Elected: April 9, 1994
Inducted: June 24, 1994
Family: Born October 2, 1932 in Beloit, Wisconsin where he grew up, attended school and married the former Marilyn J. Riep in September 1952. They have raised three children, two sons and a daughter, all of whom are active in the family business.
History: Duane is best known by his family and friends as “Dewey”, although most of his employees and others affectionately call him “Dad”. He began driving a tow truck for his father while still in high school. In college, he worked at several local service stations, but continued to help his dad driving the tow truck. Upon graduation from Beloit College, local employment opportunities were limited, so Dewey signed a two year lease for a Mobile service station in February of 1955, with the notion that this was only a temporary move. Two short years later, the only tower in South Beloit was killed during a recovery job on New Years’ Day. His wrecker was not damaged and the local police prevailed on Dewey to purchase the wrecker so the community could continue to have a towing and recovery service. Dewey, assisted by Marilyn his wife and partner, agreed and they bought the tow truck which was a 1956 Chevrolet fitted with a pre-war Holmes W-35 heavy duty wrecker. The rest of the story involved long days and longer weeks and over the years, their fleet of trucks expanded, as did their business which now involves a total of nine. Dewey is an active member of the Wisconsin Towing Association, which he presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors. From 1991 to 1993 he served as WTA Vice President and has also been a member of the Educational Committee and an active lobbyist at the state house. He has been a member of the Towing and Recovery Association of America since 1982, representing WTA at TRAA meetings throughout the country. Dewey is a lifetime member of Friends of Towing and a member of the American Towman 500 Club. Duane Rogers strongly identifies with education. All of his drivers have gone through formal training and his children have attended several training seminars, even his daughter and presenter, who doesn’t even drive a towing and recovery rig. Duane provides tow trucks to the local schools for examination during “career days” and supports the fire department with cars and trucks for their training programs. In order to promote a better understanding between towers, Dewey has promoted baseball games between the competing towers of different cities. But the real story about Duane Rogers is one of the compassion for his fellow man. Yes, indeed, many call him “Dad” for he is always primarily concerned about the needs of others. Dewey bonds well with his employees. This unpretentious man seeks only the best for those around him and well deserves his place of honor in the Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.
DECEASED – July 10, 2007