ALAN “LAD” DUAINE – Headed West on December 18, 2022.
An avowed tree-hugging, flower sniffing, bird watching atheist, he has advised writing “your own damned obituary,” as indeed, he has so done here. In self-published, auto-biographical work, he has described himself as “…a curious case—capable but erratic—not stupid, in fact, is often involved in rather imaginative fiascoes…” A man of wide and varied interests, he readily admitted that making money was not of primary importance to him. With his history of poor timing, this was fortunate for his self-image. An “old dude with a bad airplane habit,” he spent fifty years in and out of assorted cockpits military, airline, and corporate, reflecting the enduring compulsion that largely determined the course of his life journey.
Interspersed with the flying were episodes of marriage and child-raising, real-estate development, editing 2nd editions of his father’s valuable works, “With All Arms” and “The Dead Men Wore Boots,” as well as the great late run of a decade in France with lively Flore Hussenot, Sorbonne professeur, free spirit, companion extraordinaire.
As holder of possibly the worst ever grade transcript from Texas A&I College in Kingsville, Duaine nevertheless managed a lifelong progression of self-teaching, including several varieties of “how not to (fill in the blanks).” A newspaper omnivore, he had an abiding appreciation of the fifth column, including the op-ed pages, the comics, and the crossword puzzles. Necessary as food and drink to him were the primary classics of all categories of the arts. Early south Texas ranching and construction jobs forged an eclectic working life seldom including office work, but rather thriving in open air.
His exceptional parents, Carl Laurence and Goldie “Pat” Atkisson Duaine, and likewise noteworthy siblings, Diane, Carl Eric, and Bruce Landrum Duaine, made up a singularly unique little tribe, one set apart as much by attitude as by circumstance. The stuff of a great novel, that family, and a sorrow to Alan that he never got around to writing about it as such, which may be just as well.
What he did write about was his flying life. In his “Aviation Trilogy,” he chronicled the long progression of “Cold Warrior,” on his fighter pilot days in the Air Force, “Where the High Winds Run,” of his term as an airline pilot with Braniff International Airways, and “Hobo Pilot,” on his shot at freelance international corporate aviation.
Duaine was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 30th, 1931. His former wife is Janet Cathleen Halstead Egen Duaine; his bonus kids are Gregg Michael Egen (Caroline) and Donna Michele Egen (David Sonefeld). His biological children are Allison Kirstin Duaine Montesi (Terry), Alexander Christian Duaine, and Jennifer Cathleen Duaine. He had 10 grandchildren.
He hoped to be remembered in the hearts of those left behind as a romantic skeptic, as sympathetic to all living things, as proud of his heritage both Anglo and Mexican, and to have his ashes scattered to a gusty wind on a bright, sunny day.”(1)
At his request, no services planned, but we are planning a Celebration of Life to be held hopefully in early 2023.