Duane Walter Straw

Duane Walter Straw

Duane Walter Straw, 84, of Ferrisburgh passed away unexpectedly on May 22, 2023 in Vershire, Vermont. We are heartbroken at the loss of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.

Duane was born on April 2, 1939 in Vershire, the third child and only son of Walter and Hazel (Aldrich) Straw. He attended elementary school in Vershire and West Fairlee, and graduated from Thetford Academy in 1957.

Following graduation he worked for Malmquist Mill in Post Mills until enlisting in the US Army in October 1958. His time in the Army took him to New York, Texas and then Germany where he drove gas and diesel tankers. He was very proud of his service and talked about his experiences often.

Following his honorable discharge in February 1962, he returned to Vermont and continued courting the love of his life, Rachel Sherman of Duxbury, who he had met 4 years earlier when she was working at the Rutledge Inn on Lake Morey. They were married on August 25, 1962 in Waterbury, and celebrated their 60th anniversary last summer.

They first lived in Richmond, and he began his 30+ year career at Green Mountain Power, working his way from Plant 19 in Essex Junction to Lineman in Burlington. They moved to Ferrisburgh in 1974 when he became Head Lineman in Vergennes. In the mid-1980’s he hung up his spikes when he was promoted to Safety Supervisor. He retired from GMP in 1996. Following retirement, Rachel and Duane bought a home in South Daytona, Florida and wintered there.

In 1973 he built a camp in Vershire on his grandmother’s property. The original 20 x 20 shack has been constantly upgraded with much help from his close friend Jay Chandler and others.  It was his fortress of solitude, although he was very generous and loved sharing it with others.

There was nothing more important to him than his family. His son Daryl was born in 1964 followed by daughters Doreen in 1965 and Anne in 1970. He was an awesome Dad, not one to toss around “I love you’s” but his love, support and affection were constant.  Following his retirement in 1996, his grandchildren Samir Kadric, Natalie Straw, Jacob Kadric and Gabriel Kadric were born and they were his greatest joy. No one could ask for a better husband, Dad or Papa. We all miss him terribly.

Duane loved being in the woods. He was an avid deer and rabbit hunter, and trout fisherman. In high school he learned to play golf while caddying at the Lake Morey Country Club, he was a Cedar Knoll Country Club member for many years. He enjoyed NASCAR, and rooted for the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, and New York Giants.  He was an excellent card player (especially cribbage), bowler, and dancer.  Mom and Dad had many friends in Richmond and Ferrisburgh, Saturday nights at the Legion or Eagles Club followed by coffee and Rachel’s fried donuts at their house on Sand Road were a regular occurrence.

He instilled in all of us the value of hard work and determination. When asked why he became a lineman given that he was not fond of heights, he would shrug and say “you get used to it.” He could build or fix anything, and was always happy to help or advise his kids and friends with their projects. No job was too tough. He could do everything except swim, but would have figured that out eventually, too.

Duane is survived by his loving wife Rachel of Ferrisburgh; three children, Daryl Straw and his wife Michele of South Burlington, Doreen Kadric and her husband Mumin of Ferrisburgh, and Anne Straw and her husband Jeremy Gibson of Indianapolis; grandsons Samir, Jacob and Gabriel Kadric of Ferrisburgh, and granddaughter Natalie Straw of South Burlington; 16 sisters and brothers-in-law; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, and by his three sisters and their husbands Marilyn (Will) Williams of Windsor, Charlotte (Wayne) Brooks of Barre and Phyllis (Frank) Brown of Bradford.

Calling hours will be on Friday, June 2nd from 5 to 8 PM at the Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes. Military honors will be presented at 6 PM. Funeral services will be at a later date at the convenience of his family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to the Alzheimers Association – Vermont Chapter, 75 Talcott Road Suite 40, Williston, VT 05495. To send online condolences to his family please visit www.brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com

5 3 votes
Article Rating
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Al & Gladys Noel
9 months ago

We are so sorry for your loss. Duane was a good man and will be missed by all of us. I hope the love of all your family and friends help you during this difficult time. I am sure he would wish you all the happiness he never lived to experience, and you should fulfill his wishes. We love you all, Aunt Gladys and Uncle Al

Jim and Marcia Doyle
9 months ago

Rachel,Daryl,Doreen,Anne and families, It is so hard to express the sadness that we feel of Duaneds passing. We knew him in High School and then reconnected when we lived in Essex. We had many fun nights playing cards, in Vermont as well as in Florida. Such a wonderful friend!

Dwight Royce
9 months ago

I will always remember him as the lineman that no matter the weather he and his partner Ed would do what they could to get our power back on at the farm. Sorry for your loss. Dwight Royce

Lesley Chandler Alexander
9 months ago

Our hearts go out to the entire Straw Family. Duane will be dearly missed by all who knew him. With love and friendship,
-The Jay Chandler Family

Jeff Grace
9 months ago

It is with a heavy heart that I write this message to express my deepest condolences for the loss of my beloved uncle, Duane. He was a remarkable man who touched the lives of everyone he knew, and his absence will be deeply felt.

