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March 3, 1925-Dec. 19, 2012

Duane Norman Thackeray, the world's nicest guy, according to his daughter and everyone else for that matter, died Dec. 19, 2012 in Carpinteria, Calif.

A memorial service will be held at the Faith Lutheran Church, 1335 Vallecito Place, Carpinteria, Ca., on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at 11 a.m. A reception will be held at the church immediately following the service.

He was born in Sioux City, Iowa on March 3, 1925.

Duane moved to Los Angeles with his parents, Bill and Tillie, and his older brother, Don. They drove out there from South Dakota in a Model A with another family, parents and two kids. Imagine that trip! Duane graduated from Fremont High School and went on to join the Navy during WWII. He spent two years in the South Pacific. He told about having the job to swim out to the seaplanes and bring the line in to anchor them. When he returned from WWII, he briefly went to Pepperdine College until he received the opportunity to become a Los Angeles City firefighter. He was with the department from 1947-1977. Most of that time was spent on Crash Crew at LAX.

Duane married Shirley May LaBeau in 1948. They had two children, Dennis Wayne and Diane Lynn. Even after their divorce he continued to be an integral part of his children's lives. As an avid body surfer and ocean lover he bought both kids surfboards in 1962. They both continue to enjoy the sport to this day.

Duane married Nora Elizabeth Newsome in 1967. He became "Dad" to her three children, Jaque, DeEtta, and Sandy, and "Grandpa" to their children. In 1978, Nora and Duane moved to Goldsboro, Nora's hometown. Here they joined the Good Shepard Lutheran Church, where they made many friends and had lots of good times going places with the Recycled Teenagers and helping with the Annual Yard Sale. Unfortunately Nora passed away in 1998 and Dad had to carry on without the love of his life.

In 2007 Duane moved to Carpinteria, Ca., to live with his daughter, Diane, and son-in-law, Mike Hendrix. There, he joined Faith Lutheran Church and made many more new friends. During this time he walked most every day through the State Park and went to Senior Lunch at the Veteran's Hall. He was happy!

Alas, his health took a turn for the worse. He spent the last two and a half months at Pacific View Senior Care Facility in Carpinteria where Cathy Miller and her crew took incredible care of him until he passed. Also, much appreciation to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care, especially Eva, who helped keep him so comfortable.

He is survived by his older brother, Donald Thackeray (Marguerite); children, Dennis Wayne Thackeray , Diane Lynn Thackeray (Michael Hendrix), Jaque Hickman (Art), DeEtta Mitts (Harry), and Sandy Purtle (Judith); grandchildren, Wendy Mockett, Brent Anderson, Greg Jordan, Lisa Rice, William Purtle II, Casey Purtle, P.J. Purtle, Adam Purtle; great-grandchildren, Dalton DeAlba, Sean Rice, and Makenna Anderson.

Contributions may be made to Faith Lutheran Church, Carpinteria or Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 532 Country Day Road, Goldsboro, N.C. 27530.

Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.


Published in Obituaries on December 30, 2012 10:25 AM