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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2004

Lifelong farmer was a school-bus driver

Don Albert Duhamel, a lifelong farmer who drove a Perrysburg school bus for 25 years, died of organ failure Sunday in St. Luke's Hospital. He was 67.

Mr. Duhamel drove a bus on a high-school route until he became ill a few weeks ago, his son, David A. Duhamel, said.

"He liked meeting the kids, being around the kids," he said.

Mr. Duhamel, who drove a variety of bus routes over the years, was on high-school routes for the last few years. He enjoyed driving the students to extracurricular activities and field trips, his son said.

He joined the Ottawa Hills Police Department for five years in the mid-1970s, but decided he didn't like it and went back to driving a school bus.

"It wasn't what he wanted to do after he got in there for a while," he said.

Mr. Duhamel was born Dec. 17, 1936, in Perrysburg. He graduated from Perrysburg High School in 1954 and attended Capitol University in Columbus for two years, receiving a farming degree.

His parents were grain farmers, and Mr. Duhamel kept the farm his entire life, his son said.

"Farming kept him busy," he said. "That was his hobby."

He was drafted into the Army in 1961 and served for two years.

Mr. Duhamel was a lifetime member of Zoar Lutheran Church, where he was a lay minister, deacon, councilman, and Sunday school teacher.

He also was a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, the Zenobia Shrine, and the American Legion Post 28.

Surviving are his sons, David A. and Peter A. Duhamel; daughter, Julie L. O'Dell; sister, Carol M. Henschen, and six grandchildren.

The body will be in the Wells Funeral Home in Waterville, Ohio, with the family present from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the funeral home.

The family suggests tributes to the Zenobia Shrine or the church.

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