Obit: Duge, Elaine R. (1932 - 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Duge, Kuenkel, Zimmerman, Johnson, Rudesill

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 8/13/2014

Duge, Elaine R. (28 January 1932 - 7 August 2014)

Elaine Duge, 82, formerly of Fairchild, passed away very unexpectedly, at her home in Menomonie Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.

Elaine Kuenkel Duge was born Jan. 28, 1932, on her parent’s farm at Neillsville. She was only 13 months younger than her brother and when he started first grade, Elaine was sent along with him. The school board approved, as long as Elaine was able to keep up. Elaine did keep up. She graduated eighth grade with her brother and proceeded to earn a high school diploma at Greenwood. She was the first of her relatives to graduate from high school.

Elaine told us that as a child, she really yearned for a bicycle, but her parents had other ideas. They bought her a piano! She taught herself to play and then moved on to the accordion. Elaine auditioned for and was accepted by the Volovsek Orchestra of Willard. She was also the accordion player for the Volovsek Trio, playing small local venues and bars. Years later, she jokingly blamed the accordion for the arthritis in her shoulders.

Elaine married Louis Duge in 1951, and they settled in Fairchild in 1958. Elaine began work at the Farmer’s Store, eventually becoming the manager, working at the store for over 45 years. She was also the Fairchild Village Clerk for 30 years.

Louis died in 1998, and Elaine remained in the Duge house at the foot of the Fairchild hill. In September of 2012, after 54 years, Elaine decided to downsize. She and her cat, Owen, moved to Menomonie. Elaine delighted in her bright, new apartment. Most of all, she enjoyed daily visits with her daughters and her grandchildren. Elaine loved the Christmas season when she decorated her home, made lots of cookies and hosted the family meal Christmas Eve. She made so many Christmas cookies that we were still eating them well past Valentine’s Day.

She is survived by her three daughters, Carla (Gordon) Zimmerman of Fairchild, Carmen (Stan) Johnson and Becky (Curt) Rudesill, all of Menomonie; three grandchildren, Nathan (Kelly) Johnson of Shoreview, MN, Heather Rudesill of Roseville, MN, and Jenna Rudesill of Menomonie; and brand new great-grandson, Holden Johnson. She is also survived by special friend, Shirley Johnson and Owen her cat.

Elaine was preceded in death by her husband, Louis Duge; her parents, Rose and Paul Kuenkel; and her brother, Alfred Kuenkel.

A visitation will be held Sunday, Aug. 17, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta. Burial will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery.

Online condolences can be left at



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