Duane R. Pillar died surrounded by family on Wednesday, March 9th, in the early hours of the morning in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
Duane was born in Middleton, WI on January 7th, 1963. He worked at Oshkosh Defense for 29 years, and rose to the level of Director of Systems Engineering within the company. He obtained a Master’s degree in Project Management in 2010, and holds 37 patents to his name. Duane tackled everything he took on with great vigor, from activities like boating and driving his car, to holding the following positions within The Masons organization: Past Master of Oshkosh Lodge, Past High Priest of Tyrian Chapter, Past TIM of Oshkosh Council, and Past Commander of Oshkosh Commandery.
He was a family man, and the true patriarch of his family. He fully embraced all elements of his kin, and never discriminated against step-relatives, half-siblings, or other variations. Family was family in his eyes, and he always sought to keep the family together.
He was proceeded in death by his father, Russel L. Pillar and mother, Charlotte Giles.
He is survived by his spouse LeAnne Ryan, his two sons Erik and Luke Pillar (Bailey), his step-children Shelli Gunderson (Terry), Dale Javorek, and step-grandchild Taylor Javorek. Duane was the eldest of twelve siblings: Kristoffer Pillar (Pamela), Cynthia Pillar, Douglas Pillar (Ina), Cassandra Fronczek (David), Kimberly Pillar, Nicole Wimmer (Tom), Michelle Pillar, Bruce Pillar (Michelle), David Pillar, Dan Pillar, and Michael Pillar. He is also survived by his aunt Karen Grede-Diller (Nels Diller) and uncle Dennis Pillar.
Near and dear to Duane’s heart were his five miniature schnauzers: Lily, Maggie, Lacey, Misty, Gus, and his black lab Shiner. He always had a soft spot for animals, and loved his dogs dearly to the end.
Duane spent his life living it to the fullest. He most enjoyed the summer months of the year, and could often be found out grilling on his deck and enjoying the nature around him. When he was not at home, Duane would be hard at work making the world a better place through his innovative mind and strong leadership skills in the field of engineering. He was mentor to many in life and at the workplace, and will be sorely missed.