SPRINGFIELD – The very shortest version of everyone’s personal story is this: we’re born, we live, and then we die. It’s the living part that gives the color, texture, depth, and unique character to our time between birth and death.
Duane G. Jones was born on October 21, 1942, in Joliet, Illinois, to Garnett and Jane (Winningham) Jones. He peacefully and quietly passed away at home in the early hours of Friday, May 7, 2010. He was with his family, the most important people in his life. He lived for his family. They were with him for his final weeks, days, and hours.
When he was a youngster his family moved to Springfield. He graduated from Springfield High School, Class of 1961. As a high school student, he played basketball for the Senators. Basketball was always one of his favorite sports, especially as played by the Fighting Illini. Those road trips to the Assembly Hall and pizza before the game were always a good time for Duane and his brother, Darrell. While Duane loved the Fighting Illini, like so many others, Chief Illiniwek held a special place in his heart. The Chicago Cubs were his team. He especially enjoyed the friendly neighborhood rivalry with those Cardinals fans.
Duane never knew a stranger and always closed the deal with a smile, a handshake, and a Thanks, buddy. See you later. He was in the Army National Guard from 1964-1970, having received an honorable discharge. Staying in character, he loved to tell stories about those times with his buddies.
In February, 1968, Duane joined the Springfield Police Department. He worked his way through the ranks from patrolman to detective, specializing in tracking and enabling prosecution of fraud and forgery. While with the Police Department, he received the William Herndon Award for distinguished service and professionalism and the Optimist Club’s Law Enforcement Award for distinguished and dedicated service. He also received several certificates of appreciation. It was August, 1991, that Duane retired from the police force.
However, Duane did not retire from life. He built homes with his brother. He loved going fishing with his buddies, be it to larger lakes in the Ozarks or to any other pond large enough to hold his boat as he fished for bass. He tended and nurtured his yard. The yard had to be just so. He added an all-season room to his house. Over the years, if the walls and windows of that room could talk, they would echo all the laughter, animated and sometimes boisterous conversations that would extend late into the evening. Or they would reflect those quiet evenings he would spend there enjoying and savoring time with his family, his friends, and his dog.
His family was the joy of his life. He married Janet L. Heuser in March, 1973. June of 1977 brought him and Jan the joy of welcoming their daughter, Jackie, into the world and into their future. Then, in 2001, Duane’s life was about to change. His baby daughter met her future husband and in 2002, Duane had the joy of adding Jason Chasten to his family. He cherished watching this new couple explore and establish their life together. It was always a special time for Duane when he and Jackie went shopping.
Duane is survived by his wife Jan; his daughter, Jackie (Jason) Chasten; his brother, Darrell (Nancy) in Kansas City, KS; his brother, Dale, and his sister, Donna Sue, both of whom are in Houston, TX. He is also survived by a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. His parents preceded him in death.
Your family misses you, Duane, but know that we’ll continue smiling, share our memories, and will cherish our brief time with you, just as you cherished yours with us.
Visitation and funeral services will be at Staab Funeral Home, 1109 South Fifth St., Springfield, IL. Visitation will be Wednesday, May 12 from 4-7 p.m. The funeral will be Thursday, May 13 at 12:30 p.m. Graveside service will be at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Ken Gennicks officiating.
Donations may be made to the Animal Protective League of Springfield or to the Memorial Home Hospice Program of Springfield.
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