4780 N. University Ave., Provo 
OFFICES: Orem, Park City & Heber City
Phone: (801) 405-7444
Fax: (801) 841-9702


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1948 - 2019
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Obituary for Duane J Johansen

Duane J  Johansen

It is with a great sense of loss that we announce the peaceful passing of Duane J. Johansen, on November 18, 2019. He passed away at home in Springville, Utah surrounded and comforted by family and caring friends who were so kind to Duane and his family during his valiant battle with COPD. Along with the sadness we all feel, we also feel a sense of relief for him. No more struggles, no more fighting emphysema, no more oxygen tanks and medicines, no more anxiety and fear. We believe he has left all that behind and is walking effortlessly with his Savior, his previously deceased family, many true friends and beloved pets.

Duane was born to Vaughn and Vola Johansen on December 8, 1948. He has roots in Sanpete County, but he called Orem, Utah his home, where he married, raised his family and worked for most of his life. Duane was predeceased by his parents, his brother Tom and far too many cherished friends. He is survived by Alice, his wife of 53 years, his son Kim with his family; Marci, Alli and Sadi, his son Justin and his family; Danielle, Haven, Chase, and Jet, his sister Patsy Clegg and her family, his brother Allen and his family, and many friends who love and miss him.

Duane and his family built their business, Duane’s Auto Wrecking, on Geneva Road in Orem, from the ground up. He worked for over 40 years in the auto recycling industry with his wife, two sons and several adopted employee sons, who we will always consider family. There was never a dull moment at the wrecking yard. He loved getting to know his customers and knew most of them by name. He was the kind of businessman who did business with a handshake and kept his word. In 2018, his illness forced him to close the business and retire. He wanted to remind everyone concerning retirement, “be careful what you wish for.” We all have mostly good memories of what we fondly called “the General Junkyard” adventures. Duane wanted to make sure we expressed gratitude on his behalf to his family, his friends and his incredible employees, who all went above and beyond the call of duty to help us during the intensive business shut down process.

Duane was a fighter all his life. He fought for Stan’s Boxing Club in high school and possibly a few extracurricular parking lot battles; most of which he says he won. He fought poverty as a young man, he fought to support his family, and as every business owner knows, he fought to make his payments to every taxing entity imaginable.

One of his greatest fights and greatest victories was conquering alcohol addiction; he was 29 years sober. In the process, he taught us the true nature of humility, integrity, dignity, forgiveness, true grit and the reality of a God who loves us and will help us carry our burdens if we let Him. Duane lived by the Serenity Prayer, “One Day At a Time”. His favorite quote is from the movie Seabiscuit, “You don’t throw a whole life away just cause it’s banged up a little”. The movie is all about second chances, which is something Duane believed in and lived every day. It inspired him to keep trying after he got sick and to give many others a second chance. He watched it nightly and was truly grateful for the second chances he was given.

Duane also fought COPD for way too many years. His dignity and strength in carrying that burden will be remembered by anyone who knew him well. The medical personnel who served him remind us that the world is still filled with kind and caring people. His fight to breathe is over now, but his family and friends will fight to live without our strong and capable Husband, Dad, Grandpa and Friend. We ask for God’s blessings and comfort as we try to honor his memory and example. Duane wanted to finish this life as a loving husband, a good father, a loving grandfather, and a loyal, caring friend. He was all of that and more.

As our family was meeting with the mortuary to make the arrangements, we were asked if we wanted to do a “in lieu of flowers” message. It was humbly decided that he deserves all the flowers he can get. Please come and help us celebrate Duane’s life, his victories as well as defeats. We would love to hear your stories. As was his way, Duane would welcome all to his table. He frequently told all of us, “remember, God loves you, and so do I”.


Services will be at the Nelson Family Mortuary 4780 N. University Ave., Provo Utah 84604. Viewing - Sunday Nov 24th, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm and Monday Nov 25th from 11:00 am - 11:45 am. Funeral Services - Monday Nov 25th, 12:00 noon. A light luncheon will be served.
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