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H. Duane Birt – Metz Mortuary

    H. Duane Birt 
    H. Duane Birt, 80, of York, NE died Monday, January 2, 2006 in Lincoln. Duane was born on August 11, 1925 at Oxford, NE to Harry and Gertrude (Horton) Birt.

    Duane graduated from Oxford High School in 1943 and immediately joined the U. S. Air Force and did his pilot training at Michigan State University and later was stationed in Oklahoma. When he was 18, his beloved mother pinned his pilot’s wingson him, making him the youngest pilot in theAir Force.

    After being honorably discharged from the military, Duane attended and graduated from Kearney State College where he played football for the Lopers. After his college graduation, he operated a sporting goods store in Kearney and later in Odessa, TX. During his time in Kearney, Duane also served as a fire fighter for the local fire department. He then taught and/or was a guidance counselor at Stanford, NE, Waco, Gresham, Exeter and Fairmont. He was also a longtime football coach and lifelong avid sports fan. Duane enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and his horses and ponies.
    He was married on August 16, 1953 at Lexington, NE to Lois Knapple. To this union three children were born – Debra, Barbara and David.

    Duane was a longtime member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of York, a past president of the York Rotary Club and a past YorkFest King. He was also a Past County Commander of the American Legion.

    ​Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 52 years – Lois and his children Debra Figgner of Albion, Barbara (Dan) Hildebrand of York and David (Lisa) Birt of York. Six grandchildren – Kiley Figgner of Albion, Alex and Betsy Hildebrand of York and Brianna, Hannah and Jake Birt of York. Also his brother, Dean (Jean) Birt of Oxford and sister Billie (Art) Garrison of Pennsylvania and many nieces and nephews.

    He was preceded in death by his parents and sister – Faye Stevens.

    A celebration of Duane’s life will be held at 2 PM Saturday, January 7, 2006 at the First Presbyterian Church, 414 Delaware Ave in York with the Rev. Michael Eikhoff officiating. No visitation prior to services. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the family or to York Adopt-a-Pet. 

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