Duane Joseph Krob
- August 10, 2022
Duane Joseph Krob
Duane Joseph Krob, 80, of Shueyville, passed away on Sunday, August 7, 2022, at the Bird House – Hospice Home of Johnson County after a 2-1/2 year long battle with cancer. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, August 11, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church of Solon. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 12, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Solon, with Fr. Charles Fladung presiding. Burial will be at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in rural Solon. Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Solon are in charge of arrangements.
Duane was born December 8, 1941, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Joseph and Evelyn (Achenbach) Krob. Extended family became a very important part of Duane’s early life when, at the age of three, he lost his mother to pneumonia. Growing up on farms in the Lisbon area, and being around machinery, sparked an early desire in him to learn more about how things work, and he decided that he wanted to be the first in his family to go to college. He started at Coon Creek country school (1st to 3rd), Black Oak country school (4th & 5th), Lisbon (6th & 7th), Solon (8th thru 11th) and completed his senior year at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Illinois, graduating in 1959. He attended St. Ambrose College on a partial music scholarship and the University of Iowa. On February 24, 1962, Duane was united in marriage to Margaret “Mydge” Hewitt, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in East Moline, Illinois. Kids came along quickly and delayed Duane’s college degree as he worked to support their growing family. It was a frequent cycle of a semester of school followed by a semester (or two) of work and colleges attended often had to fit around Duane’s employment. During the height of the Cold War, he had an opportunity to work unlimited overtime hours for American Air Filter in St. Louis, testing environmental control equipment for the Minuteman Missile defense silos and while there, continued his education at St. Louis University. After transferring back to the University of Iowa, he graduated with a BS of Mechanical Engineering degree. Throughout college, Duane was involved with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was very proud of the fact that he was able to graduate from college, in 1967, debt free. He received his Engineer-In-Training (EIT) certification and later his Professional Engineer license in 1974.
After graduation, he began his career as a maintenance engineer with Monsanto in Muscatine, Iowa and over the next 3 years, gained valuable experience that stayed with him for the rest of his life. In 1970, he began his lifelong career path in the foundry industry as the Engineering Manager at Frank Foundries in Davenport, Iowa where he remained until 1974, when he moved the family to Charles City, Iowa to accept the position of Foundry Engineering Manager at White Farm Equipment. He was a member of the American Foundry Society (AFS) for his entire foundry career and served as the Hawkeye Chapter Chairman in 1978-79. Duane always aspired to owning his own business, and in 1979, ventured out on his own by purchasing an existing sales rep company, thus moving from ‘behind the desk’ to ‘calling on the customer’. With his engineering background in foundries, he quickly changed the direction of the company to include custom design and manufacturing of custom machinery for the foundry industry, thus giving life to Foundry Equipment Company. This business grew to include the entire family over the years, along with many valued employees that contributed to the company’s success. Throughout his working career, he also displayed his ambition and love for carpentry and construction, both passed onto him by his father, by building three of the family homes, as well as a workshop that would allow him to continue his passions of car restoration & woodworking during retirement.
In 2016, Duane semi-retired and began to spend more time in his shop, only working on special projects at the office. By 2018, Duane was ‘fully’ retired, having spent 48 years in the foundry industry. He always said that it was the people he would miss the most and that the foundry industry truly is a small world.
He believed strongly in giving back to the community with his time. Duane was involved in 4H, raising and showing several animals as a youth. While not being involved in scouting as a child, he was able to participate in later years as a Cubmaster for his sons’ Cub Scout Pack and was involved in Boy Scouts after that as a District Leader on the Winnebago Council. While living in Muscatine, he decided to join a new civic club that was being formed by a group from Solon, IA, thus becoming a charter member of the Optimist Club of Muscatine, a club within a youth-serving organization called Optimist International. He would spend most of the next 60 years volunteering at all levels of this organization. He left the Muscatine club after moving from the area for a career advancement and rejoined the Optimist organization in 1980 upon his move back to the Solon area, joining the Optimist Club of Solon. As a lifetime member of the club, he was involved in the club’s activities as well as taking a leadership role in the club with several years as club president and decades of service on the board of directors. He gave decades of service to Optimist International within the Iowa District and the International office. He was chair of many district roles, a few years as Lt. Governor, and a year as Distinguished Governor in 1992-1993. He felt his biggest accomplishment within OI was his efforts and successes to grow the organization by sponsoring more than 40 members during his years of service and work at adding many new clubs. These accomplishments led to International office committee assignments and his election as a Vice-President of OI in 1997-1998. Involvement in Optimist International led to many lifelong friendships.
Duane and Mydge could often be found during the winter months in their motorhome in Texas, enjoying the warm weather. When not wintering down south, Duane could be found in his shop working on his cars. He was finally able to complete a full restoration of his 1962 Corvette and was in the process of restoring a 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille that he had purchased many years ago from his brother-in-law Dick. Duane also enjoyed fishing, especially up north in Canada. This love of fishing was never really shared by any of his children, but this didn’t deter the man. He would bait, cast, and hand a fishing pole to each of the four kids, with instructions to keep the poles held high to prevent the line from getting caught in the propellor when trolling. Invariably, as Duane tried to cast his own line, and keep the boat off the rocks, all four kids would scream at the same time that they had a fish on the line. He immediately knew the propellor had won again and would resign himself to clear the lines and start over.
He valued his Catholic faith, passed down from his grandparents. He was baptized at Sts. Peter & Paul and received First Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Mary Church of Solon. He was a member of the St. Mary Church of Solon finance committee for 25 years, co-chair of the fundraising committee when the new church was built in 1998, fundraising committee member when the new church hall was built in 2006, and a 60+ year member of the Knights of Columbus, including 4th degree knight for the last decade.
Above all else, Duane cherished family relationships and heritage. Owning his own business afforded him the opportunity to travel back to Czechoslovakia to research family history. The first trip was while the country was still under communist rule, but he still had the opportunity to meet distant relatives and see the physical home places. Interestingly, the family was of the belief that streets in the US were paved in gold. Churches under communist rule had been converted to orphanages. He learned that his grandfather (oldest of 10 kids) had come to America in 1904. A memento of the trip was a small bag of dirt from the Krob family plot near the cathedral that he was able to carry home and sprinkle on the family gravesite here. He was fortunate enough to visit Czechoslovakia a second time, years later, after the fall of communism. Many changes had occurred since the first visit.
Those of us left to share Duane’s memories are his wife of 60 years Mydge; his children, Joe (Becky) of Solon, Terry of Coralville, Kendall of Swisher and Melissa Krob (Dan Grimm) of Solon; grandchildren, Stephanie (Sam) Early and Nick (Stephanie) Krob of Des Moines, Kolton (Mallorie) Krob of Swisher, and Jaley, Jamison and Jake Grimm of Solon; great-grandchildren, Louise, Isaac, Norma and one-on-the-way; his brother Kevin (Sherri) Krob of Solon and sister Michelle Lenz (Donny Miller) of Solon; as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his stepmother Betty (Brown) Krob, and a brother Mike Krob.
Memorials may be directed to St. Mary Catholic Church of Solon or Optimist International Foundation.
The family would like to thank the Bird House and Hospice of Iowa City for their kindness and compassion throughout our father’s journey.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.