Duane Charles Thomas DeGravelles

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Duane went home to be with the Lord on September 19th, 2020 after a short battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Knowing Duane you would know it would take something as rare as CJD to end his extraordinary life. He passed peacefully immediately after receiving his last rites surrounded by family both in person as well as witnessing on FaceTime.
We will be celebrating Duane’s Life on 10/24/20 at 11:00 a.m. Central Time at Hope Alive Church located at 9675 W 159th St, Overland Park, Kansas. We will also be streaming the service so all that would like to attend can without risk.

He will be forever missed by his wife and best friend of 38 years Debbie (Strom). His children Sunshine Laborde, Joshua DeGravelles (1976-1996), Ryan (Evie) DeGravelles, Melissa (Jason) Andrews, Thomas (Missy) DeGravelles, and Lynae DeGravelles. He was a proud Grandfather to Nathan and Vanessa Mendes, Hunter, Coleman, and Raegan DeGravelles, Jaidyn, Joshua, and Emerson Andrews, and Micah DeGravelles. He was known to them as Pa Pa, Pop Pop, Grandpa, and Donk. Duane was also blessed to have cared for over 60 foster children who all held a special place in his heart.

Duane was born on June 16, 1957 in Thibodaux, Louisiana to Patricia Ann (Foret) and Robert Everest DeGravelles. He was their 4th of 7 children. He is survived by his siblings Yvette Powel, Robert (Bob) DeGravelles, Daniel DeGravelles, Marie Jeanne DeForet, Camille deGravelle and Patrick DeGravelles. As one of 37 first cousins, he is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles.
He grew up in Tracy, CA and attended Tracy High School. At age 17 he enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at Lemoore Naval Air Station. He would joke that instead of living life at sea or visiting faraway lands, he spent his time with the military near exotic Fresno, CA. Duane and Debbie met on May 7, 1982 on a semi blind date and after a whirlwind romance married on Aug 7, 1982. Duane always liked to say the secret to a happy marriage is “she is right and I am wrong.”

Duane had many talents which lead to many very different careers including truck stop manager, real estate agent, mortician’s apprentice, retail manager, car salesman, and photographer just to name a few. Outside of work, Duane also coached Ryan’s little league team, cheered on Thomas during Pop Warner and high school football games, watched every single Royals game with Lynae the year they won the World Series, and attended countless of Melissa’s children’s games, matches, and meets. He loved sports and he loved supporting his kids.

Duane also served on the board of Family Connections Adoption Agency. As part of that work he traveled to Africa twice. He escorted a five month old baby home to her forever family and spent time at another orphanage sponsored by the agency. Africa held a special place in his heart and he had always hoped he would get the chance to go again. From a young age Duane battled drug addiction. At the age of 24 he turned his life over to God and miraculously was set free. His calling and passion for evangelism grew from there and he became an ordained minister. Of course he evangelised in a way only Duane could. As a lifelong fan of power lifting he got involved with power team ministry. Duane would use his extraordinary strength to break things, bend things, and tear things to get attention so people would want to hear what God put on his heart. He spoke to thousands over his life about the consequences of his actions, and the impact they had on his family and friends. At the beginning, much of his outreach focussed on delivering anti-drug messages to schools and youth ministry. After being part of other power teams, Duane founded Power One Ministries and began doing ministry work full time. He wanted to be able to go to the places that could not afford to bring in the big team. For years he traveled across the country. He ministered in prisons through Chuck Colsen’s Operation Starting Line and Bill Glass Behind the Walls. He went to Indian reservations and cowboy churches. He served with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and many other groups.

He shared the message that if you were the only person that needed salvation that Jesus would have died just for you. God loves you personally. Accept what he has done for you and you will spend eternity with him.