July 21, 1925 - January 9, 2022
Duane Wallace Bellinger died in the care of hospice at Montereau retirement community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on January 9, 2022. Duane was born to parents Alexander "Lloyd" and Blanche Sewell Bellinger on July 21, 1925, on their farm near Hiawatha, Kansas. Duane grew up working on the family farm and attended school in Hiawatha, where he played trombone in the high school band. After a farm deferment, Duane was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, serving as a member of the Special Service Dance Band that played at USO and officer clubs near Fort Lee, Virginia. Duane requested a transfer to tech school and eventually supervised the maintenance of large refrigeration units for the 84th Quartermaster Supply Company at San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines. Duane attended the University of Kansas on the GI Bill and earned a chemical engineering degree in 1951. He recounted fond memories of living with his Uncle Leo, Aunt Mary, and cousin Earl on Alabama Street in Lawrence, Kansas. Upon graduation, Duane accepted a position with Cities Service Oil Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In Bartlesville, he met home economics teacher Virgilene Marshall at a church singles group. They were married in 1958 and had two children, Melinda and Brad. After he assured Virgilene the chances were slim they would ever leave Bartlesville, the company transferred Duane to Tulsa in 1964. Duane retired from Cities Service Oil Company/Occidental Petroleum after working for 35 years in the Natural Gas and Liquids division in a variety of engineering, plant and administrative roles. He most enjoyed working on natural gas contracts and litigation. Duane and Virgilene were among the first members of Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church, which then met at Carnegie Elementary School. Duane served as a deacon and for many years folded the monthly church newsletter. In retirement, Duane and Virgilene traveled extensively throughout Europe; Duane especially enjoyed Germany. An armchair quarterback, Duane's favorite season of the year was college bowl season. He closely followed the Big 12 and especially KU basketball. As newlyweds, Duane and Virgilene learned to play bridge - a hobby that Duane enjoyed until his last few months. As empty nesters, they learned to square dance and were active in the Spinning Tops club. Melinda and Brad remember a dad who worked hard so that they could have a more prosperous life. He gave the gift of college educations, first cars, and personal maintenance of those cars. He gave the gift of family vacations exploring diverse regions of the United States and memorable pop-up trailer camping trips to state and national parks. His grandchildren remember a soft-spoken, generous man who rigged up a swing in the backyard oak tree and had a bottomless candy jar. Duane was a lover of candy, popcorn, desserts, and ice cream with everything. He was the undisputed guardian of the TV remote and household thermostat. He took great pride in maintaining his lawn and grilling the perfect steak on a Saturday night. An avid reader and reserved thinker, Duane didn't seek attention but worked for the betterment of his family. Duane never spoke ill of anyone and was kind and considerate to all. Duane is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Barbara Finger. Duane is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virgilene; daughter Melinda (Mark) Fritze; son Brad (Deanna) Bellinger; grandchildren Laura (Eduardo) Salemi, Steven Fritze, Carter Fritze, Robyn Fritze; siblings Judith (Larry) Nibbelink, Frances Richmond, Nancy (Bob) Lehrer, Lloyd George (Sheryl) Bellinger, and many nieces and nephews. The family will hold a private graveside service with a memorial service to follow when local health conditions improve. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church.
Duane Wallace Bellinger died in the care of hospice at Montereau retirement community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on January 9, 2022. Duane was born to parents Alexander "Lloyd" and Blanche Sewell Bellinger on July 21, 1925, on their farm near Hiawatha,... View Obituary & Service Information
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