It has been almost two weeks now that my friend Duane has passed. I have not written anything about Duane because I have been patiently waiting to see what the family has planned.
Duane was my Wisconsin cheese-head and Packer buddy. Always vocal and ready to roll at most meetings throughout Collier County. Duane was a great civic leader and strong on fire consolidation in our county. Duane was great at sending silly emails and serious ones too. The last one he wrote to me had a special touch. Like he knew his time was coming. He wrote this to me back in early January, just before he found out about his cancer. It was very sweet.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Another wonderful friend to Duane is Jim Flanigan. Jim has devoted himself with preparing -The Moments of Honor for a Lifetime of Service - Remembering Duane Billington.
All written below was by Jim Flanigan, and I thank you Jim for all of your efforts.
Today the Board of County Commissioners meeting are being presented a Proclamation of Duane Billington Day. To proclaim March 10th, 2013 as Duane Billington Day in his honor. Jim wrote about Duane's involvement and dedication, recognizing his efforts for the community, and his involvement in the Golden Gate Area Civic Association, Golden Gate Estates Area Civic Association, the VFW, and the Golden Gate Frontier Days Festival.
March 10th, 2013 is also Golden Gate Frontier Days Festival Family Day/Irish Night, which Duane had arranged much of the entertainment for the festival, and especially the Irish entertainment on Sunday March 10th. The County is recognizing his contribution to the community by naming this special day in his honor.
Week of March 4th - Date to be determined - Moment of Honor for a Lifetime of Service- A small memorial celebration is being planned for the week of March 4th. (tentatively, Thursday March 7, at 7pm at Fire Station 73 Headquarters Meeting Room, 14575 Collier Blvd, Naples FL pending coordination and authorization) - details to follow...
Frontier Days - March 7-10
Mark your calendars and come enjoy the entertainment and carnival at the Golden Gate Frontier Days Festival, something Duane worked tirelessly at this year and for many of its past successes. The 40th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Frontier Days Festival is dedicated to Duane Billington. Golden Gate Frontier Days Festival runs throughout the weekend at the Golden Gate Community Center Grounds, Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate City.
Duane Billington Day - March 10
Collier County Celebrates Duane Billington Day. Come raise a glass for Duane at the Irish Entertainment and enjoy Golden Gate Frontier Days at the Golden Gate Community Center Grounds, Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate City.
Duane's dedication and drive was the definition of Community involvement. His efforts are still bearing fruits, and his memory will continue on in the Golden Gate community.
We will miss you Duane. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.