Cover photo for Duane Larson's Obituary
Duane Larson Profile Photo
1937 Duane 2024

Duane Larson

August 3, 1937 — May 2, 2024

Park Forest

Civic minded, stamp collecting musician Duane Alfred Larson, 86, of Park Forest, IL, died on May 2 surrounded by his sons after a brief illness. Ever passionate about music, he worked in both his professional and personal life to make joyful noise and harmonies with many people using his voice and many different instruments.
Raised in Falconer NY, Duane Alfred Larson was the only child of David and Elizabeth Larson. He grew up loving baseball card, coin & stamp collecting; fishing; camping; and above all else, Jazz and music making. Ever the young entrepreneur, he had many jobs as a young teen including working for the Jamestown Stamp Company, which at one time grew to the largest Stamp dealer in the US. By high school, he (bass) and classmates Bob Sarno (sax) & Frank Vincent (keys) at Falconer High School ('55) formed a jazz trio, gigging throughout the school year and especially during summers across western New York and Pennsylvania. Although he was offered a college scholarship for music at SUNY Fredonia, his parents persuaded Duane to study Engineering at Purdue, graduating with a BS in Psychology (1959).

While at Purdue, he played trumpet in the marching and upright bass in the performance bands, while also gigging in various jazz bands. After graduation, Duane drove straight to Chicago with his bass and trumpet to play Jazz around the city for several years. Eventually, he began his professional career utilizing his degree with RR Donnelly's and Parke-Davis. During that time Duane participated as a Jaycee. Duane also began practicing Scottish Rite masonry as well, joining the Fort Wayne Scottish Rite.

In 1967, Duane met Linda Lyle and married, eventually relocating to make Oak Forest, IL home, where they raised two sons, David and Christopher. Soon after, Duane's lifelong interest in Stamp collecting led to him opening a small business, Rosemoor Stamp & Coin, which he operated for 38 years in Harvey, Homewood and Park Forest. Duane was very active in the local Park Forest Stamp Collectors club, the Chicago Collectors Club and the American Philatelic Society. Several of his collections won medals at local, national, and international competitions, including his US National Parks and Irish Postal History collections. He formed a close bond with fellow collectors of Lundy Island stamps, founding with them the Lundy Collectors Club and vacationing on Lundy island with friends many times.

Duane and Linda were blessed to make Oak Forest United Methodist Church their home where they spent many years in fellowship with their church family. Beloved Pastor Will Nicholson baptized and led their children on Service missions, while OFUMC provided a venue for musical performance and theater. For many years, Duane directed a Winter Madrigal dinner, while also performed both as a theater player and in the clown ministry. At the same time, Duane led The New Renaissance Singers, a professional choral group that performed 15th & 16th century English choral works at summer Renaissance festivals, madrigals, and weddings. In 1991, Duane earned a Master's degree in Music from Governors State University under Rudy Strukoff.

Duane remained active weaving music across his life: as an active singer (bass) with the South Holland Master Chorale until 2020; as the choir director of several Chicago suburban churches; as a bass player with guitarist Dennis Johnson performing folk at local coffee shops; in the Grace United Protestant Church jazz band with his fender bass; and at home wearing out several stereos playing the Oscar Peterson Trio, The Four Freshman, Philip Glass, Waylon & Willie, Gaither Vocal Band, and Chicago, among tens of thousands of others.

Duane is survived by his sons David and Christopher; daughter in-law Orla; and two granddaughters, Alexandria and Emilia.

Family and friends are invited to a Memorial of Duane's Life on Friday, May 10, 2024, 11:00 am at Grace United Protestant Church, 266 Somonauk St., Park Forest, IL 60466.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Duane's charities, Hungry For Music or The American Philatelic Society.

Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, IL
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Duane Larson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Grace United Protestant Church

266 Somonauk St, Park Forest, IL 60466

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