Dwayne W. Peaslee

Funeral services for Dwayne W. Peaslee, 81, Lawrence, KS will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 22, 2013 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Lawrence. Private burial will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery. He died Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Dwayne was born July 13, 1932 in Lawrence, KS the son of Dwight W. and Leona (Hodges) Peaslee.

He had moved to Lawrence in – after being a resident of Perry since 1976.

He served his country in the United States Army from 1953 – 1955 as a Medic with a rank of SP-3.

He attended the University of Kansas for three years and then five years at the Pipefitter’s Apprenticeship and Leadership Training at The George Meany Training Center in Washington, D.C.

Dwayne served seven years on the Douglas County United Way Board of Directors and coordinated the refurbishing of the Valleyview Care Home into office areas for service agencies, using many of the building trade apprentices, which is now The United Way Service Center. The Center received a National Award for this achievement. He served on the City-County Planning Commission, The City-County Economic Development Board, The City Administrative Review Committee, served a term as a board member of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Lawrence Chamber Commerce Labor-Management Task Force, and he was a current member of the Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee. He served as a chairman of the Lawrence School District’s School-to-Career Partnership. He served on the Lawrence Plumber’s & Pipefitter’s Joint Training Committee for 20 years, the Lawrence Local Areas’ Joint Apprenticeship Committee and a Trustee of UA Local #441 Plumber’s & Pipefitter’s Apprenticeship Training of Kansas Board. In August 2011 he was inducted into the United States Apprenticeship Association Hall of Fame.

Dwayne served the Kansas Governor for 17 years on the (SAC) State Apprenticeship Council, and of recent, still attended SAC meetings. He served 15 years on the State Building Advisory Commission, 15 years on the Kansas Workforce Investment Board, on the Governor’s 21st Century Taskforce and the Governor’s Commission on Health and Safety and The Housing and Homeless Commission. He served for the Kansas Secretary of Education on a Business-Education Taskforce. He participated in School-to-Career Grant reviews on the State and Federal level. He formerly assisted the Kansas Board of Education as a member of the Kansas Advisory Council on Career and Technical Education.

He served several different offices at Immanuel Lutheran Church in the 1960’s and early 70’s as well as being the youth leader which included starting a cub and boy scout troop. He served on the building committee that had Redeemer Lutheran Church constructed in 1978 and the expansion in 2000. He was elected to Redeemer’s church council in 1978 and serving up to the present time. He served as President, Vice President, Secretary, and on the Board of Elders, Board of Evangelism, Communication & Social Concerns Committee and Vacation Bible School Director. He was currently the Chairman of the Communication & Social Concerns Committee.

Dwayne was a pipefitter for 60 years and served as the Business Manager for the Plumber’s & Pipefitter’s Lawrence Local Union from 1987 – 1993.

In September 2013, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce announced that they will name the adult training center to be built near 31st and Haskell Avenue after Dwayne. “Dwayne is a gentleman who has, over his lifetime, had a tremendous impact on business, on Lawrence’s economy, on individuals,” said Greg Williams, president and CEO of the Lawrence Chamber.
In 2012, the Lawrence Chamber presented him with the prestigious Citizen of the Years Award.

He married Ruby B. Bagby on December 22, 1951 in Danforth Chapel in Lawrence. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include one daughter, Valerie Dawn Earhart (husband Darrin), Springfield, MO; and one son, Kyle Wayne Peaslee, Brown Deer, WI.

The family will greet friends from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Redeemer Lutheran Church or Kaw Valley Wood Carver’s – Topeka, or to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

16 Condolences

  1. Shirley Martin-Smith on November 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    When Dwayne left for heaven this morning, all many of us could think about was how much we would miss him; especially his unending love of family, friends, and community. Dwayne’s hope for all of us was to have meaningful work, and a meaningful life. Dwayne lived that hope everyday and was a mentor to so many of us in this comunity. His hard work on behalf of all of us was not hard work to him, but born out of his passion for a good community and a good future for our children. Dwayne, both Robin and I will miss you very much. Thank you for being a friend to our entire family over the years. Thank you to Ruby, Valerie and Kyle, for sharing your father with us. He was a gift.

  2. Gary Toebben on November 19, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    In my 38 years in chamber of commerce work, I have never met a labor leader who was more committed to partnering with business to create new jobs and benefit the entire community. He was a role model for all of us.

  3. Bill Moorhead on November 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Many blessings. We grieve, but not as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). I will let my brother Jon know.

