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Duane Keown

Duane Keown

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Duane Keown

LARAMIE—On July 16, 2021, Duane Keown, a great family man, advocate, educator, and adventurer passed away at the age of 84.

Duane was born to Herald and Bernice (Gage) Keown in 1937 in Rico, Colorado. He attended Western State University, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University and finished off his academic training with a doctorate in Biology from Ball State University in 1974. After 28 years with the University of Wyoming, he retired as Professor Emeritus of Science Education, and remained a perpetual Cowboys fan.

Duane described his life as wonderful and rich. He packed in countless projects and adventures. In the last three years of his life, he devoted his time to writing a book, Two Paths to Rico, about his parent’s lives homesteading, working as public servants, raising a family, and surviving in Rico, Colorado. The book was recently published by Sunstone Press.

As an educator, he positively touched the lives of his students from his early days at the isolated Hide Out Mine School in San Juan County, Utah, to teaching science at Prep Laboratory School in Laramie, Wyoming. He taught science and conservation education to college students as well as practicing teachers. He was a model educator, inspiring his students to appreciate and embrace the natural world around them and he was honored with numerous professional awards.

Family and friends were incredibly important to Duane. He took loving care of his son, Tim and his daughter, Julie. He was blessed to have his wife, Joy, by his side to explore wild places and pursue their passions. In Duane’s world, dear friends were held close to his heart. He was known for his twinkling eyes, an incredible memory, burning up the dance floor, playing multiple instruments, and fighting tirelessly for the protection of public lands.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Herald and Bernice; his sister, Barbara; and his son, Tim.

He is survived by his wife, Joy; her sons, Paul, Cody, and Shane and their families; his daughter, Julie and her husband Chuck and their daughters, Hailey and Maia; his sister, Beverly; multiple nieces and nephews; the mother of his children, Betty Pearson; and his faithful dog, Rusty.

Celebration of life services will be held August 5th, 11 a.m. at the Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home, 2133 E Rainbow Ave., Laramie, WY. A Reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Downtown Clinic or Laramie Interfaith.

Go to to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.

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