Duane J. Seipel

August 16, 1956 ~ March 14, 2024 (age 67) 67 Years Old

Duane Seipel Obituary

Duane John Seipel, 67, passed away peacefully in his home on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Duane was born on August 16, 1956, to William and Vernetta Seipel in LaCrosse, WI. One of seven children, he lived a rambunctious childhood filled with the kind of adventure, camaraderie, and troublemaking that you’d hope to find with six siblings. Duane would tell you that he grew up like most children —  because growing down would be counterproductive. Even as a young child, Duane’s cleverness and humor were evident.

When Duane was thirteen, his doctor told him he would never walk again. On a family vacation to Lake Eau Galle, a boating accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from his chest down. This injury left Duane both wheelchair-bound and with an undeniable passion for life. He quickly learned how fleeting the things we take for granted can be and to cherish every moment of life.

Duane began his career with Bell Telephone, which would later become AT&T, where he would stay until he retired. It was there he met Gaye Evansen, who he would eventually marry, and they would spend a decade together. His intelligence and work ethic allowed him to advance through many positions, from operator, to trainer, to program manager. His long career with the company took him from Milwaukee, to Missouri, and then onto New Jersey. After retiring, he found his way back to Wisconsin.

Everyone that knew Duane was acutely aware of his keen intellect, quick wit, and wry sense of humor. It wasn’t uncommon to find yourself a few steps behind him in a conversation, the two of you grinning from ear to ear as he presented one quip after the next. Indeed, in his final months, Duane relished the opportunity to let out a sharp, “Ow!” when a nurse would poke, pinch, or prod his legs. As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate his legacy — a lifetime of smiles created by his joviality, kindness, and perseverance. 

Duane is survived by his father, William Seipel; siblings, Yvonne (Steve) Weinzirl, David (Sue) Seipel, Tom (Cindy) Seipel, Robert (Annie) Seipel, Cindy (Paul) Abraham; and many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He is preceded in death by his mother, Vernetta Seipel, and his sister, Diana Koehler. 

An open house / visitation will take place at Hulke Family Funeral Home on Sunday, April 7, 2024, from 2:00-5:00 pm. There will be no formal services. 

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701, is assisting the family with the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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April 7, 2024

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services
3209 Rudolph Road
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Please note
Flowers should be delivered to the funeral home on April 6 or by 9 am Sunday April 7, 2024

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