The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Duane B. Forte


LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Duane B. Forte, 74, affectionately known as “Moon” and “Papa,” beloved father, grandfather and best friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by the ones he laughed with, lived for and loved, on March 16, 2013.

Duane was born in Wakefield, Mich., in 1938, to Andrew and Ruth Forte. He graduated from Wakefield High School in 1956 and went on to serve our great country in the military.

A few years after he returned from the Korean War, he married his sweetheart, Joyce Berwald. In 1963, they packed their Oldsmobile, headed to Las Vegas on their honeymoon, and ended up staying and building a beautiful life in the warm desert sunshine. Over the next 50 years, they raised two daughters, Dana Forte Smirk and Jonelle Forte, and son Duane (Dewey) Forte. He taught them how to fish, to fix a flat tire, to love basketball, and to just be thankful. He now has seven grandchildren who he loved to pick up from school, watch their football and baseball practices, and take on that special trip to McDonald’s now and again.

Duane enjoyed and exceled at watching sports, karaoke, magic tricks, dancing, Fourth of July parades, summers in Michigan, coffee talk at Randall’s Bakery, ice cream of all flavors (especially late at night), and keeping a full head of hair impeccably styled to the very end.

“Papa” was a good, kind man who fought a courageous battle at the very end. His gregarious spirit and lifelong love for Michigan Fourth of Julys will be sorely missed.

The family thanks the staff at the UCSD Cardiovascular Center. Their dedication and effort to providing outstanding care to him and to the entire family were a heartwarming blessing.

Services will be held at Holy Spirit on April 6 at 10 a.m. in Las Vegas.

The family will also be having a small memorial over the Fourth of July in Wakefield.

In lieu of flowers, the family is taking donations for a memorial bench to be erected in Wakefield, hopefully outside one of his favorite stomping grounds, so all of his friends and family can pay a visit and say hello to the man who loved good conversation at any time, on any day, with anyone.


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