Duane Steven Ockenfels, 41, of Cedar Rapids, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, at his home. Cremation has taken place. The family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the funeral home conducted by Robert Riley. Duane will be laid to rest next to his mother at Hazel Knoll Cemetery in rural Linn County at a later date.
Duane was born June 4, 1977, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the son of Roger and Donna (Blaylock) Ockenfels. Duane was a graduate of Marion High School and was chosen as KWWL Best of the Class of 1995. He had attended Kirkwood Community College. Duane enjoyed everything to do with computers, from programing his first Apple II at age 12, to disassembling and making them supercharged. His father could tell early on this was going to be Duane's occupation. During his work career, Duane became proficient in well over a dozen programing languages. He was employed by several companies for many years as a senior computer programmer/analyst, retiring from TransAmerica in May 2018. Duane enjoyed video games, but not as much as he did a new board game or cards played with his friends or family. For four years, Duane and his father were season ticket holders at Iowa Speedway. He loved IndyCar racing the most. NASCAR was second. Duane had such a kind heart. He took in dogs that others couldn't care for anymore. One such dog was "Troy," who was with Duane 13 years.
In June 2017, Duane returned to the faith of his youth after being away for nearly two decades and became an active member in the Cedar Valley Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. He had a strong faith and will be missed by his spiritual brothers and sisters, along with all who knew him.
He is survived and lovingly remembered by his father, Roger (Lisa) Ockenfels of Oxford Junction; his sister, Christy (Andrew) Pietropinto of Cedar Rapids; paternal grandmother, Vivian Ockenfels of Cedar Rapids; two uncles, Michael (Karen) Ockenfels of Johnston and Forest (Bonnie) Blaylock of Depere, Wis.; three aunts, Judy Neumeyer and JoAnn Suchomel, both of Cedar Rapids, and Jene (Dennis) Henigar of Blue Ridge, Texas; and 10 cousins, Nick Ockenfels, Jeremy (Becca) Ockenfels, Dawn (Chris) Coppess, Amy (Brian) Neer, Matt Berry, Melody (Brad) Lockman, David Henigar, Derek Henigar and Amy and Amanda.
Duane was preceded in death by his beloved mother, his "rock" and confidant, Donna, to whom he was very close; maternal grandparents, Donald and JoAnna Blaylock; and paternal grandfather, LeRoy Ockenfels.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family to be designated later.
Please share a memory of Duane at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.