Duane Arthur Portwood of Sheridan, Wyoming passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the V. A. Medical Center.
Born in Four Corners, Wyoming, August 26, 1934 to Earl and Lillian Portwood, Duane grew up on a ranch near Newcastle, Wyoming and loved caring for farm animals, growing gardens and harvesting crops. He expanded those interests in his studies and received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Agriculture from the University of Wyoming in 1958 and later earned his Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wyoming in 1965.
Duane served in the United States Army and the Wyoming Army National Guard from 1958 to 1962 as a Radio TeleType Operator. He achieved the rank of Specialist/E4.
Duane enjoyed passing on his love and knowledge of agriculture to others and was an Instructor in Agriculture and Business at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming where he earned recognition as one of the “Outstanding Educators of America.” After 8 years as an Instructor, he moved back to Sheridan, Wyoming and started a public accounting practice. In 1978, Duane began his career as a rural electric cooperative manager and retired in 2000 as the General Manager of Sheridan-Johnson REA, a post he had held for 9 years.
In retirement, Duane remained active in his passion for ranching through his ownership and operation of DuCon Cattle Enterprises, a registered Polled Hereford operation. He also developed new interests and began writing cowboy poetry and short stories. In November 2007, he published a book of his poetry entitled “Bunkhouse Ramblings: Poetry and Prose”. One review of the book stated the following, “Pure delight! Bunkhouse Ramblings will bring the beauty and fresh air of the wide open ranges of Wyoming right into your heart. The author vividly describes his love of the outdoors and ranch life through his poetry. Memories will be stirred of the days when life was easier. Poetry that is fresh and clean will bring enjoyment to all ages.” In addition, Duane had over 4 dozen short stories published in The Sheridan Press in the “Center Stage” section.
In retirement, Duane also enjoyed volunteering at the Sheridan Senior Center where he helped edit the Volunteer Newsletter, manned the dining room desk, shared his cowboy poetry and short stories and participated in many other senior activities.
Duane was a student, a military veteran, an educator, a business man, a rancher, a poet and a writer but most importantly he was a loving husband, father and grandfather and a man who lived his life with grace, humility and integrity. He was loved by many and will be missed by all.
Duane is survived by his wife, Constance, his sons, Duane Andrew and Brent, his step-daughters, Maria and Yolanda, his step-son, Armando, his sisters, Letha and Sylvia, his brother, George and his 12 grandchildren, Diane, Sarah, and Molly Portwood, Brandon and Elizabeth Portwood, Ravin and Dan Alexander, Sean and Amanda Kelly, and Heather, Ashley and Austin Brennan.
Duane was laid to rest in the Masonic Oblong Square at the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery in a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers and other offerings, donations can be made to the Sheridan Senior Center.
Kane Funeral Home have been entrusted with the arrangements.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.