Duke was born in Maywood, California to John and Ann Tschantre. He grew up in Los Angeles dreaming about being a cowboy and a rancher. He raised rabbits and chickens to sell and got in trouble with the city because he had too many. He graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1959. He was active in sports, Future Farmers of America (FFA), and student government. As a senior, he was Captain of the Football team, held a state office in FFA, and was Boys Class President.
He married Carol Lee Cross in 1960, and began his family while attending Pierce Junior College. He was a double major (during a time most people focused on one) at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, and graduated with two bachelor degrees, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Husbandry. He also earned a Farrier certification. He supported his family through college by working at the diary and other jobs.
After College, he worked as a cowboy and farrier at a feedlot, and then managed ranches in Wyoming and Paulina, Oregon, before settling in Powell Butte in 1970. He purchased land from Lester Wick and started raising his own cattle, sheep, hogs, and chickens. He raised and trained registered Quarter horses for his family (after all, he had five kids to put in the saddle).
He grazed cattle on Powell Butte (the butte itself) and when the grass was gone he trailed them off the butte and through the Powell Butte Community to his home at the north end of Minson Road. He was President of the Crook County Fair Board for several years and encouraged all of his kids to participate in 4-H. He said he never wanted to run a dude ranch but he gave several city boys an experience of country life they will never forget. His home was often a stop-over to help others along their journey.
He drove livestock truck for several years, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He especially liked visiting friends at community events. In his later years, he enjoyed gardening, canning, and Fox news. Most of all, he loved having his family close and gathered around the table for a good meal. He referred to himself as a sinner saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lived out his faith, and believed it wasn’t something to be talked about.
He is survived by his wife Carol; his children, Doug & Anna Tschantre, Dawn & Richard Kludt, Wendy & Shawn Lampert, DeAnn Tschantre, and Dean & Pam Tschantre, and 16 Grandchildren, 7 Greatgrandchildren (with 3 more on the way).
To send flowers to Duke's family, please visit our floral section.