SEPTEMBER 25, 1943 - APRIL 19, 2016

Duane Elvin Spears age 72 of Osawatomie, KS, died Tuesday April 19, 2016 at Golden Living Center, Spring Hill, KS.

Duane was born on September 25, 1943 in Paola, Kansas. He was the third child born to Elvin Woodward and Galeta Mary (Haas) Spears. Duane grew up in Osawatomie. He went to school in the Osawatomie School District. While in high school Duane was very involved in track and field. He was a Jr. Olympian for the half mile run when he was 16 years old. He also ran the ½ mile leg in the medley relay, his team got 1st at the KU Relay’s. He held the OHS record for the ½ mile until just recently. Duane graduated with the Osawatomie High School Class of 1961.

After high school, Duane went to Pittsburg State University for a semester. Then in 1962, he enlisted in the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany and became a paratrooper. Three years later he was honorably discharged and moved back to Pittsburg, Kansas. Then Duane decided to move to California and went to the Police Academy in Los Angeles.

While he was in California he met Carol Stene and they married in 1968 in Las Vegas. They made their home in Chatsworth, CA and they became the parents of their son, Scott. Then two years later while living in Culver City, CA they had their second child, a daughter Stephanie. The marriage later ended.

When he graduated from the Police Academy he started working for the Los Angeles Police Department as a motorcycle cop. Along with the normal shifts he worked, he was also on the LAPD motorcycle drill team. He worked police detail on-site for many different motion pictures and the 1984 Olympics at the LA Coliseum. Duane’s motorhomes were rented to movie stars and were used as their dressing rooms. He worked for the LAPD for 18 ½ years and decided he needed a change. He retired in 1986 and started working for a network marketing company. Unfortunately, after only six month the company went bankrupt so he had to find something else. Duane then learned the mortgage business and started his own mortgage and real-estate company called Crown Pacific. Until 1995, when he started working for another network marketing company called USANA. He was very successful with USANA because it dealt with something that he was very passionate about and that was health and fitness.

He moved from California to Kansas because his mother’s health was failing and he wanted to be close to family. After moving back to where he grew up, Duane became involved in the Osawatomie PRIDE Committee and was regularly seen watering the flowers on Main Street. He headed the committee that was able to get the John Brown billboard that is seen from 169 highway. He regularly went to Whistle Stop Café and had coffee with his friends. He donated his time and helped his brother in-law Claude Light to brick the Osawatomie Museum. He was in the Toast Masters Club and an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Osawatomie.

Duane was always trying to stay fit and healthy. He taught himself how to swim so he could compete in a triathlon. He participated in his first race, the Leavenworth Triathlon, in May 2010 at the age of 66. Duane became a lifetime member of the Leavenworth Triathlon Club. He enjoyed competing so much, he continued competing which lead him to race in various races including the Midwest Meltdown in Paola, KS, and then a ½ Marathon in Kansas City. The next year, he and his friend volunteered at the Ironman competition in Florida and they decided to participate in 2012 Ironman Florida. Besides fitness, Duane loved the outdoors including; motorcycles, camping, fishing, boating and bicycling. When he was still in California he and his children lived on a boat for a year. Duane was a great father, brother, grandfather and friend. He always tried to inspire the people around him to better themselves.

He is preceded in death by his parents, niece Becky Light and nephew Chuck Light.

Duane is survived by his children, Scott (Sandi) Spears of Osawatomie, KS and Stephanie Spears of Overland Park, KS, his two brothers, Don (Jan) Spears of Tulsa, OK and Dean (Judy) Spears of Pittsburg, KS. Three sisters, Pat (Bob) Sharp of Sarastoa, FL, Kathy (Claude) Light of Paola, KS and Coleen (Bill) Donovan of Truckee, CA. Four Grandchildren, Gage Brasch, Ashton Spears, Felicia Mills and Tasha Farr and eight great grandchildren.


Visitation: 10am May 1, 2016 followed by

Service: 11am May 1, 2016 all at the Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home

Memorial: Duane Spears Memorial Fund

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