Duane Leland Petersen

Duane Leland Petersen passed away peacefully at the age of 75 on March 26th, 2024 surrounded by his loving family. Visitation will be held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home in Lawrence on Saturday, March 30th,from 10:00-11:00 AM with Funeral Services immediately following in the Chapel.

On March 4th, 1949, Duane was born to Leland and Leah Petersen at Horton Hospital in Horton, Kansas. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1967. After high school, Duane went into the workforce and was hired by the GoodYear Tire and Rubber Plant in Topeka where he worked until retirement, 36 years later. Duane was an extremely hard worker, on top of working 7 days a week, every single week at GoodYear, he also took every opportunity to earn extra income by working on his vegetable farm, driving a taxi, working as a security guard, running a climbing wall, umpiring softball games, providing people with life insurance and annuities and helping people prepare their taxes.

Duane was a proud volunteer Police Officer with the Topeka Police Department in his younger years. He also volunteered with the American Kennel Club and enjoyed helping with dog shows when his health allowed. In his spare time, he loved reading books and anything that talked about history, guns and hunting. His dream was to hunt Moose, Elk and Black bear while visiting or living in Alaska.

On March 30th, 1974, Duane was set up on a blind date. Just five short months later, on September 7th, 1974, Duane Petersen and Shirley Blakley were married at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Holton, Kansas. The couple enjoyed 49 wonderful years of marriage together. They had four children, Jason Lee Petersen, Kelley Jo Grammer (Tracy Grammer), Jaime Lee Werner (Jeff Werner), and Andrea Lynn Vogts (David Vogts). Their three daughters blessed them with nine grandchildren: Lenley Bonham, Thomas Bonham, Jasen Grammer, Logan Werner, Serenity Vogts, Tessa Werner, Carson Vogts, Haylee Vogts, Piper Vogts and one great-granddaughter: Baylor Bonham.

Duane was best known for his intelligence, passion for politics, work ethic, and his sense of humor. Duane watched a lot of Jeopardy and often knew the answers when the contestants did not. He was the “go to” when his kids or their friends (his other kids) had questions about school work or life in general. He was always a wealth of knowledge. Duane was a very proud, outspoken, Republican and a dedicated advocate for the party. His sense of humor was larger than life and his most well known answer when someone would ask him how he was doing was always “I’m Wonderful, but don’t forget Handsome, Sexy, Marvelous and of course, Modest”, with the biggest smirk on his face.

Duane was a family man. He made sure his daughters were super spoiled and never went without. He played an active role in all of their activities and was always supportive. He often showered Shirley with lavish gifts of jewelry and long vacations. Their last vacation together took them to the Hoover Dam, multiple national parks and the San Diego Zoo. Duane’s love for Shirley ran deep. He said he was always prepared to go before her and was not ready to live without her. Seventeen days after her sudden, unexpected passing, Duane took his final breath. Their love will live on forever.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Leland and Leah Petersen, his sister Leona “Vicki” Umshied, his brother Tony Petersen, his son Jason Petersen, and his wife Shirley Petersen. He is survived by their three daughters, Kelley Grammer of Shawnee KS, Jaime Werner of Ozawkie KS, and Andrea Vogts of Kansas City KS; and his sister, Kris Serrault of Topeka KS.

Flowers can be sent to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home or Donations can be made to Jefferson County Humane Society. Online condolences may be sent to www.rumsey-yost.com