It is with great sorrow that we share that our beloved Duane Stanley Perron passed away on Feb. 6, 2018. Although Duane was 83 years young, we are heartbroken as we fully expected him to be telling us stories (as he so often did!) for years to come.
Duane was born in Nampa, Idaho, on Nov. 10, 1934, to Odessa and Nellie Perron. Duane relished growing up on the family farm and his plan was to take it over after heeding his father's dream of a college education for his son. What a great decision college turned out to be for Duane! While attending the University of Idaho, Duane met the love of his life, Carol Jean Jackson. They married on June 11, 1956, and shared 61 wonderful years of creating many memories together. Their family was made complete with the addition of their two boys, Bradford and Carl.
Ten days after graduating from college and eight days after marrying Carol, Duane began his career at US National Bank of Oregon in Portland. It soon became evident that Duane had a gift and a flair for marketing. In his 33-year career with the bank, he created and implemented several major innovative marketing programs that became national showpieces and ultimately rose to the position of Senior VP and marketing director for the entire holding company. Not bad for a farm boy from Idaho!
Realizing that he was going to have a career with the bank, in 1962, Duane found a way to feed his farmer soul by finding the perfect piece of land to purchase in the Hood River Valley. The treasured tradition of Carol packing up the station wagon on Friday afternoon, loading up Brad and Carl, and then picking up Duane from the office to head out to the A-frame on the “ranch” for the weekend was quickly established. Duane and Carol eventually moved out to the ranch full time, and much to their delight, both Brad and Carl decided to join them to set up their own homes on the property. It gave both Duane and Carol great joy to have their grandchildren raised on the ranch where they could spend lots of time together.
In the early 1970s, concerned that the magnificent hand-carved carousels of the late 1800s and early 1900s were heading towards extinction, Duane and Carol embarked on what became a lifelong passion, collecting and restoring over a thousand carousel animals. Through their devoted commitment to this work, they gathered the largest and most comprehensive collection of carousel horses in the world, representing all the major carvers and carousel builders.
Duane's last years were filled to the brim. He provided devoted care to his beloved Carol, taking her on driving dates around the ranch every single night, rain or shine. They loved observing animals on the ranch, studied the trees, and waged a fierce ongoing battle with weeds. Duane kept up with the multitude of jobs required to keep the ranch operating, particularly enjoying tasks that put his bobcat skills to use.
His favorite times were those spent with his grandchildren and the many surrogate grandchildren he acquired over the years. Duane loved imparting his wisdom and his vast knowledge of his land and the skills it took to keep it maintained. Many kids will fondly remember and greatly miss Duane's Kawasaki driving lessons, big gun tag, fish feeds, bobcat instruction, bingo games, horse care and fire building technique. Duane brought an element of fun and hard work to each of these life lessons. He was always there for his family — young and old — answering yes, even before he knew what the request was.
Duane is survived by his wife Carol, his son Brad (Sarah) Perron, grandchildren Brandon (Jenna), Brittney, Brielle, Destiny, Nathaniel, Tabitha, Isaac, Jamarah, LaJames, Gabrielle, and Quincy, great-grandson Ames Odessa Perron, daughter-in-law Jan Perron and surrogate grandchildren Lucas, Emmerson, Catherine, Ivy and Saoirse. Duane was preceded in death by his son Carl.
Please come gather around a bonfire on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. at the upper hayfield of the Perron ranch for Duanefest, 4976 Alexander Drive, Parkdale. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes! In lieu of flowers, please bring a story or memory of Duane to share.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www. AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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