Duane N. (D.K.) Koller

KollerDK_oval_editedNovember 9, 1930 ~ July 8, 2018

Duane (D.K.) Koller, 87, Sioux Falls, passed away peacefully Sunday, July 8, 2018, at Good Samaritan Society – Luther Manor, in Sioux Falls, SD.

Family will greet friends from 5-7pm, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at St. John American Lutheran Church, 1912 West 13th Street, Sioux Falls, SD. Funeral services will be 10:30am, also at St. John American Lutheran Church, Thursday, July 12. Burial is at the Rosehill Cemetery, Parker, SD, with Full Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. John American Lutheran Church.

Duane N. (D.K.) Koller was born on Sunday, November 9, 1930 in Turner County, SD to John H. and Maxine G. (Finley) Koller, Sr. DK attended country schools in the Parker, SD area through the 8th grade and graduated from Parker High School in 1949. He enlisted in the SD Air National Guard in 1949 while still in high school. He traveled extensively with the 175th Fighter Squadron. His Air Force and Air National Guard Service accumulated to over 41 years of military service. He retired from the SD Air National Guard in 1990 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. D.K. also served on the Sioux Falls Air Show Committee for many years.
On June 9, 1957, he was united in marriage to Joann M. Walser at Parker, SD and to this marriage two children were born; Jeff and Jennifer. The couple lived in Sioux Falls, SD. Joann passed away on October 23, 1977.

DK later married Paula R. Evenhuis on July 11, 1997. D.K. was a member of St. John American Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD. He enjoyed entertaining people with his musical talent and was a licensed civilian pilot, taking his last flight on his 80th birthday.

Among D.K.’s greatest joys were his family, lead singer for over 20 years with D.K. and the Coachmen playing shows almost every weekend in the 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s, flying in the RV3 with the Vanguard Squadron, hanging out with the Tea airport gang and attending debriefings at the Tea Steak House on Thursday evenings, being a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter 289), emceeing the Retiree Coffee at the air base, hosting Backyard Beaver Brunches and neighborhood parties, playing country music with the Funt Brothers, and entertainment director for Air Guard and EAA Christmas parties. He was inducted into South Dakota’s country music hall of fame in 2007. He will be greatly missed by those he charmed with his sense of humor, his music, and his kindness.

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Paula; his children, Jeffrey (Lauri) Koller and Jennifer (Mike) Thompson; his grandchildren, January, Jeremy, and Paris Koller; Jessica, Julia and Jasmine Thompson; seven great-grandchildren, LaTaya, Sylis, Naudiyah, Makynzie, Keiton, Emileigh, and Jace; step grandchildren, Aaron and Andrew Garry; two sisters, Gerry Magnuson, Parker, SD; and Donna Friman, Loveland, CO; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife; five brothers, John, Dale, Ronald, Marlyn and Dennis Koller; and three sisters, Shirley Terrava, Patricia Marso and Darlene Kehm.

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  • Lisa Hirsch says:

    Thoughts and prayers to the family at this time. DK was a very special person and a friend to many. I’ll always remember not only his smile but the way he could sing like Johnny Cash!!
    ..tailwinds and blue skies my friend.



    So little time to say the things
    You’d really like to say~
    Before you even find the words,
    The time just slips away.
    So little time to do the things
    You feel that you must do.
    So treasure, like the purest gold,
    The time GOD’s given you.
    So little time to dream your dreams,
    For youth has passed its prime,
    And all too soon you realize
    That there’s… so little time.
    So little time to reach the height
    To which you’re bound to climb,
    For swiftly pass the waning years,
    And there’s… so little time.
    So little time for past regrets,
    And less, to make amends,
    Yet GOD can heal the deepest wounds
    In chosen, cherished friends.
    So little time to share GOD’s love
    And beauty here on earth,
    And know, before HIS endless time,
    Their meaning and true worth.
    Oh, yes, there is so little time
    To seek the hidden door
    That opens up to Heaven’s Time,
    Where time’s forevermore.

    GOD BLESS D.K. & ALL the Family ! !
    He’ll definitely be missed –
    I have a lot of Great Memories ! ~ of a Fantastic Man ~ !
    Rock-ON in Heaven for ALL of us !
    JDK – Jerry D. Koetzle

  • Vern & Sharon Bultje says:

    DK and Paula were our neighbors on Woodbine for several years. DK always had candy for the neighbor kids and our grandkids soon learned about that! He also was a collector of animal statues and wooden figures and the kids always asked to see “DK’s zoo”. He always tried to put a smile on childrens’ faces. Good memories of a great neighbor.

  • Marie Herberg says:

    DK will be missed at Luther manor. He had a smile that lit up his whole face,and I will miss hearing cookie cookie. Paula, Jeff, and Jennifer you are in my thoughts and prayer and please come see us at Luther manor

  • Karin Kullhem says:

    Sarah will always be treasured by our family forever. Sarah not only was a good friend, but she became Grandma Sarah to our children. They loved it when Grandma Sarah came for a visit. They always knew that there would be hugs and kisses and treats. Her smile and kinds words always remained in their thoughts. They loved to play cards with Sarah as well. She truly loved everyone and we loved her. Sarah, we will miss you and we will always remember the good times we spent together. All Our Love, The Kullhem and Hosek Families

  • Jim Holiway says:

    D.K. was well respected by those of us that served with him at the Air Guard.
    Appreciated his wisdom and patriotism. He will be greatly missed.
    May God comfort all his family & friends in this time of grief & yet a
    time of celebration of his life & the memories shared.

  • Deb Karlson says:

    So sorry to hear of the passing of DK. He took me for my first ever plane ride in October 1989 and I have never forgotten it. Whenever I hear Johnny Cash’s ‘Big River’ I think of DK. He will truly be missed.

  • Eloise Hamann says:

    Condolences to all of Duane’s family, but in particular to Paula, his wife and my cousin.

    I hope memories of the good times will provide comfort in your grief.


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