Known to childhood and young adult friends and family as “Duane,” but to made-later adult friends as “Leslie,” he passed on October 30 at age 82 following multiple brain bleeds.
Duane was an artist, a teacher, a social worker, a runner, a Citizen Band Potawatomi and a Marine. Although he was quiet by nature, he had a delightful but quirky sense of humor enjoyed by his family, friends and colleagues. He and Betsy Franken Evans noted their 60 years of marriage in August of this year.
Upon receipt of his BFA from Oklahoma State University, Duane taught for a few years at St. Gregory’s High School in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the school from which he graduated. He spent a year in the National Teacher Corps in rural Kentucky while pursuing a graduate degree. The Prairie Band Potawatomi benefitted from his efforts in and around Mayetta before he enrolled in a second master’s program at Kansas University. He and his family farmed for several years on an organic farm near Tonganoxie; he worked briefly as a consultant for Native American Research Associates as well as a social worker at Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center in Lawrence. Duane finished his professional life after 15 years of teaching art at Haskell Indian Nations University.
In retirement, Duane and Betsy traveled, kept a busy social schedule and cared for their pets. Montana, Glacier Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area were his favorite destinations.
Duane was preceded in death by his son, Josh, his mother, father, two sisters and a brother, two aunts and a grandmother who raised him, and his best friends Jim Spurr and Ed Hays.
He is survived by his wife Betsy, daughter Jadee, son and daughter-in-law Rafe and Donna, sister Kayelynne, grandchildren Matthew, Leslie, Neshe, Shadusa and Sebastian, eight great grandchildren, much-loved cousins, nieces and nephews, and his faithful, best-friend cats, Wile E. and Hela.
A service for Duane will be on Saturday, November 2 at Rumsey-Yost. Viewing at 2:00; service at 3:00; reception to follow at a venue to be announced.
Memorials will be welcomed in the form of funds to install a bench in Duane’s memory at the Rotary Club’s arboretum. Donations to be made to Lawrence Parks and Rec, the stewards of the arboretum, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.