  4. Frank and Connie Wittman on November 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Dwayne was a great leader and a good honest man. He worked hard to keep the jobs for the men and women over the years. He always met you with a smile and a warm hand shake. May he rest in peace.

  5. Mike Gibson on November 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    On behalf of Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Kansas’s 250 Kansas construction contractors and their 8,000 employees, which is recognized as the “Chamber of Commerce for the Construction Industry”, I would like to pass along our thoughts and prayers to the family of Dwayne Peaslee. Mr. Peaslee was a leader in the construction industry and will be missed by all in our industry.

    Mike Gibson
    Executive Vice President
    AGC of Kansas

  6. Gary Silvey on November 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Ruby and family,

    Sorry, for your loss. Dwayne was well respected and appreciated by many. I truly wish I had the opportunity to work with him. My predecessor Charlie Roster always spoke very highly of Dwayne.

    Gary Silvey
    Business Manager
    UA Local 45
    Plumbers & Pipefitters
    St. Joseph, MO

  7. Shirley Sherretts on November 21, 2013 at 7:17 am


    Dwayne will be missed very much at the Woodcarving Meeting. I enjoy visit and working with him. He always had big smile on him face and gleam in his eyes. I know that he enjoy woodcarving. He would always joke with me when I would say but you can carve this for me and do that when it came to the Christmas tree. Always laugh when I would say but you can do that, and he would say she thinks we can do that. We always got it done and it was great.. His work in woodcarving was beautiful work. I will miss him very much.

    Shirley Sherretts

  8. Doris Pratt on November 21, 2013 at 9:41 am

    So sorry to read of your loss. I know he will be missed by you and your family as well as many others. Be thankful for the good years.

  9. IBEW, Local Union 304 on November 21, 2013 at 10:19 am

    We are so sorry to hear of Dwayne’s passing. IBEW, Local Union 304 worked with him on various committees and appreciated all his hard work and commitment. He was a very caring person, we will miss his knowledge and mentoring.
    Our deepest sympathy.
    IBEW, Local Union 304

  10. Jim and Cindy Langton on November 21, 2013 at 10:30 am


    So sorry to hear about Duane’s passing. So glad to get to visit with you before your move to Lawrence. Sure miss seeing you and know he will be missed by many.

  11. Mike George on November 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I don’t know how I could say more about Dwayne than has already been expressed, but in addition to all his contributions, I will miss him because he was a very good friend in many ways. Our condolences to Ruby and family.

  12. Maley Kay Wilkins on November 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Mr. Peaslee (Dwayne) was an amazing mentor for me through many seasons of my career/life. We worked closely together on numerous campaigns, including my own when I ran for school board. I loved his confidence and his willingness to invest in people like myself. I learned from him. He had so many gifts and shared them selflessly. Big thanks to Ruby for supporting his work in our Community. We are better because of him.

    Kyle – I hope you are doing well. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. Anonymous on November 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Ruby, Valerie and Family:

    I fully realize what a difficult time this is for all you, and I share in your grief. There are so many fond memories of when our children were growing up in the Broken Arrow neighborhood. Vic and I always recognized that Dwayne cared a great deal about education both for his children and all other young people in Lawrence. Our community is a better place because Dwayne cared. We are thankful for having the opportunity to share at least a small portion of our lives with your family. And certainly, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Norma Harrod

  14. Sandy Praeger on November 22, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I first met Dwayne when I was campaigning for a seat on the Lawrence City Commission in 1985. We talked about the importance of good jobs in our community and he continued that message for years. His dedication to his message continued into his retirement years, demonstrating that what had been his job was much more than that. I am so glad that the new technology training facility will be named in his honor. It is such a fitting tribute to his many years of dedication to our community. I so enjoyed my long friendship with this wonderful man. He will be missed.

  15. Carrie Lindsey on November 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

    After I moved here in 1995, Dwayne Pealsee was one of the first Lawrenians I knew as a bridge builder. He was at every meeting where ideas on how to better Lawrence were being discussed. Whatever he was doing, he seemed a model of civility and what it meant to be civically engaged. My condolences to his family. He was a great man.

  16. Charlie & Bea Roster on November 25, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Ruby and Family — we were so sad to hear of Dwayne’s passing. You know he was one of our favorites of all time. We enjoyed his company so many times. To many to speak of here — BUT — know we’ll always remember him in our hearts as a dear man. We were in Mexico at the time of the service and have just returned or we would have been there to honor him. May he rest in peace.

Leave a Condolence