Duane “Big D” Lee Ezzell | Obituaries

It is with great sadness that we announce that Duane Ezzell died of pancreatic cancer on May 23, 2021. Duane was born on December 9, 1962 in Vancouver, Washington, to his father Bill Ezzell and mother Barbara Ezzell. Duane moved his family to St. Helens, Oregon in 5th grade.

During his stay in St. Helens, his sister Jill remembers that he excelled in everything “shop class”: woodworking, metalworking and auto repairing. In high school, he bought a distinctive cherry red VW Baja Bug that was the pride of his teenage years. He became an expert at disassembling and reassembling cars. His love and experience with the Baja Bug continued into adulthood, where he worked in the pit crew for friends at the Baja 1000 off-road motorsport races alongside Score San Felipe 250 for several years and even competed in a race just a month before his passing . Being part of Motorsport Racing was more than a hobby for Duane, they were a family and Mexico was his second home!

Duane lived and loved big; he had the biggest heart of anyone we know. It would be hard to find someone who didn’t absolutely love Big “D” within minutes of meeting them. He was always ready for a good outdoor adventure wherever it took him! Duane enjoyed snowmobiling, skiing in the mountains, driving 4x4s on the beach or in the desert, rafting on the white water or just boating on the river, it didn’t matter as long as he had good friends, with whom he could share it. Duane loved a good party and wherever the party was, rest assured that Big D was in the middle and last to leave. Most of all, he loved God and his family. Duane was always there! Every Christmas get-together, Easter, wedding, birthday, graduation, funeral, every family get-together, no matter when or where, he made it a priority. Which, as his brother Jeff said, “I’m just realizing the empty void that will be left at our next meeting.”

Duane was always ready to help. He enjoyed his commitment and membership with his local elks. He was a pillar in the boat community and a member of the St. Helens Yacht Club. He was always involved in the July 4th fireworks display, along with several other community functions. He was the nicest man you have ever met. Duane was married to Ronda Sigler only once in the late 1980s. He took an active role as the parents of Brandi Kneeland and Brandon Lasich who became the real pride and joy of his life. He cherished his grandchildren and all of the adventures they had boating, fishing, and camping over the years. He played this role until his death. Duane was an amazing father and father to his grandchildren. He loved her with all his heart.

Duane leaves behind his beloved children Brandi Kneeland (husband Matt) and Brandon; four grandchildren (Jordan, Dylan, Araina and Lexi). Siblings: Jim Ezzell (wife, Tecia) Jeff Ezzell (wife, Sarai) and Jill “Ezzell” Bennett (husband, Ed).

A celebration of life will take place on June 26, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in St. Helens at Elks Lodge. Instead of flowers, we ask if you would instead like to share memories or stories that you may have had with Duane. If you would like to share pictures or memories, please email them to [email protected] We’re going to share some at the memorial. Duane wants us to remember all the good times. We will all miss his laughs, incredible smiles and so much more! Please register in our online guest book at www.columbiafh.com.

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