Harlin Calvin Duerksen, 90, died November 28, 2022 in Newton, Kansas. He was born February 11, 1932 in Hillsboro, Kansas to Cornelius Rose (C.R.) and Martha (Funk) Duerksen. On March 7, 1953, he married Doris Joan Swanson at First Baptist Church in Newton and she preceded him in death on August 5, 2014. He accepted God’s sacrificial gift of Salvation at a young age. He was a Charter Member of Bible Baptist Church of Newton where he was an Elder, Sunday School teacher, Music director, Youth Sponsor, and mentor many. Along with Mom, they always had a welcoming home. An email received by a family member states “He was one of the Godliest men I have ever known with a servant’s heart, willingness to serve at a moment’s notice, always positive attitude, and willing to give counsel to those that came to him for advice.” Another writes, “I am certain whoever met him took something positive away. He defines grace.” In later years, he became a member of the Newton Bible Church. He was always caring and praying for the leadership and Church family. He also served on the Berean Academy Board for many years. He was an advocate for young people to follow Christ.
After he married Mom, he got a job that he didn’t think he would get with Railroad Savings and Loan. He was hired because he could understand and speak High and Low German. This job is what prompted him to take a correspondence course in Accounting. At one point was offered a position in the construction industry to do payroll and bookkeeping. He then expanded his knowledge of construction which led to the purchase of Newton Electric and the start of Genco Construction. He happily retired in 1992, which allowed him and Mom to travel to many places and winter in Arizona and make many friends across the world.
Over the last few years, Dad started having more health issues. He faced them with grace and positive attitude. His Cardiologist even called him the “Energizer Bunny” as he kept going and going as he faced challenges. He strived to get better and stronger so that he could enjoy and participate in the activities that he looked forward to. His greatest joys were family and family activities. He was our family’s greatest prayer Warrior.
Harlin in survived by his daughters Connie (Terry) Tilson; Darla (Tim) Stucky and Lori (Randy) Harder; brother Gerald (Mary Jo) Duerksen. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild. Harlin is preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Roland, Mildor, and Willis; sister Elfrieda, Irma, and Louetta, grandson Jeremy Stucky; and great grandson Maxwell Ulrich.
Memorial service will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, December 8, 2022, at Newton Bible Church with Pastor Matt Kruse preceding. Visitation will be the evening prior, Wednesday, December 7, 2022, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Private family interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery Newton.
Memorials may be made to Berean Academy or Newton Bible Church and left with Petersen Funeral Home.