ANACONDA — Duane peacefully passed away on Nov. 26 in his Anaconda home of natural causes.
Duane is preceded in death by his parents Harold and Gail Knapp, brother Ron Knapp, and friend and ex-wife Janet Knapp Bergold.
He is survived by his daughter Shauna (Ryan) Brown, brothers Greg Knapp (Karon) and Larry Knapp (Greg Key), sister Karleen (Steve) Hickok, his favorite grandchildren Jayne, Adelaide, Marion and Ronald Brown, and nephew and nieces Matt Newman, Desiree Salameh, Annie and Lily Hickok.
Duane was born in San Antonio, Texas. By two years old he had places to go. He was out the door and down the street, usually keeping his mother too busy. He was spirited with a sense for business right from the beginning. Duane's favorite early childhood memories take place on Lake McDonald in Glacier Park where the family lived in the summertime, running a boat rental service. Duane was instilled with a love for the outdoors being raised up Miller Creek with freedom and nature for a back yard. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed many good times with his siblings and especially his uncle Bev and cousin Don. One of his favorite activities was to bring in a pile of ducks at Ninepipes into his Grandma Vanessa and see her big smile at his taking.
One of many examples of his work ethic and leadership qualities can be found in 1972, whereas the Sentinel High School football team captain he helped win the state championship. Sentinel has not been able to take the state title since then!
Duane then enrolled at MSU for a year where he mostly practiced bucking the system. He then decided to focus his ambitions toward Alaska in '74 where he found work with the highway department. He eventually met his best friend Janet Peters in 1979 and married shortly after.
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Duane was very successful with the Alaska highway department and semi-retired to Florence in '86 where he built the Florence Plaza. There he had plenty of time to spend taking his daughter Shauna on many trips, both recreational and business (and there was always some business mixed with the recreation). Many good times were had creek fishing and apple picking up 8-mile, deer hunting on the highline and other wanderings all over Montana and Oregon, even a trip all the way to Nassau, Bahamas!
He sold out of Florence in 2002 and successfully developed some subdivisions in the Coeur' d Alene and Post Falls area. A few years later he went back to Alaska to work on various development and entrepreneurial projects. Some of those carried him to eastern Montana and he eventually stayed in Dickinson, ND for a year where quality time was spent with his grandkids and daughter, and he helped his son-in-law keep the semi-trucks rolling during the frigid winter.
Duane then settled in Anaconda and continued to be a role model and teacher to his grandchildren. On his property at the base of Mount Haggin he built three large greenhouses that have withstood the harsh southern Mt winters and wind. He also invested much time in helping Shauna and Ryan build their mountaintop homestead, including a schoolhouse for the grandkids. Duane was very caring and willing to help friends and family with all sorts of projects at the drop of a hat. He will be incomprehensibly missed, but his family is forever grateful for so much wonderful time able to be spent together.
A casual memorial lunch will be held from 12 - 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 14 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 6197 Hwy 1, Drummond. All who knew Duane are welcome to attend.
You may pay your respects at longfellowfinneganriddle.com.