Duane Donald Lawellin, 77, of Joplin, passed away late Friday night, May 22, 2009. Around 10:30 that evening, he ended his 20-year struggle with congestive heart failure at Freeman Hospital, surrounded by family and friends.


 

Duane Donald Lawellin, 77, of Joplin, passed away late Friday night, May 22, 2009. Around 10:30 that evening, he ended his 20-year struggle with congestive heart failure at Freeman Hospital, surrounded by family and friends.
 

Duane was born July 31, 1931, in Oswego, Kan., to William and Murle Lawellin. They preceded him in death, as did his brother, Dean Lawellin.
 

After graduating from Oswego High School, Duane attended Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg (PSU), where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce in 1953. He was honored for his achievements with the Alumni Meritorious Achievement Award on May 18, 1991.
 

Duane married his college sweetheart, Edith Land, on May 25, 1952. The couple celebrates their 57th wedding anniversary this week. The two have been active members of First Community Church of Joplin since 1957.
 

Immediately after receiving his degree, Duane gained employment with Cusack Accounting Firm, in Joplin, where he became a Certified Public Accountant in 1957. He joined the Mercantile Bank as an Assistant Trust Officer in 1960 and held various positions within the bank before becoming the Director in 1975 and Chairman of the Board in 1988. Duane retired in 1991 after 31 years with the bank.
 

Duane has been a Certified Financial Planner since 1988 and a charter member of Southwest Missouri Estate Planning Council. He served on the Board of Directors of Oak Hill Hospital, the PSU Foundation, Inc., and the Kelce School of Business and Economics Board of Advisors.
 

In 1982, he received the Drake of the Year Award as a staunch member of Ducks Unlimited. It has been said by some of Duane’s duck-hunting companions that he would rather watch the ducks than shoot them. His philosophy was also held by D.U.: “Put some back; Support Ducks Unlimited.”
 

Duane is survived by his wife, Edith; sister, Ruth Sine of Annandale, Va.; two sons, Douglas and wife Esther, and Donald and wife Margaret of Joplin, Mo.; six grandchildren, Daniel and wife Kendyll of St. Louis, mo., Dacia, Nathan, Danita, Audrey and Erin; great-grandchild Kendrick King-Lawellin; two sisters-in-law, Helen Trotter and Helen Land of Neosho, Mo.; and eight nieces and nephews.
 

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, May 26, at 11 a.m. at First Community Church of Joplin with visitation following. Arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary. The family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association or First Community Church.