Carreen ‘Cookie’ Dureske

Carreen “Cookie” Dureske, of Winona, MN formerly from Wabasha, MN; died May 16, 2022, at Watkins Manor in Winona, after years of battling cancer and COPD. Cookie was born 4 days before Pearl Harbor’s bombing on December 3, 1941, to Clarence (Marion Haugen) Ronnenberg. Cookie married Jerry Dureske on November 5, 1960. Jerry passed in 2017.
Cookie lived most of her life in the Winona and Wabasha area. She worked as a bartender/waitress at local establishments until the kids were born. She then became a homemaker but continued to work part-time. Once all of the kids were in school, she worked at Winona Knitting Mills. In 1978, Cookie and Jerry moved the family to Wabasha where they bought a root beer stand and named it Jeraco’s. For 16 years they employed numerous high school kids for the summer and supported the community in any way they could. In her “retired” years she drove school bus, made sandwiches at Subway and was the executive secretary at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha and finished out volunteering at St. Elizabeth’s in Wabasha. Cookie moved back to Winona after Jerry passed and enjoyed all of her friends she made here.
Cookie was the steadfast anchor and a warrior in the Dureske family for her stability and the 5 bouts of cancer she fought that spanned over 30 years. She was a true homemaker and supported Jerry in every way she could, including taking care of him as his health declined. She and Jerry enjoyed trips to the casinos in the area, even sometimes lining up bus trips to some and took a grand tour trip driving out to Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada for their 25th wedding anniversary. Cookie loved to go camping with all of the kids and grandkids and looked forward to every visit she got from them. She loved to shop and living in the new age of computers and the internet it helped her with that as her health declined. Cookie enjoyed socializing and talking to people, so Facebook was the greatest invention to her.
Cookie is survived by: Daughters: Julie (Karl) Nuttleman, West Salem WI; Jackie (Steve) Sullivan, Cannon Falls, MN; Sons: Tom (Janet) Dureske, Worthing, SD; Jay (Julie) Dureske, Winona, MN. Grandchildren: Megan (Adam) Nerud, Allison (John) Warnecke, Trevor (Jacki) Sullivan, Cody (Anna Rem) Dureske and Andrew (Sondra) Dureske. Great-Grandchildren: Madison and Jackson Nerud, Carter and Braxton Warnecke; Raegan Sullivan (and one more Sullivan on the way); Jeraco Dureske. Sister: Candy Sumner. Sister(s)-in-Law: Sandra Ronnenberg, Judy (John) Campbell. Brother-in-Law Bob (Sheila Lind) Baures. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews. In addition to Jerry, she is preceded in death by her parents; Clarence and Marion Ronnenberg, Mother/Father(s)-In-Law: Mary and Dan Baures, Joseph Dureske; Brothers: Dale Ronnenberg and John Ronnenberg; Sister(s)-in-Law: Terry Ronnenberg, Jolene Ewing; Brother(s)-in-Law: Thomas Dureske, Garry Ewing and Larry Sumner.
Honorary pallbearers are all of her grandkids and great grandkids.
There will be visitation at Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home in Winona from 10:00 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, May 21, 2022. As small service will be at Noon with Pr. Michael Short presiding.
The Dureske family would like to thank all of the people that were a part of Cooke’s life, she no doubt left a lasting memory of her for all of us to remember…
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home & Crematory, Winona, MN and Fountain City, WI. Online condolences can be left at


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