Duaine L. “Bill” Mossman died peacefully at age 90, surrounded by his loving family, at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, WI, on May10, 2017. Born on Dec 3, 1926, in the river town of Burlington IA to Duaine L. Mossman Sr. and Maude K. Shriner Mossman, Bill married Idamae “Sue” Hargis on July 18, 1947. They raised 6 kids. Sue died on July 12, 2001, and Bill married Dolores A. Kieffer on May 28, 2005.
Bill’s first memory was from age 2-3, sitting on a pier along the Mississippi River with his mom and dad, listening to riverboat jazz. Jazz remained an essential—even guiding—part of his entire life, affording him great pleasure as a listener, collector and dancer. He lived through the Great Depression with his parents and little brother Jim, moving among various Iowa towns, cities and farm communities, and sometimes traveling with his father who was a jazz and stage musician.
Upon graduating a technical school in Des Moines in 1944, he enlisted in the Navy and served as an electronics specialist in the Pacific Theater. After discharge in 1946 he attended Iowa State University on the GI Bill, married Sue, and graduated with an electrical engineering degree in 1950. Bill, Sue, and their new daughter Susan moved immediately to Wisconsin, where he had landed a position with Wisconsin Power and Light. He spent his entire career with WP&L in management and executive positions, retiring 39 years later in 1989. During that time, the family lived in the Wisconsin communities of Baraboo, Monroe, Oregon, back to Baraboo, then Middleton and Madison. Of their 6 kids, Susan, Mike, Mary and Peggy graduated Baraboo High School, while John and Amy finished their high school careers at Middleton.
Bill was active in civic and church organizations and had many friends in all these communities. In Baraboo, this included the library board, First United Methodist Church, Al Ringling Theatre, Boy Scouts, Fortnightly Literary, Baraboo Theatre Guild and Kiwanis (president). He was active in the Monroe Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce (president), and helped form the Oregon Chamber of Commerce. Upon moving to the Madison area in 1978, Bill and Sue retired from most civic activities and he availed himself of the many opportunities there to learn and to develop new friendships, for instance with the senior learning group PLATO (including a stint as president), and the Madison Jazz Society, which he helped organize.
Bill’s family and friends have always been very important to him, and were especially so after he lost his life’s partner Sue, whom he loved so dearly, in 2001. Fortunately, in 2005 he remarried to Dolores “Dilly” Kieffer, who had lost her spouse as well, and these two Baraboo families joined. Dilly has since been a loving and committed companion to Bill and a wonderful friend, mentor and source of joy to Bill’s children and grandchildren.
Bill was a great friend, partner, dad and grandpa. He loved to talk with and learn about his kids, grandkids and their diverse array of friends. By his example he taught his family tolerance, love of music, humor, self-trust, compassion, dedication to cause and to family, and passion for lifelong learning. And so these qualities live on.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Duaine L Mossman Sr. and Maude K. Shriner Mossman Sanderlin, wife Idamae Hargis Mossman, and brother James Mossman (Helene). He is survived by his second wife Dolores and his 6 children and their spouses: Susan L. Sweeney Mossman, Michael J. Mossman (Lisa Hartman), Mary C. Hoppe (Mark), Margaret R. “Peggy” Platt (Todd), John W. Mossman (Kathy Scambiatterra), and Amy E. Mossman; as well by 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 615 Broadway, Baraboo, on Saturday, May 13th at 11:00, followed by a reception. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sue Mossman Memorial Scholarship for Baraboo High School students working in theater arts, the Madison Jazz Society, or the Al Ringling Theater.
Redlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.