Cover photo for Duane Marlin “Sonny” Romer's Obituary
Duane Marlin “Sonny” Romer Profile Photo
1928 Duane 2021

Duane Marlin “Sonny” Romer

August 11, 1928 — January 18, 2021

Duane (Sonny) Marlin Romer, age 92, passed away with his beloved wife of 72 years by his side on Monday, January 18 at Serenity Assisted Living Center in Dilworth, Minnesota.

Sonny was born at home to Hans and Inga Romer of Hawley, Minnesota, on August 11, 1928, tipping the scales at a healthy 14 pounds. He was the youngest of 7 children and joined siblings Mildred, Irene, Harris, Eleanor, Vivian and Dolores. He attended Hawley Public Schools and worked in his father’s blacksmith shop in his teens.

He later joined the Army and served as a member of the Military Police in San Francisco, California. Despite not knowing how to read sheet music, he joined the Army band and played the drums. Throughout his life, he loved to keep to the rhythm of the beat, especially when Big Band music was playing. He was known to cut quite a few rugs in his day.

Sonny married Charlene Larson, also of Hawley, on Christmas Day in 1948. They lived in Hawley with their 6 children Julie, Nancy, Steve, Wayne, Scott and Kari.

Sonny spent over 50 years at Transport, Inc., first as an over-the-road truck driver and eventually in their office in Moorhead, Minnesota.  You were never lost when Sonny was in the car with you, and the time was filled with suggestions on alternate routes and debates on the distance between two cities.

He was an avid golfer, bowler, pool player and fisherman and spent hours teaching others what he knew. He served on the board at the Hawley Golf and Country Club and was also active in his church, serving on the Church Council.

Most of all, Sonny loved his wife Charlene. They shared a unique bond throughout their 72-year marriage. Sonny loved to serenade Charlene and tell others (even strangers) how beautiful his wife was.

He is preceded in death by his parents, son Scott and daughter Kari, son-in-law Butch Cresap, along with several other friends and family members. He is survived by wife Charlene (Larson) and children Julie (Butch) Cresap, Nancy (Barry) Thorvilson, Steve (Kathy) Romer and Wayne Romer; grandchildren Jason (Erica) Cresap, Jennifer (Eric) Cresap-Ista, and Jodi Cresap; Jeff (Sandy) Spry, Chad (Aimee) Spry, Laurie (Ken) Braun, Amy (Matt) Wilson and Mark Thorvilson; Chris Romer and Jessica Romer; Megan (Nick) Adamczyk, Gavin Romer and Brittany Romer; and Chelsey (Eric) Mikorski, Zach (Lauren) Olson, and Hannah Dittberner; 22 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

A special thank you goes out to Charlene’s 7 brothers, 2 sisters and their spouses and children for all of their support, laughter and unconditional love through the years.

A private family service will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. A livestream of the service will be at 1:00 P.M. on his webpage at where a guestbook and video tribute may also be found.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Duane Marlin “Sonny” Romer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, January 23, 2023

Wright Funeral Home - Moorhead

605 2nd Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56560

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