H. Duane Birt, 80, of York, NE died Monday, January 2, 2006 in Lincoln.
Duane was born on August 11, 1925 at Oxford, NE to Harry and Gertrude
Duane graduated from Oxford High School in 1943 and immediately joined
the U. S. Air Force and did his pilot training at Michigan State University
and later was stationed in Oklahoma. When he was 18, his beloved mother
pinned his pilot's wings on him, making him the youngest pilot in the
After being honorably discharged from the military, Duane attended and
graduated from Kearney State College where he played football for the
Lopers. After his college graduation, he operated a sporting goods store in
Kearney and later in Odessa, TX. During his time in Kearney, Duane also
served as a fire fighter for the local fire department. He then taught
and/or was a guidance counselor at Stanford, NE, Waco, Gresham, Exeter and
Fairmont. He was also a longtime football coach and lifelong avid sports
fan. Duane enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and his horses and
He was married on August 16, 1953 at Lexington, NE to Lois Knapple. To
this union three children were born - Debra, Barbara and David.
Duane was a longtime member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church
of York, a past president of the York Rotary Club and a past YorkFest King.
He was also a member of the American Legion.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 52 years - Lois and his
children Debra Figgner of Albion, Barbara (Dan) Hildebrand of York and David
(Lisa) Birt of York. Six grandchildren - Kiley Figgner of Albion, Alex and
Betsy Hildebrand of York and Brianna, Hannah and Jake Birt of York. Also
his brother, Dean (Jean) Birt of Oxford and sister Billie (Art) Garrison of
Pennsylvania and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister - Faye Stevens.
A celebration of Duane's life was held Saturday, January 7,
2006 at the First Presbyterian Church, 414 Delaware Ave in York with the
Rev. Michael Eikhoff officiating. A private family inurnment was held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the family or to York Adopt-A-Pet.
Condolences may be emailed to Metz Mortuary Messages will be given to the family.