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Obituary for Duane W. Walker

Filed under: Obituaries,The Buzz |     

Photo courtesy of Wiggins Funeral Homes

From Wiggins Funeral Homes

Duane W. Walker, 87, of Canton, KS, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 24, 2023, surrounded by family at his ranch near Canton. Duane was born on December 18, 1935, at home in Carneiro, KS to Raymond C. and Evelyn Mae (Sheridan) Walker. One of 14 children, Duane acquired his love for horses from his father who worked as a ranch hand on the Fortner and CK Ranches at Brookville, KS.

Duane met the love of his life, Arva Jo Janssen of Lorraine, KS, at the Ellsworth County 4-H Fair in the summer of 1952. He didn’t see her again until later that year when he heard on the radio that she was in the hospital with polio. Even though she was in isolation, he was determined to see her and decided to sneak in, with the help of the mail clerk, who was delivering get well cards. They were married on April 10, 1954, and would remain inseparable for the nearly 70 years.

They moved to Canton in 1958, where Duane was the manager of the Canton Grain Elevator for over 40 years. His passion for horses led him to purchase a gray stallion named Jackie Bee from a local horseman, that would change the course of Duane’s life. His Tee Jay Quarter Horses, quickly became a world renowned, breeding program, producing numerous American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) world champions, in multiple categories. In 2008, Duane and Jackie Bee would both be inducted separately into the AQHA Hall of Fame.

In addition to the AQHA, Duane was a member of the Kansas Quarter Horse Assn and the Kansas Livestock Assn. He served as a Trustee for the Canton Community Church and a board member of Canton Township for many years. In 1999, Duane was named Stockman of the Year by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council at K-State, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009. Just a few weeks ago, Jo and Duane were honored at the ground-breaking for a new Animal Science Arena at Kansas State University.

Among their many clients, Duane and Jackie Bee were an integral part of Terry Bradshaw’s quarter horse operation for nearly 40 years. Duane considered Terry a great friend, colleague and business partner and they shared a mutual love of horses…especially gray ones.

Affectionately referred to as “Gramps” by his family, Duane is survived by his wife Jo, of Canton, KS and their 4 children: Tim (Kris) Walker, Hillsboro, KS; Kathy (Alan) Prieb, Canton, KS; Cindy Monts, Salina, KS and Dennis Walker, Montecito, CA. Also surviving are 5 grandchildren: Trenton (Treva) Prieb; Tracy (Jarod) Littrell; Trevin Prieb (Roxie Ayres); Nick (Sarah) Walker; Alex Walker; 7 great grandchildren: Kaden (Celeste) Littrell; Kaylee (Reed) Wiens; Keaton Littrell (Kara Bruna) Rachel Prieb; Andrew Prieb; Katy Prieb and Wesley Prieb. Duane was an honorary father and grandfather to Penny (Harold) Selzer; Erica Selzer; Patrick (Katie) Selzer, Connie and Hoover; Rustin Ayres.

Duane was preceded in death by siblings Sherry, Frank, Ramona Virginia, Bob, Ray Jr., Berneice, Donnie and Bill. Surviving are sisters Helen, Dixie, Geri and Ernie, all of Salina, KS.

Visitation will be Friday July 28, 2023, from 6-8 pm at The Canton Community Church at 304 Allen Street, Canton. Funeral Service will be Saturday July 29th, 2023, at 10:30 am at The Countryside Covenant Church, 940 E Northview Avenue, McPherson, KS


Access his tribute wall here: Duane W. Walker Obituary – Visitation & Funeral Information (

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