Duane Gareld Flom

Duane Gareld Flom, age 75, of Olivia, MN passed away at his home on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 after a seven-month battle with Melanoma.  A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church in Olivia at 11:00 am with Rev. Matt Hausken officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.  Private burial will be held at a later date.  Memorials can be directed to the Olivia Public Library, (405 So. 10th St., Olivia MN 56277); the H-545 Foundation, (PO Box 463, Henning, MN  56551…Designate Class of ’66), Olivia Hospital & Clinics Hospice (100 Healthy Way, Olivia, MN 56277) or a charity of your choice. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.

Duane was born on July 29, 1948 in Wadena MN to Lawrence and Laura (Eckhoff) Flom.  He grew up on a farm just outside Henning.  He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Henning.

Duane attended Henning Schools graduating in 1966.  While in school he participated in football, wrestling and track, played tenor sax in the band, sang in the chorus, and participated in many other activities.  After high school he continued his education at Moorhead State graduating with majors in Biology and Geography.  Later he attended NDSU earning a Master’s Degree in Agronomy.  He would also earn his PhD in Weed Science at the University of Idaho.  He worked in a variety of jobs over the years, spending the last 20 years of his career at SMBSC working in the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The solitude and science of that job fit his personality and interests.  He retired in 2016.

Duane married Karen Johnson on November 26, 1971 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Garfield.  In their 52 years of marriage, they would live in several states finally settling in Olivia, MN in 1992.

Duane was an introvert and homebody. Every day he read books, completed Sudoku, and worked on a jigsaw puzzle.  From 2010 to present, he read nearly 900 books, including the Bible, totaling nearly a half million pages.  During the warmer months, he would be found outside vegetable and flower gardening.  Duane enjoyed canning and had a “pickle room” in the basement.  Like his mother, he never threw anything away…never know when you might need it to fix something!

Duane was a quiet, kind, unselfish man who was a supportive partner to Karen and a proud dad and grandpa.  He maintained his good humor and gratitude for his caregivers until the end.  Every task they performed for him was met with a thank you.

Duane is survived by his wife Karen; son, Nathan (Jennifer) and their sons, Tyler and Gavin of Minnetonka; daughter, Annmarie (Travis) Suess and their sons, Gabriel and Elijah of Olivia; his sister, Leila Hagen; his aunt, Marlys Eckhoff; Karen’s brother, David (Kathy) Johnson; his favorite cousin, Nell Deckert; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  Duane & Karen hosted eight Foreign Exchange Students over the years.  Their oldest German Daughter, Claudia Schneehoff, made the trip to visit him during the last days of his life.

He was preceded in death by his father in 1961; his mother and stepfather; brother, Larry (Dorothy) Flom; Karen’s parents; as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.


The family would like to thank his caregivers: Pastor Matt Hausken, MN Oncology, MN Radiation Oncology, Methodist Hospital, and most importantly the wonderful staff at Olivia Hospital & Clinic including the OHC Hospice Staff.