Harold K. Duerksen

Harold K. Duerksen, 98, died April 1, 2024. He was born April 29, 1925, in Goessel, Kan., to Abraham R. and Katherine Klassen Duerksen.

Harold grew up on a farm near Hillsboro and graduated from Goessel Rural High School in 1943. In 1944 he was drafted into 1-W service and assigned to the Civilian Public Service Forest Service unit in North Fork, Calif. He was later transferred to the VA hospital in Roseburg, Ore., where he directed a mental health unit. Afterward, he enrolled at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., and graduated in 1951.

After graduation, he took the position of public relations assistant at Bethel. Harold and Rosella Reimer were married at Bethel College Mennonite Church and then both served on the faculty. Harold received ordination from General Conference Mennonite Church.

Harold and Rosella moved to New York City for graduate school at the Union Theological Seminary. In 1956 Harold earned a bachelor of divinity degree and a master’s degree in theology and counseling.

His career spanned the universities of Michigan, Iowa and Arkansas. He was faculty in the School of Religion and Office of Religious Affairs. Later he was the associate registrar and then registrar, computerizing the registration processes at Iowa and Arkansas.

The Duerksens moved to Tucson, Ariz., in 2000 to be near their daughter Kathleen. Harold kept busy working in Kathleen’s medical office and volunteering in pastoral services at Tucson Medical Center.

Even at the end, music was “always good to him.”

He is survived by daughter Kathleen (Kevin Finnegan) of Tucson; son Thomas of Tucson; a grandson; and brother Roland (Mary) of Oxford, Ohio.  He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Rosella; and daughter Kristina.

Funeral services were scheduled for May 25 at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church in Goessel. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in Tucson.




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