Duane R. Gourlie (Melf), 76, lifelong Mayville resident, passed away peacefully on January 3, 2023 at Angels Grace Hospice in Oconomowoc WI, with his loving wife Denise by his side.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, January 9, at 12 noon at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mayville with the Rev. Fr. Tom Biersack presiding. Visitation will be held on Monday, January 9, from 10 am until the time of the service at 12 noon at the church. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s cemetery in Mayville. A continued celebration of Melf’s life will take place at The Meating Place in Mayville following the cemetery prayers.
Melf was born on September 9, 1946 to Bertha and Raymond Gourlie in Hartford, WI. He was a 1965 graduate of Mayville High School and true Cardinal Alumni. He humbly received the Katie award in 2014. Melf married his high school sweetheart Denise Bonack at St. Andrew’s Parish on December 9, 1967 and they raised their 2 children in Mayville. He worked for Mayville Engineering Company as a CAD engineer, retiring in 2003.
Melf lived his life by the Golden Rule and the 4F’s, Family, Friends, Football and Fun. Family was very important to Melf and if you had the pleasure of knowing him, he treated everyone like family. He was a proud father and an even prouder grandfather. Melf was a dedicated family man that was always present at his children’s and grandchildren’s events. He also loved his family of bluebirds that returned each spring. He fed, housed and nurtured them so that he and Denise could enjoy them.
Friends were family to Melf. He loved sharing a vodka gimlet or 2, golfing, traveling, vacationing, line dancing, fishing and just shooting the breeze. When he was out for his daily walk he would always stop and say hi. He was a passionate golfer and spent his free time on the course with his buddies. He was blessed to have 2 hole in ones. Melf was also a huge Cubs fan, and his friends gave him a good ribbing about that one.
Cardinal Football ran through his veins. He was proud to be a part of the Mayville 7th and 8th grade football program for many years. Melf had the pleasure of working with so many boys, becoming their role model and mentor, even his grandson. He believed in work ethic and that hard work pays off. He was especially proud seeing his final 7th grade team take the field this year at Camp Randall and followed them every step of the way.
Melf loved to laugh and loved it even more when he could make people laugh. He thought life should be full of fun and to live every moment to its fullest. He used humor to spread joy. If you were lucky enough to catch him on the stage, you know what I am talking about. Melf had some great roles with the Marais Players, KML players and the Hartford Players not to mention his Lip Sync Days. He had fun portraying the Judds, Blues Brothers, Hillbillies and many more with his partner in crime Dennis and even one with his other brothers Don and Dale. He had the role of Candy in “Of Mice and Men” where he showed his serious side. Melf’s final role was Bud the Stud and he had so much fun with it.
“All the World’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man plays many parts” – William Shakespheare
Melf leaves behind his wife and biggest supporter Denise, his 2 children, Carrie (Scott) Hurst, Mike (Renee) Gourlie. He was a proud grandfather to Corbin and Carly Schroeder. Melf welcomed Ryan (Kathleen) and Randy (Cassi) Hurst into his family along with their children Berkley, Kolbie and Stephen. He loved his brothers, sister in laws and brother in laws, Don (Dorie), Dennis (Pam), Dale (Karen)Gourlie, Maynard Laufenberg, Dean Bonack, Dale (Sue) Bonack, Lee (Steph)Bonack and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Melf was preceded in death by his loving mother Bertha Gourlie, father Raymond Gourlie, sister Delores Laufenberg, mother in law Ruth Bonack, and father in law Oscar Bonack.
The family would like to thank the nurses and caregivers at Angels Grace Hospice, Oconomowoc for keeping Melf comfortable and pass with dignity and peace. They would also like to thank the Mayville community for all the kind words and support through this difficult time.
In lieu flowers the family would like to honor Melf’s name by sending donations to Baggin’ for a Cure (National Exchange Bank) as they supported Melf and his wife through this tough time or donations in Melf’s memory to Angels Grace Hospice, Oconomowoc.