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Published: Tuesday, 10/2/2001

Bus driver, custodian for schools loved people

TIFFIN - Duane Burgderfer, 77, a bus driver and custodian for two school systems near here, died of a heart attack Friday in Mercy Hospital.

“He lived by the golden rule and always treated people the way he wanted to be treated,” said his son, Glenn. “He loved being around people, and they loved him.”

Mr. Burgderfer served in the Navy in the Philippines during World War II. “It was something he really didn't talk about much, but he served with pride,” Glenn Burgderfer said. “It was one of those things that he hoped that I would never have to do, serve in a war.”

Mr. Burgderfer's stepson-in-law, Joe Blust, said Mr. Burgderfer enjoyed his time working with the school systems. He was a bus driver and custodian for the Mohawk school system in Sycamore. After marrying Imogene Strauch in 1979, he moved to Tiffin and worked for Tiffin schools.

“He wanted to do a good job at the school. He was very particular and wanted everything to look right,” Mr. Blust said.

An avid Cleveland Indians fan, Mr. Burgderfer saw the Tribe play in the 1948 World Series.

He was a member of St. John's United Church of Christ and the American Legion and AMVETS posts in Tiffin.

Mr. Burgderfer's first wife, Helen, died in 1977.

He is survived by his second wife, Imogene; son, Glenn; daughter, Donna Gale; stepson, Larry Stauch; stepdaughters, Deb Williams and Sharon Blust; sister, Helen Staib, and 10 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. today at Walton-Moore Funeral Home, 201 West Saffel Ave., Sycamore. The family requests tributes to the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, or St. John's United Church of Christ.

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