Duane M. Pockrandt

Duane M. PockrandtDuane Martin Pockrandt went home to be with the Lord peacefully Sept. 14, 2019, after a very lengthy illness.

He was born to Martin and Dora Pockrandt in Norfolk, Neb., on Feb. 2, 1930, in the family home. He alternated from Nebraska to California as a child. He graduated from maritime school in New York.

In 1950 he joined the Navy and became an accomplished welder and metallurgist. He made four Korean combat missions on the rocket ship, USS 403, and was discharged from the USS Romulas (ARL 22) in San Diego, where he met and married his soulmate Donna. They started their family in their first home in Southern California, but, as entrepreneurs, moved to Puerto Rico in 1962, opening a manufacturing plant making electric cords, caution flashers and a pioneering electronic medical thermometer.

In 1966 Duane was working as a contractor for Lockheed (E.I.L. Instruments), and the family moved to Ridgecrest. Eventually he went to work for civil service, where he provided systems engineering avionics and weapons integration support on Marine and Navy aircraft (A4, A7, A6 and F18). He also supported special Air Force and Navy weapons. Most importantly he mentored young engineers to be better systems engineers. His presence made a difference for the military.

A man of faith, and love for his active family and community, he made every effort to support whatever endeavor they chose. He actively participated in Grace Lutheran Church, Quarter Midget Racing, Torrance YMCA, Youth baseball, IWV football, Boy Scout Troop 848, Rod & Gun Club, Habitat Fish & Game Club, horseback riding, raising farm animals, gardening, camping, fishing, boating, hunting, traveling, advocating for mental-health housing and services, assisting in community events, working on 14 houses for Ridgecrest Habitat for Humanity, working on Breakfast Bunch, as well as remodeling and maintaining the one-acre ranch where the family has lived for 51 years and their four children were raised.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Robert and Scott; his parents and two sisters.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Donna; son, Craig (Pamela) Pockrandt; daughter, Lori (John) Trowbridge; grandchildren, Erik (Nicole), Rachel, Jason (Briana), Carrin, Marshall and Justin; a host of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; many nieces; and one-nephew.

He was loved and will be deeply missed.

Services will be held today, Friday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. A graveside service will follow at Desert Memorial Park and a reception will follow at Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.

— Submitted by the family of Duane M. Pockrandt

Story First Published: 2019-09-20