On October 19, 2020, Duane Curtis Spooner left his terrestrial binds for the great ethereal hunting plains.
Duane was born April, 19, 1952 in Crosby, ND as the third of six children. His parents Alan and Ethel (Nygaard) Spooner were farmers in Noonan, ND and worked hard to provide for and instill the hard work ethic, integrities, and values that Duane used to carry himself through life. As an adolescent, Duane hunted, played football, and began his love of fast cars, spending hours with his brothers and friends fixing his 56 Chevy only so that he could break it again.
After high school, Duane attended NDSU for a spell before returning home to work on the farm and the body shop, until he became the manager of the elevator in Northgate, ND. While there, he met and fell for the love of his life and wife of 41 years, Kristie Ganskop. In the middle of an April blizzard in 1979, the two wed, which was a fitting start to the whirlwind of their life together. They soon set out to establish roots of their own by moving and renting farmland in McKenzie, ND. While there, in 1980, Duane’s first child Josh was born in October, right in the middle of a harvest and opening pheasant weekend. In August 1982, their small family grew with the birth of Duane’s daughter, Andrea and they purchased a farm in Tappen, ND. In 1984, they welcomed their 2nd son, Eric but by 1986, they could not escape the farm crisis and sold the farm.
Duane entered a new chapter of his life by enrolling in the Colorado School of Trades and began his path as a master gunsmith and custom rifle builder. The family moved to Lakewood, CO while Duane completed his studies. In 1987, the family returned to Tappen, ND and he founded Duane’s Gun Repair. Over the next several years, Duane did double duty as gunsmith and Mr. Mom while Kristie went back to school to earn her degree in Addiction Counseling and Social Work. Duane was very active in his children’s lives, hosting epic NES Tecmo Superbowl football tournaments, coaching their baseball teams, teaching them to shoot and hunt, and always finding time to attend their activities and sporting events no matter the distance or inconvenience.
Being an avid hunter and fisherman, he enjoyed many adventurous family vacations, and traded several custom rifles for once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing trips for his family.
In 2003, he began a part time role as the business manager of Tappen Public Schools and shortly after became the full-time business manager. With the consolidation of the county schools, he moved into a new role as Business Manager for the South Central Regional Council.
With joy, he witnessed the marriage of his daughter Andrea in 2007 to Tjaden Sinclair and the marriage of his son Eric in 2016 to Maria Krogen. He welcomed his first grandchild, Jackson in 2009, followed by Brielle (2011), Thornton (2013), Lola (2015) and Everett (2017). His grandchildren were truly the love of his life and he loved nothing better than to spend time with them.
In 2016, at the bequest of his son Joshua, Duane partnered with Josh to move Duane’s Gun Repair to Fargo, ND where he worked until his sudden passing.
Duane loved to engage in conversation about all topics of life, and could strike up a conversation with anyone. Family was always first for him and he always said his best accomplishment in life was his children and how involved he was in their childhood. His kind, generous nature touched many lives and his passing has left a void that cannot be filled.
He is survived by his wife, Kristie; children, Joshua (special friend Ayanna), Moorhead, MN, Andrea (Tjaden) Sinclair with children Jackson, Brielle, Thornton, and Everett, Fargo, ND, Eric (Maria), West Fargo, ND; mother, Ethel, Crosby, ND; sister, Donna Hegle, Bismarck, ND; brothers, Mark (Lori) Spooner, Noonan, ND, Albert (Mae) Spooner, Minneapolis, MN, Todd Spooner, Crosby, ND and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Alan, grandchild, Lola, brother, Keith, brother-in-law, Ken and father-in-law, Art.
Memorial Service: 2:00 P.M. Saturday, October 24, 2020 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tappen, ND with visitation starting at 1:00 P.M.
The service will be live streamed on the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tappan, ND website. https://www.stjohnstappen.org/
Duane’s Video Tribute can be viewed below: