Hunting 05

Duane Bye

September 16, 1936 ~ November 19, 2020 (age 84)


Duane was born to Olav and Ruth Bye at the Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, ND on September 16, 1936.  He died on November 19, 2020, at the University of Minnesota Hospital from Covid 19.  He grew up on the family farm west of Devils Lake and attended a rural one room school near their farm for eight years.  He graduated from Devils Lake Central High School in 1954 and from the University of North Dakota in 1958 where he was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity.  He married Constance Dory on August 30, 1958.  They had two children, Dan and Kelly.

Duane worked briefly for the ND Employment Service.  He then worked through most of 1960 for political campaigns.  In 1961 he started with the ND State Highway Department as a real estate appraiser in the Right-of-Way Department.  By 1969 he had risen to the position of Chief Reviewing Appraiser.  In March of 1969 he was hired by Basin Electric Power Cooperative to be Right-of-Way Manager.  Duane found that he also had to define the location of the two 350 mile long 345 KV lines that required rights-of-way.  While routing these lines, Duane developed what came to be called the constraint mapping system, which is now required by many state siting laws.  In 1972 Duane was reassigned to be responsible for environmental requirements as set forth in the newly passed Federal Environmental Policy Act.  Over the next ten to twelve years he was directly involved in many of Basin Electric’s new standards for responsible power facility construction.  Perhaps his proudest achievement was being part of the leadership team responsible for building the Laramie River Station in Wheatland, Wyoming.  This power plant serves several states and required a coalition of Congressional, State, Local, and EPA leaders, coordinated by Duane.  In 1985, Duane was transferred to become manager of the newly formed Member Services Department.  At that time Basin Electric had 118 member cooperatives, for which Duane was responsible to provide services and assist in maintaining good relations.

In 1995, Duane accepted an early retirement offer and left Basin Electric.  In the next months, he co-founded The Development Group, a consulting firm designed to provide economic development services.  One of the first contracts was with the ND Economic Development and Finance Agency and tasked to increase the general aviation industry in North Dakota.  Duane was instrumental in bringing the Cirrus plant to Grand Forks as well as bringing together a group of state manufacturers to form Dakota Aero Manufacturers based in Devils Lake.

He was a passionate hunter and outdoorsman.  But perhaps his greatest passion was flying. He was very proud of having traveled to and landed his 100 hp Forney Ercoupe aircraft in all of the continental United States, most Canadian provinces and Mexico.

In 2015, he relocated to Cambridge, MN and purchased a home on the same street as his brother and sister. 

Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Olav and Ruth Bye.  He leaves behind his former wife Connie Bye, his son Dan (Deb) Bye of Rockford, MN and his daughter, Kelly (Terry) Rezac of Foley, MN.  His granddaughters, Meagan (Trenton) Bye, Taylor Bye and Alexis and Lauren Rezac, great granddaughter, Lily Mae;  brother, Garry (Kathy) Bye of Cambridge, MN and sister Anne (Harold) Tuset of Cambridge, MN, as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Celebration services will be scheduled for a warmer and safer time.


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You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Duane Bye


Big Coulee Church Memorial Fund
c/o Garry Bye 2265 E. Rum River Drive So., Cambridge MN 55008

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