Cover photo for Stephen Howard Duer's Obituary
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Stephen Howard Duer

April 26, 1943 — June 2, 2023

Alta Vista

Stephen Howard Duer

Steve’s life began on April 26, 1943, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was the son of Howard “Bud” and Pauline “Polly” (McCracken) Duer. Steve graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School and went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Baker University. He married Connie Hicklin, they had 4 children, Shane, Christopher, Scott and Stephani, they later divorced. After some time spent in the corporate world, Steve realized his true passion was working in the great outdoors with as much equipment as he could lay hands on to move dirt. He worked with his big brother, Dick, at Suburban Lawn and Garden in Overland Park KS, installing sprinkler systems and landscaping yards throughout Kansas City and Shawnee Mission KS. His love for operating heavy equipment and moving dirt evolved into his own business as owner/operator of Steve Duer Excavating in the KC area for many years. He grew up in the city but yearned to live in the country. Moving to a log cabin with acreage next to a Christmas tree farm and blueberry patch. He married Jill Nedwed Robinson on February 12, 1996, at the Charter Club on Marco Island, FL. They had the opportunity to purchase Crickets in the Pine’s and Crickets in the Blueberries farms in Spring Hill, KS where he lived before retiring his excavation business and moving to the Alta Vista KS area. Steve finished his working career this spring when he retired as bus driver for USD 417. 

Steve always worked hard, but in his spare time in the summer he loved being up north at his family fishing cabins on Big Sand Lake near Park Rapids, MN. As a child he spent many summers visiting his Aunt Millie on Big Sand with his brother and his parents. In the last several years he had been able to spend all summer at the lake and share that special place with his family and friends. Steve always loved being on the water, whether it be sailing, fishing off the dock or from the pontoon boat, snorkeling or scuba diving. Some of his other joys included wood carving and leather tooling, creating special gifts for family members and friends. Another hobby was collecting and working on antique tractors, especially pleased to find the models that he drove while working on his uncle Elmer’s farm as a child. 

Most of all, Steve loved his family. Steve is survived by his wife Jill of the home, children: Scott (Lisa) Duer, Davidson, NC; Stephani (David) Luedde, Springfield, MO; Bryan (Melissa) Robinson, Dwight, KS; Benjamin (Mimi) Herd, Dallas TX; Danielle (Kent) Webb, Tyler TX; grandchildren: Dorian, Lauren, Cheyeanne, Khloe, Will, Sofia, Audrey, Isabel, Quentin, Leo. He is also survived by his niece Heather Duer Cardin, Kansas City, MO, and many grand nieces, nephews and friends.

Steve is preceded in death by his parents Bud and Polly; infant twin sons Stephen Shane and Christopher Colton Duer; and brother Richard Duer. 

Steve passed away at the age of 80 on June 2, 2023, at his home in Alta Vista. Steve was dearly loved and will be sorely missed. Steve’s family will gather to greet friends from 12:00-2:00 p.m., on Friday, June 16, 2023, at Simpson United Methodist Church, Alta Vista, KS, with a celebration of life service at 2:00 p.m., officiated by Reverend Brenda Davids. All are invited for refreshments and fellowship at Pink Gravel Community Building in Dwight, KS following the service.

Sawyer Chapel, Council Grove, KS is serving the family. Memorial contributions in Steve’s name may be directed to Simpson United Methodist Church or to Big Sand Lake Association, in care of the Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Stephen Howard Duer, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 16, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Simpson United Methodist Church

518 Logan Street, Alta Vista, KS 66834

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Memorial Service

Friday, June 16, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Simpson United Methodist Church

518 Logan Street, Alta Vista, KS 66834

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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