Mackinac Island Icon Don “The Duck” Andress Passes Away at 82

“We are an island of characters and he was certainly one, his memory will not be forgotten.”

Family, friends and an entire island, are mourning the loss of this man, Don “The Duck” Andress.

Andress passed away at the age of 82 on Sunday after a battle with cancer.

“The Duck” was a direct descendant of Chief Mackinac, and a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

“He had a special smile and a special way about him and he was someone you enjoyed being around,” The Grand Hotel Owner Dan Musser III, said.

There’s not one word that can describe, Don “The Duck” Andress, but “iconic,” is a decent start.

“He was just a great person, everyone knew him, everybody knew him,” Don’s Niece Marge Bekins Andress, said.

Most that know him, know his incredible background.

Whether it’s for his service in the U.S. Army alongside the king of rock ‘n roll.

“He was in the Korean War, he was stationed in Germany, he was actually stationed with Elvis Presley,” Marge, said.

Or for having one of his priceless handmade canes put on display in the Smithsonian.

But what The Duck’s most known for is being a fixture on the island he called home.

“He loved it, it was his home, you know that’s where he wanted to be, that’s where he was born and raised.” Marge, added.

The Duck spent most of his time caring for The Grand Hotel, even in the off season, and was always a friendly face on the streets.

Especially every June as he led the parade as the Lilac Festival Grand Marshal.

His family is now guiding The Duck on his way to heaven.

Where they say he will be keeping a close watch on his beloved island.

“He will be there, his spirit will be there, his spirit will always be there,” Marge, added.

So if you hear a quack or two, it just may be the island icon, greeting you again.

According to his family, The Duck did not want a funeral when he passed.

A memorial will be held on May 19 on Mackinac Island, and he will be buried with his parents.