John H. Duser passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on February 18, 2022 after a brief illness. "Johann" was born February 6, 1932, to Wilhelm and Alma (Mangels) Duser in Oldenburg, Germany. After achieving his apprenticeship in painting and paper hanging he came to the U.S. in 1954 under the sponsorship of his uncle, Henry Duser. In 1955 his fiancé, Hannelore Vahlenkamp, arrived from Germany and they were married. After serving 2 years in United States Army, including being stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, they returned to Napa in 1958 where they welcomed their first daughter, Linda, followed by Ingrid in 1961.
John established his painting and decorating business in 1958 and became known for his high quality, perfectionist work that beautified every corner of the valley until his retirement in 1997. John was a member of service organizations including Active 20/30 Club, E Clampus Vitus, and most recently the North Napa Rotary Club of which he was a charter and lifetime member. His service contributions touched many causes and people, notably the restoration of the Old Bale Mill, driving cancer patients to chemo treatments, volunteering with the Veterans Home in Yountville, and conducting trash clean up on Highway 29 in north Napa.
John loved to travel and, alongside Lore, they explored the U.S. by car, towing their travel trailer to many coveted locations in the western states. They loved sharing their city and state with visiting German family and traveled to Germany to visit family and to attend class reunions. They were able to visit each of their grandchildren in their college cities and attended many graduation, birthday, and wedding events and enjoyed nothing more than gathering with family for any occasion or none at all. John was a loving "Opa", prolific gardener, avid reader, and a quiet and contemplative gentleman. He will be sorely missed by his family and community.
John was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Hanna. He is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Lore; daughters Linda (Randy Harrell), Ingrid (Scot Strotman); grandchildren Ashley Harrell, Travis Harrell (JD Bergeron), Kyle (Amy) Harrell, Hannah Strotman, Drew Strotman; and great-granddaughter Harper Harrell. He is also survived by his sister Helga Bartsch (Reinhard) of Wahnbek, Germany.
At John’s request, interment at Tulocay Cemetery will be conducted in a private service. In lieu of flowers, John would be honored by donations to The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society or to the Hospice Department of Kaiser Foundation Hospital.
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