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ORMOND BEACH, FLA. - Duane L. Kuerth, 76, Ormond Beach, Fla., formerly of Peoria and St. Louis, Mo., passed away at 4:40 p.m. Friday (Dec. 30, 2005) at Ormond in the Pines Rehabilitation Center in Ormond Beach, Fla.

He was born Dec. 23, 1929, in Peoria, to Walter H. and Norma M. Brown Kuerth.

He is survived by one sister, Donna E. (Karl) Nerstad, East Peoria; one niece, Kristen Sue (Christopher) Denault, Batavia; two nephews, Brian Karl Nerstad, Nashville, Tenn., and Gary Alan Nerstad and his fiance, Amanda Elizabeth Walls, both of Chicago; and one grand-niece, Keatelyn Elizabeth Denault and one grand-nephew, Joshua Christopher Denault, both of Batavia. There is also family surviving in the Gridley and Chenoa areas.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Duane was a 1947 graduate of Woodruff High School. He graduated from Bradley University in 1951, with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, graduating in the top 100 students in his class.

After graduating from Bradley University, he was employed by McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Corp. in St. Louis, Mo., for 36 years.

Duane was project manager for the F-4 Phantom Jet Fighter design team. His work included travel to Israel and Japan to assist with their military air defense programs.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954, serving in California and Alaska.

He enjoyed golfing and many fishing trips to Canada and salmon fishing in Michigan during his lifetime.

After his retirement, Duane resided at his oceanside home in Ormond Beach, Fla., for 17 years.

Duane was a 60 year member of First Christian Church of Peoria.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Wilton Mortuary, Peoria. The Rev. Karen Merrick will officiate. Visitation will be 30 minutes prior to the service Friday at the mortuary. Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery, Peoria.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to his church or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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