Duane F. Aten

Duane F. Aten

May 18, 1943 – October 5, 2020

 Preceded in death by wife, Judi T. Aten; parents, Maxine and Frank Aten; and sister, Donna Burgard.  Survived by children, Darcy R. Aten and Chad M. Aten (Erin); brother, James Dean Aten; many nieces and nephews; loving cats, Izzi and Jake; and grand dogs: Emme, Lulu and Elma.


Duane Frank Aten passed away peacefully on Monday, October 5 at Bergen Mercy Hospital while surrounded by his family. Duane was preceded in death by his wife, Judi, his parents, Rev. W. Frank and Maxine Aten, and his sister, Donna Burgard.

Duane was born on on May 18, 1943 at University Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma, to Rev. W. Frank and Maxine Aten. Duane was the second child with an older sister, Donna and later would become a big brother to James Dean, who was born nearly 7 years later.

Duane attended elementary school in Peabody, KS and went on to attend Crane Junior High School in Topeka, KS. Following Crane Junior High, he attended Topeka High School where he graduated in 1961 in a class of 709.

Shortly after graduating high school, Duane joined the United States Marine Corps. It was during this time that he met his future wife Judi at Todd’s Drive-Inn. They hit it off and got married on October 26th, 1968 in Omaha NE at Northside Christian Church. Duane’s father, Rev. W. Frank Aten officiated their wedding.

In 1971 Duane and Judi were blessed with their first child, Darcy. After living for several years in their rental house, they purchased their first home to accommodate a growing family.  It was there that they were blessed with their second child, Chad, in 1976.

Duane began his career working in the grocery business by working at Safeway before moving on to Bakers. He went to work for W.W. Grainger in 1965, where he continued to work for 46 years until his retirement in 2011.

Duane was a devoted husband and father who always put his family first. Duane loved meeting new people, and made friends everywhere he went. He was an avid Husker football fan, always cheering on the Big Red even when it made Thanksgiving family get togethers in Oklahoma rather awkward and uncomfortable during the annual Sooner and Husker showdown.  

Duane also enjoyed attending his sons football games, where he became known for his catch phrase “Way  to be!”  He also enjoyed grilling out, an occasional fishing trip with family and friends, and entertaining guests with his exceptional harmonica skills.

He is survived by his children, Darcy and Chad, daughter-in-law Erin, brother James Dean; many in-laws, nieces, nephews and special friends; loving cats, Izzy and Jake; grand dogs, Emme, LuLu and Elma.

Duane will be missed by many family and friends.

VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, October 16th from 10am to 11am, at the West Center Chapel followed by MEMORIAL SERVICE at 11am.  Memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Humane Society.

To view a live broadcast of the Visitation and Service, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.




  • John, Michael, and Luke Burgard Posted October 6, 2020 10:18 pm

    Our heartfelt thoughts go out to you in this time of sorrow.

  • Terry and Beth mcwilluams Posted October 7, 2020 7:17 am

    Our thoughts and prayers of sympathy are with you at this time of sorrow

  • Dean Loftus Posted October 7, 2020 8:27 am

    What a truly great guy! I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face. My heartfelt condolences to Chad, Darcy and Erin. You will be missed Duane!

  • Steve Kovar Posted October 8, 2020 9:38 am

    Duane was a terrific guy who loved his family more than anything. I have many memories of playing with my good childhood friend Chad, over at the Aten household. Duane had a great smile and laughed often. He was always happy to show us something new and share his wisdom.

    Semper Fi, Duane. You will be missed by many.

  • James Dean Aten Posted October 8, 2020 11:13 am

    May your Soul Rest In Peace Big Brother. I will miss you.

  • Daisy Rivera Posted October 10, 2020 6:57 am

    My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.I am offering you my thoughts and prayers during this time. May the soul of Duane Rest In Peace. Condolence to the family.

  • Stephen and Theresa McKenzie Posted October 13, 2020 10:33 pm

    To our dear friends, we love you. We are so sorry.

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