha (DeVries) VanDerWerff.  Respected as a godly man in both his private and public life, he died at his Oak Harbor home on Nov. 29, 2023.  

His family relocated to Lynden, where he graduated from Lynden High School in 1954. He then attended Whitworth College in Spokane in 1958, after which he completed officer candidate school, USMCR, Quantico, Virginia. Duane married his college sweetheart, Marilyn Kay Burkhart, on Aug. 8, 1959. Their marriage was blessed with son Jeffrey Allen in 1961, daughter Jennifer Kay in 1967 and eight grandchildren.

Following the fulfillment of his military obligations by 1962 as supply officer at the Santa Ana Air Facility, the family headed to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Oak Harbor in 1963.  Duane was employed by Whidbey Furniture before opening his own store in 1978 next to McDonald’s.  Semi-retiring after two decades, he joined Westgate Homes Sales for several years. 

Besides his family, Duane especially enjoyed Bible study, trailer travel and camping, golf (the camaraderie!), history, coffee time with friends and occasional Arizona snowbirding.  He served on the city’s planning commission, as an elder and deacon at First Reformed Church, and spent five years as church custodian, enabling Marilyn to stay home with their young children.

Duane is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren; brother Warren (Tena), sisters Darlene Weeda and Bev (Ron) DeBoer; sister-and-brother-in-law Joanne and Bill Cole; plus numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Mary and sister-in-law Janette Mills.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, at First Reformed Church, 250 SW Third Ave., Oak Harbor.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to:  Northwestern College, 101 7th St. SW,  Orange City, IA 51041; Whidbey Island  Women’s Clinic, PO Box 1675, Oak Harbor, WA 98277; or to Lighthouse Mission Ministries, PO Box 548, Bellingham, WA 98227-0548. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.