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Dewayne Joseph DuFresne autobiography

Former Kingsford High School track standout has experienced plenty in his 84 years

August 11, 2013
By BURT ANGELI , The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Dewayne Joseph DuFresne, once known as the fastest man on the Kingsford High School track team, has crafted an autobiography for his family's enjoyment.

DuFresne, a 1948 Kingsford High School graduate, doesn't require a "bucket list" with his many pursuits in 84 years. DuFresne experienced the Depression and Korean War; worked as a certified public accountant, company controller and business owner, and also enjoyed music and art.

"When I review my life, I realize how fortunate I have been," wrote DuFresne, the of son of Joseph and Isabelle (Raiche). "I have been blessed immensely. Each of our children (five) and grandchildren (19) has been a special gift from God."

Article Photos

Dewayne and Judy DuFresne will celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary on Aug. 24.

In his high school days with the track team, DuFresne nearly broke the 220-yard dash record. He held the lead in the race until exhaustion sent him tumbling near the finish line.

"I had overdone what my body could stand," DuFresne wrote. "I should have slowed down a little to maintain my lead.

"Five more yards and I would have broken the state record."

As a youth visiting his grandmother in Hardwood, DuFresne played with first cousin Delores Hart, future mother of former National Football League head coach Steve Mariucci. She passed away in August 2007.

"When Steve was the coach for the Lions, we used to be so thrilled to see our cousin on television every weekend," wrote DuFresne, who lives in downstate New Hudson. "Steve is a very kind and loving person."

DuFresne's 100-plus page autobiography demonstrates a love for his family and great pride in his accomplishments.

"I think it will be a great inspiration to all the high school students to hear of the success of someone who came from a small town," said Dufresne, a millionaire by age 57. "It has been 65 years since I have left the small towns of Iron Mountain and Kingsford. But my heart has been there ever since."

Dufresne's story shows determination and good humor in wading through life. He describes working more than five years with Ernst & Young, the largest CPA firm in the world, as "a thrill of a lifetime."

He impressed Ernst & Young by acing the entrance exam.

"My greatest accomplishment at Ernst & Young was uncovering an embezzlement which had been going on for 10 years," wrote DuFresne, noting 10 other accountants missed the illegal tactics for years.

He also interned with Clem Fleury of Iron Mountain, "an excellent experience in accounting on the way to my CPA."

DuFresne owned of Whitehead Manufacturing for seven years and continued to run the company for the balance of 30 years.

Ten years before retirement, DuFresne applied for a controller position, "just to see what I could do in the event I would have to find another position.

"I was amazed to find that they selected me over and above the 70 other applicants," he said.

Dewayne married Judy Smith - they met during one of his audits - on Aug. 24, 1957. They couldn't be prouder of their five children.

Margie Fayas, one of his two sisters (Janice Gibson is the other), lives in Kingsford.

 
 

 

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