Tribute to former ISTC/UNI wrestler Waters

Duane Waters, a wrestler at Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) in the early 1960s who was active in the sport before and after college, passed away after complications from a stroke on Saturday, Sept. 3 in St. Cloud, Minn. He was 75.

Duane Waters
Born in July 1941 in Guttenberg, Iowa, Duane Allen Waters was a multi-sport athlete at Hampton High School, where he wrestled as well as played football and Babe Ruth baseball. After graduating from Hampton High in 1959, Waters attended Iowa State Teachers College (ISTC) in Cedar Falls, where he was given the nickname of "Abe." At ISTC he wrestled for Panthers' legendary head coach Bill Koll, and counted among his teammates Bill Dotson, Frank Freeman, and Bob Stevens (late husband of wrestling announcer/journalist Sandy Stevens). Waters also played football at ISTC, where he was a first-team all-conference selection and a co-captain. His 1963 team was inducted into the UNI Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

After Waters graduated from ISTC in 1963, he accepted a job at Wapsie Valley High School, where he taught history, and coached football and wrestling. In 1966, Waters and his young family moved to Atlantic, Iowa where he began his career with Josten's, Inc. as a sales manager in the ring division. In 1975, Waters' career took the family Iowa City in 1975, where, he resumed his connection to the sport of wrestling, officiating matches and becoming a strong fan of the University of Iowa wrestling program. He is also credited as a co-founder of the Hawkeye Area Wrestling Club (H.A.W.K.).

Duane Waters
Waters' life later took him from his native Iowa to southern California where he owned and operated a limousine company for nearly two decades. In 2004 he returned to the Midwest, first settling in Brainerd, Minn. to be closer to family, then settling in St. Cloud in 2008.

Duane Waters leaves behind his children Cindy Steinke (St. Cloud) and Pat Waters (Steamboat Springs, Colo.); four grandchildren; two siblings; and several nieces and nephews.

Services have yet to be announced. However, the family has already requested that, in lieu of flowers, individuals wishing to pay tribute to Duane Waters consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota.


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