Duane Karsten Burkenpas was born on Nov. 10, 1933, in the beautiful Gallatin Valley of Bozeman, Mont.; the place where he lived all of his grand 88 years and where he met his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 5, 2022.
Duane was predeceased by his parents Abraham “Abe” and Georgia “Alice” (Border) Burkenpas. He is survived by his brother Darrell, loving wife Dorothy, sons Douglas and Darin, grandchildren Karsten, Andrew, Bailey, Rebecca, Jason and Hallie, and two great-grandchildren Emry and Raylee.
Duane grew up on the family ranch west of Four Corners where he learned, lived and loved agriculture. He attended the Pine Butte School for grades 1 through 8 and then, as the class Vice President, graduated from the Gallatin County High School in 1951 with a diploma in business management. Later in 1951, Abe and Alice retired, sold the family ranch and Duane went to work for the local John Deere dealer.
In 1962, Dorothy, the beautiful waitress at the local diner, caught his eye and they married in 1964. Through all of their married years, Dorothy doted on and cared for Duane, raised the boys and was by his side when Duane passed.
In 1961, recognized for his leadership and passion for agriculture, John Deere offered the dealership to Duane and brother Darrell, who operated Gallatin Equipment Company in Bozeman then in Belgrade in 1978 until closing in 2001.
Duane’s legacy is his life’s work in his beloved Gallatin Valley community.
He provided his leadership to the Bozeman Chapter Order of Demolay, the Redi Work Force Training System, several area homeowner’s associations, the Pine Butte School Preservation Society, the Gallatin County Conservation District, the City of Belgrade, the Belgrade and Bozeman Area Chambers of Commerce, the Montana Hardware & Implement Association, the Spain-Ferris Ditch Company and served the Montana Winter Fair for 20 years.
His legacy to agriculture and ag education was in his work with FFA, 4-H, National Ag Day, the Leadership Council for Agricultural Education in Montana, the Gallatin County Agriculture Committee and his vision-come-true with the Gallatin Valley Farm Fair. His final wish is to have the fourth-graders who were ag-inspired by the Gallatin Valley Farm Fair receive awards from the MSU-Burkenpas Agriculture Education Scholarship.
Family, friends and the successors of Duane’s legacy are welcome to remember and honor him at Dokken-Nelson with a viewing on Monday, June 13, from 2-6 p.m., and a memorial on Tuesday, June 14, 2 p.m., at Dokken-Nelson located at 113 S. Willson Ave. in Bozeman and online at www.DokkenNelson.com. A private family graveside will be held.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to your own legacy’s worthy cause in Duane’s cherished Gallatin Valley.