Kenneth "Duane" Schaer, 91, of Baker City, Oregon, passed away at Settler's Park Assisted Living Facility in Baker City on October 28, 2020. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM at Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, beginning at 1:00 PM at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Baker City, Oregon. Pastor Ian Wolfe from the First Lutheran Church will be officiating the service.
Duane was born on December 27, 1928, in Baker City, Oregon, to William Andrew and Anna May (Powell) Schaer. He joined his sister Arlene and two years later, a brother, John, completed the family. He lived his younger years in the Durkee area. Later, the family moved to the Pocahontas area of Baker County, attended the Pocahontas School, and then attended high school at Baker High. While living in the Pocahontas area, he helped on the farm and worked. He rode his motorcycle to school many times in all kinds of weather.
Duane enlisted in the army and went to Korea in 1950 with company "K" 160th Infantry Regiment, seeing active combat. He received one Bronze Star, a Korean Service Medal, a Combat Infantry Badge, an Army of Occupation Medal Japan, and a United Nations Service Medal. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1952.
After leaving the service, he worked as a motorcycle mechanic and then worked for the Witham Brothers for 22 years. He then moved into home repairs and house painting until retiring in 1992.
Duane married Sherry Francis in 1954; she passed in 1995. They had two children together, Kevin and Maureen.
In 1998, Duane married Beverly Neske; they were married 22 years until his passing.
Duane "Ken" enjoyed fishing, hunting, and cutting wood; he could do just about anything. He always had a cup of coffee in his hand and good stories. Duane and his "Buddy Charlie" shared a 59 Jeep, entering several parades together and often just driving around Baker County.
He was a member of the First Lutheran Church since 1957; he also belonged to the V.F.W, the Elkhorn Swingers Square Dance Club; Duane also participated with the Old Oregon Trail Ride.
Duane is survived by his wife Beverly Schaer, his son Kevin Schaer, and his daughter Maureen Anderson. He is also survived by his stepchildren John and Marcella Neske, Patty and Richard Howe, Martin and Mary Neske, Dana and Mark Robinson, twelve grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents Wm and Anna Schaer, his first wife of 40 years Sherry Francis Schaer, sister Arlene Spriet and brother-in-law Deal Spriet, stepdaughter Kathy Smietana, sisters-in-law Glenda Schaer and Cheryl Hilderbrand.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church or Community Connections through Gray's West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
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