From my earliest memories, I always looked up to Uncle Duane. Whenever our family gathered, I found myself gravitating towards him. Whether it was his warm smile or his calming presence, he had a way of making you feel at ease and loved.

Some of my fondest memories with Uncle Duane were the times we spent together at Cedar Knoll, playing golf, and sharing stories between swings. And then there were those exhilarating hunting trips for white-tailed deer, where we bonded over our shared love for nature and the thrill of the hunt. Those moments will forever be etched in my heart.

As I grew up, my parents entrusted Aunt Rachel and Uncle Duane to care for me whenever they were away. Their home became a haven for me, and I always felt welcomed and cherished. Uncle Duane made it a priority to attend my baseball and hockey games, offering his unwavering support and encouragement from the sidelines. His presence meant the world to me, and I will forever
treasure those memories. I remember a time when my friends and I found ourselves in a
bind during our spring break in Daytona. Without hesitation, Uncle Duane and Aunt Rachel graciously offered us their small winter home, providing us with a place to rest our heads. Their generosity and kindness knew no bounds.

But above all else, Uncle Duane was a true role model of what a man and a father should be. His love for his country and unwavering commitment to providing and protecting his family were unparalleled. He was a man of few words, always preferring to shy away from controversy, yet he never hesitated to lend a helping hand or offer guidance without judgment or prejudice.

Most recently, Uncle Duane became a great friend to my father. He invited him to hunt at his camp in Vershire, filling a void left by my inability to be there with my father at our camp in Moretown. Being away, living and working overseas, I cannot express how much I miss this time of year with my
father. I am grateful that Duane and Darryl stepped in to be there for him, reminding me of the unwavering bond of friendship and the compassion Uncle Duane had for those he cared about.

Uncle Duane, your absence leaves a void in our lives that can never be filled. You were a pillar of strength and a beacon of light, and your legacy will continue to guide us. The memories we shared will forever be cherished, and your spirit will live on in our hearts.

May you find eternal peace. You will be deeply missed.

Kathy Laframboise
9 months ago

In my thoughts.

Jeff Grace
9 months ago

It is with a heavy heart that I write this message to express my deepest condolences for the loss of my beloved uncle, Duane. He was a remarkable man who touched the lives of everyone he knew, and his absence will be deeply felt.

From my earliest memories, I always looked up to Uncle Duane. Whenever our family gathered, I found myself gravitating towards him. Whether it was his warm smile or his calming presence, he had a way of making you feel at ease and loved.

Some of my fondest memories with Uncle Duane were the times we spent together at Cedar Knoll, playing golf and sharing stories between swings. And then there were those exhilarating hunting trips for white-tailed deer, where we bonded over our shared love for nature and the thrill of the hunt. Those moments will forever be etched in my heart.

As I grew up, my parents entrusted Aunt Rachel and Uncle Duane to care for my brothers and I whenever they were away. Their home became a haven for us, and I always felt welcomed and cherished. Uncle Duane made it a priority to attend my baseball and hockey games, offering his unwavering support and encouragement from the sidelines. His presence meant the world to me, and I will forever treasure those memories.

I remember a time when my friends and I found ourselves in a bind during our spring break in Daytona. Without hesitation, Uncle Duane and Aunt Rachel graciously offered us their small winter home, providing us with a place to rest our heads. Their generosity and kindness knew no bounds. But above all else, Uncle Duane was a true role model of what a man and a father should be. His love for his country and unwavering commitment to providing and protecting his family were unparalleled. He was a man of few words, always preferring to shy away from controversy, yet he never hesitated to lend a helping hand or offer guidance without judgment or prejudice.

Most recently, Uncle Duane became a great friend to my father. He invited him to hunt at his camp in Vershire, filling a void left by my inability to be there with him at our camp in Moretown. Being away, living and working overseas, I cannot express how much I miss this time of year with my father. I am grateful that Duane and Darryl stepped in to be there for him, reminding me of the unwavering bond of friendship and the compassion Uncle Duane had for those he cared about.

Uncle Duane, your absence leaves a void in our lives that can never be filled. You were a pillar of strength and a beacon of light, and your legacy will continue to guide us. The memories we shared will forever be cherished, and your spirit will live on in our hearts.

Love Jeff

LInda Shandrow
9 months ago

I am so sorry for your loss Daryl and families. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please reach out if there’s anything I can do to support you during this difficult time.
Linda Charron Shandrow

Noel Nutting
8 months ago

I am very sorry for your loss and my deepest condolences to the family. Duane was a good man and will be missed. He and my Uncle Jay were a great pair and had many hunting adventures that will live on for years. I am happy I got to be a part of a small share of them when growing up.
Wishing you all the best during this difficult time.

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes