Cover photo for Duane Freund's Obituary
1942 Duane 2023

Duane Freund

May 31, 1942 — March 7, 2023

Duane Mathew Freund was born on May 31st, 1942 to Aloysius and Marie Freund in Atlantic, Iowa.  He was the fifth of seven children, Marlene, Connie, Ellen, Joe, Ken and Mick.  Duane spent his childhood working on various farms with his family in eastern Iowa and causing trouble with his brothers at the country school.  Duane left Iowa at the age of 17 and moved to Chicago with his sister Marlene where he attended Crane Technological High School.  While in Chicago he worked for the railroad and a motorcycle shop on the south side.  For a short time, he lived in Louisiana and worked with his Uncle Dave and Aunt Rita.

Duane settled in Denver and worked as an apprentice with Bud Plumbing and Heating.  In the early 60’s, he opened Freund Plumbing with his brothers, the four worked together for many years.  In 1971, he opened Denver East Machinery.  He was a skilled entrepreneur and loved the challenge of odd jobs and unique opportunities that no one else was willing to take on.  “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life” he used to say. He was just as comfortable riding the #15 bus down Colfax as he was at a board meeting among CEOs; he never thought he was above anybody or anybody was above him.   He truly loved what he did and loved sharing his expertise with his daughter Ali who joined forces with him at Denver East and Star K Storage in 2018.

Duane met his love and life partner, Mary Catherine Lustig, on a blind date in 1971.  They were married on April 15th, 1972.  The two traveled all over the world in their adventures together, including Hong Kong, the Philippines, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Japan and many other far-off places.

Over the years, Duane spent his free time skiing, hiking, playing poker and reading.  He never turned down a cigar or a bourbon with a son-in-law, nephew or friend.  He held babies with the same care and ease that he operated a loader. He enjoyed a walk through his neighborhood every morning before heading into the office and appreciated watching the birds outside his kitchen window.  He watched countless sunrises and sunsets at Cranmer Park.

Duane’s passion for life and sense of adventure will be missed by his three daughters Angela (Mike), Laura (Matt) and Ali (Mike), his seven grandchildren, Jackson, Bella Jae, Nate, Quinn, Cecelia, Jillian and Arthur, and many extended family members, co-workers and friends.   He will be missed especially by his partners in crime Lance and Allen.  Duane entered into eternal life on March 7th, 2023 with his wife Mary at his side. He has been reunited with his parents, brother Ken and son-in-law Jason Bennett.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Doctors without Borders or Jesuit Refugee Services .

A funeral mass will be held on Friday, March 24th at 10:30AM at Most Precious Blood Catholic Parish, 2200 S. Harrison St Denver, Colorado 80210.  Guests are welcome to join the family for a lunch following the ceremony in the parish center.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Friday, March 24, 2023

Starts at 10:30am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Most Precious Blood Catholic Church

2200 S Harrison St, Denver, CO 80210

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