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Grange News
Grangers mourn passing of Past State Master Duane Wetmore
  OCTOBER 13, 2011 --

Past President of the Connecticut State Grange, Duane K. Wetmore, 85, passed away Tuesday at his home, the same house where he was born. Duane lived his final days at home surrounded by his family and many friends.

He was the husband of Sharyn Hooghkirk Wetmore & widower of Helen Main Wetmore; Father of Duane E. Wetmore of Bridgeport; Patricia (James) Palmer of Windham; Amelia (Robert) Blount of Vero Beach, FL; Virginia Wetmore (Bob) Grad of Merideth, NH; Marshall (Tracy) Wetmore of Moultonborough, NH; Audrey (Kevin) Brooks of Amenia, NY, Sharyl (Joseph) Pavlisko of Meriden and Tammy (Joseph) Vertucci of Wallingford.

He also was the grandfather of April Parcesepe, Adam Grandy, Kenneth Metz, Marissa Carlson, Gregory Kessman, Katherine Kessmen, Taryn Pavlisko, Nicholette, Joey & Mario Vertucci; Great Grandfather of Finn Grandy; Brother of Gladys Brown of Hamden, Laura (Gerald) Wolf of Hamden, Gloria (Michael) Scarpa of Wallingford, Lila (Fred) Stevens of New Orleans, VT, former Captain Co. #7 Erwin (Beverly) Wetmore of Hamden, former Fire Chief Paul (Betty) Wetmore, Sr. of Hamden & the late Muriel & Viola Wetmore & Ellen Krezminski;

He was born in Hamden, June 26, 1926, a son of the late Clement R. & Marion Kirk Wetmore. Duane enlisted into the U.S. Navy in 1944 and his parents were presented with his diploma from Hamden High School in 1945, before he was honorably discharged in 1946.

He was the former owner & mechanic of Wetmore's Garage from 1946-1947. An electrician by trade for 52 years, he was the sole proprietor of Duane's Electric Company, which he started in 1964 and operated until 2001.

Duane was a Grange member for 68 years, past Master (President) & Treasurer of Hamden Grange #99, New Haven County Pomona Grange #5. He was past President of the Connecticut State Grange where he served four years, was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut State Grange and co-founder of the Southern Connecticut Past Master's Association.  He was a Past Voting Delegate to the National Grange.  Duane was also the memorable auctioneer at the Connecticut Agricultural Fair.

Some organizations & positions that Duane held included Past President of the Mix District Civic Assoc, Past President of the 8th District Republican Club, Past President & Captain of the Mix District Volunteer Fire Co. #7, where he was  a 68-year member and responded as an active volunteer for 59 years before stepping down from the drivers seat of the fire truck and served as Secretary.  The front of the Mix District Fire Co. No. 7 was drapped in black Wednesday in honor of his passing.

He was involved in a number of town organizations, boards and commissions, including the Retirement Board, Board of Fire Commissioners (from 1985-87 and reappointed in 2006), past chairman of the Community Development Advisory Commission.

He was a very active member of the Mt. Carmel Congregational Church for 64 years, where he sang in the choir and was made an honorary deacon by the Congregation. He also was chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board of Deacons there, as well as a past Superintendent of the Sunday School, presently was serving on the Financial Advisory Board and acting as a Moderator, and served on the search committee that was responsible for the present pastor, Douglas House being brought to the church.

He also was a member of the Hamden Volunteer Firefighters Fireworks Committee, serving as Chairman from 2000-2006, leading the volunteer's efforts to ensure that the town had a fireworks display to enjoy every Fourth of July holiday.  He was the state Forest Fire Warden for Hamden and four surrounding towns for nearly 15 years.

Duane's funeral service will be held Saturday, Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. in Mt. Carmel Congregational Church. Friends may also visit with his family at BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave, on Friday from 4-8 p.m. Burial with full military honors will take place in Beaverdale Memorial Park.

Contributions in Duane's memory may be made to Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, 1579 Straits Turnpike, Unit C, Middlebury, CT 06762 or to Mt Carmel Congregational Church, 3284 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06518.

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