More Than COVID: Duane Vock, 92, Army vet, who loved his family and going to the casino

Duane Vock and his wife Anna met in Coleridge, Neb., and would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year, but Duane died following a short bout with COVID-19. Duane Vock loved "anything to do with gambling," his daughter, Diane Schmidt, writes. "Harrah’s Casino is going to miss their long-time patron. [He] is going to the BIG CASINO in the sky!" Schmidt says. Image courtesy Diane Schmidt.

The Shawnee Mission Post is telling the stories of those in Johnson County who have been lost to COVID-19. For their family and friends, they were more than just another death from COVID. They were more than just a data point or number. If you have a loved one or friend who lived or worked in Johnson County and died of COVID-19, and think their life story needs to be known, we’d like to hear form you. Email the Post at stories@shawneemissionpost.com. 

This remembrance was submitted by Duane Vock’s daughter Diane Schmidt: 

Duane G. Vock, 92, of Mission, Kan., passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2020, after a brief battle with COVID-19.

Duane attended public school in Coleridge, Neb., worked on the family farm and worked various jobs after that.

A high point for Duane was working on the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., with Tom Brokaw’s dad. He was also a proud Army veteran who served during World War II.

He met his wife Anna in Coleridge, and they were married August 14, 1950. They would have celebrated their 70th anniversary in August 2020. They had made their home in Mission for nearly 60 years.

Duane’s long post-war career began with Ralston Purina in Omaha. The family moved to Kansas City in 1961. He worked for Jensen Salisbury, Veterinarian Biological, Abbott Laboratories, Ceva Laboratories and then Sanofi Pharmaceutical Company, retiring in 1997.

He went through a lot of company buyouts and stayed in the veterinarian field. He also prepared taxes for more than 40 years, working for H&R Block for a quarter century and then branching off with his own company.

Duane was a member of the American Legion, Independent Order of Foresters, National Association of Tax Professionals and a long-time member of St. Pius X Catholic Church. He was active in the church’s Men’s Club.

His favorite event was the Mouse Races. Anything to do with gambling he loved.

He read his hometown Coleridge Blade newspaper faithfully, loved to eat sweets and chocolates, play Bingo and the poker machines. Harrah’s Casino is going to miss their long-time patron.

Duane is going to the BIG CASINO in the sky!

Duane Vock is survived by his wife, Anna (Ruger); son Dennis Vock (Janis); daughter Diane Schmidt (Steve); and daughter Beth Vock.

Grandchildren Errick Schmidt, Ryan Schmidt (fiancé Olivia Moyer) and Megan Hill (Rocky). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and Ruger in-laws.