BG (Brevit) Duane W. Kunde, 89, died on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. Gen. Kunde was born in Brainerd to Fred and Karen Kunde and was educated in Brainerd Public Schools. He was married to Ione L. Jelacie, his longtime sweetheart on Oct. 18, 1947, at the First Presbyterian Church, Brainerd. They have been married for 65 years.
Duane spent in excess of 37 years in the Armed Forces of the United States, serving on active Federal duty, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. He was a World War II and Korean War veteran and served as a company, battalion commander, division G4 and many other staff assignments. His last assignment prior to his release from Federal duty on March 31, 1981, was the United States Property and Fiscal Officer at Camp Ripley, Minn.
He rose through the enlisted and commissioned ranks to the grade of colonel, which he was appointed on March 2, 1973. He was subsequently appointed Brigadier General (Brevit), Minnesota Army National Guard by Gov. Rudy Perpich on April 4, 1988. General Kunde was a graduate of the Army Basic and Advanced Officer Schools, as well as many intermediate and senior officer schools, as his assignments and career progressed. He was a 1972 graduate of the U.S. Army command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was also the recipient of several Army decorations and citations to include the Legion of Merit and Distinguished Service Medal. He was memorialized at Camp Ripley in 1989 and Building 15-2 at Camp Ripley was designated as “Duane W Kunde Hall,” a living memorial on his behalf.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 255 and the Disabled American Veterans. He attended the First Presbyterian Church, Brainerd.
BG Kunde is survived by his wife, Ione; daughter, Joan (Paul) Haff; son, Daniel Sr. (Vikki); brother, Carney Kunde; grandsons, Daniel Jr. (Karla) Kunde, Mitchell (Candace) Kunde, Erik (Heidi) Haff, Jeremy Haff, Aaron (Missy) Haff; great-grandchildren, Amber, Amanda, Paige, Kolten Kunde; Aiden, Lucas, Mason, Karsen, Karlene, Nicole Haff; great-great-granddaughter, Iris Kunde; sisters-in-law, Mary Helen Kunde, Marion Jelacie; and niece, Marilyn Kallis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Karen Kunde; brother, Gorden Kunde; and brother-in-law, Jack Jelacie.
Services will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church in Brainerd. Visitation will begin the hour before services at the church. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd with military honors provided by American Legion Post 255 Color Guard. In lieu of flowers memorials preferred to First Presbyterian Church.