Duane H. Maas

Duane H. Maas Duane H. Maas died Thursday, October 27, 2016, in Riverwoods, Ill.

He is survived by his sons, Jon (Martha), Duane A. (Kay) and Thomas (Susan); as well as his grandchildren, T.J., Bill (Liz), Charlie (Regan), Katherine, Jon David, Nicholas, Benjamin (Rachel), Molly and Hannah; and great-grandchildren, Mika and Martha.

Duane was born in 1927 in Tilleda, Wis. He was a veteran, having served in the Army Air Force as a radar operator stationed in Alaska from 1945-47.

After leaving the Army, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1951 with a degree in chemical engineering. He married the former Sonja Johnson in March 1950 and they were together until her death in 2014.

His first job was with Shell Chemical in Houston as a sales engineer, starting in 1951. With this job, he worked and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, Deerfield, Ill., and Peekskill , N.Y.
In 1959, he took a job as a plant manager of the Fleischmann distillery in Owensboro, Ky. In 1963, he moved to Plainfield, Ill., and built a bottling plant for Fleischmann and served as plant manager.

In 1965, he took a job with Barton Brands as general manager and eventually became president. During this period, he built the Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Ontario. When the Canadian Mist brand was sold to Brown Forman in 1970, he took a job as president of Mohawk Liquors in Detroit.

He later served as president for Leaf Brands (candy manufacturer), general manager of Morand Brothers Beverage Company (liquor distributor), and president of United States Distilled Products (liquor manufacturer).

After leaving USDP in 1999, he consulted for many companies in the spirits industry, including Gallo, Sebastiani, Korbel, and West Indies Rum Distillery.

In 2004, he started a distribution business in Pewaukee with his son Duane, and then started a custom bottling business in 2007 in the same building with his son Tom, which led to the forming of the RumChata brand in 2009.

He was known for his charitable nature and consistent donation of his time and money to causes and people that could use the help.

To celebrate his life, a memorial service will be held at Cross of Life Lutheran Church at 20700 W. North Ave., Brookfield, on November 5, with the memorial service beginning at 11 am. Visitation begins at 9:30 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to JDRF SE Wisconsin Chapter, 3333 N. Mayfair Road, Suite #107, Wauwatosa, WI 53222.

Krause Funeral Home, 262-483-8300, is serving the family. Online condolences can be made at www.krausefuneralhome.com.