Byron Duane Kropf passed away Friday, January 4, 2019, surrounded by his love ones, from complications of pneumonia. Duane was born in the state of Washington to Byron and Beth Kropf. Shortly after that they moved to Colorado where he spent a majority of his life until he retired to winter in Yuma, AZ and summer in Hyrum, UT.
Duane graduated from Central High School in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in which he served an LDS mission in western Canada and served in many church callings over the years, including Sunday School President. He worked for Coors Brewing Company as an industrial mechanic and retired from Trigen Energy in 2000.
Duane was an avid outdoorsman who loved spending time fishing, hiking, camping and most of all hunting in which he claimed a few Pope and Young honors. He loved to mine for gold and was a true rockhounder. Others looked to Duane to lead ATV rides through the AZ desert. He was a gifted wildlife artist. Duane was a friend to many different types of people. He could talk to leaders of the church one day and be out panning for gold and talking to toothless miners the next. Everyone liked him.
Duane had many stories to tell and his children loved to sit and listen to them. He did everything with precision and they didn’t want to disappoint him. He was good at carpentry, welding, designing the irrigation system and estimating the cost of remodeling the barn in Utah. He came within a few dollars of his estimate when the project was completed. He loved to paint with his fishing and painting buddy, spending time in the Tetons sitting and painting together. He made knives and built his own long bows. He taught others how to make their own bows. He seldom got angry.
He taught his children how to hunt and took them deer, bear and antelope hunting. He was also a trapper. He knew his way around the mountains, but would get lost in any big city.
In 1996, Duane was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease. His first thought was “Why me?” But then he changed his thinking to “Why not me?” The doctor told him he would be in a wheelchair in 3 years. Instead he volunteered for trial studies to help find a cure for this disease. He became more creative in ways to help stay active and planned ahead. He built ramps before they were needed, built lifts on the pontoon trailer and camper so he could continue doing what he loved. A couple of years ago, he sold the camper and pontoon, but he proved the doctor wrong because although he used a walker, he was still walking 23 years later. Even though the disease limited his abilities, he never complained or allowed it to limit his activities.
Duane married Rosie in March of 1995 and they spent 24 wonderful years together, traveling, camping and going on ATV rides.
Duane was blessed with five children Janeece (John) Noel, Mesquite, NV, Adam Kropf (Christine), Hyde Park, UT, Hillary Lundahl (Jason), Hyrum, UT, and Zak Kropf (Daylarie), Hyrum, UT from his first marriage, and Justin Yeager, his stepson who he considered his own from his marriage to Rosie.
Duane was an amazing man who was loved by all and will be truly missed. He was always willing to help someone and even in death he continued to help someone by being a skin tissue donor to aid burn victims.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be sent to the Kennedys Disease Association, P.O. Box 1105, Coarsegold, CA 93614-1105 or donated online at https://kennedysdisease.org.