John “Duke Wayne” Lavender

John “Duke Wayne” Lavender 46 of Amarillo Texas passed away June 14, 2023, in Amarillo Texas.  John was a graduate of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch in 1995.  John was born to Carl David Lavender and Donna Gail Brown in 1976.

Growing up at Boys Ranch instilled a sense of respect, a strong work ethic and a compassion for others. This compassion truly shined through when he was around animals and children, which he loved. He also cared deeply when helping others in their time of need when he was an EMT medic.

John loved deeply, cared fiercely and made you feel that you were the center of his attention. Although he lost his ability to speak in his later years, he did not lose his ability to make you smile and laugh.

John was predeceased by his father Carl David Lavender; his grandparents JD and Peggy Lavender of Amarillo; his wife, Carol Settle, and Carl Rahn of Amarillo.

John is survived by his grandmother Evelyn Rahn; his mother Donna Brown, and stepfather Kenneth Brown; five brothers David, James, Terry, Jerry Lavender and Josh Brown; two beloved children, Dylan and Taylor; multiple aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as many Brothers and Sisters of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.

John will be sorely missed by those he has left behind but his friends, family and the residents and staff at 5 Points Nursing Home are all relieved that he is no longer in pain.

A memorial service for John was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Chapel in Boys Ranch, Texas.


  1. Gayle Lavender

    The first time I met John Lavender I was saying his dad, Carl and John came up to me and said I’ve been waiting for you. And from then on, there was always laughter and happiness when he was around he loved my granddaughter, Aubrye, like she was his. I didn’t give birth to John but I loved him like a son. He’s gone, but he’s not forgotten and praise God he is no longer sick.

  2. Aubrye Villegas

    I was Carl Lavenders step granddaughter but he helped raise me so step doesn’t count to me. I don’t remember a lot from when I was little but I remember John. He was a bright light and a fun person to be around. He always made me laugh. One of my favorite memories with John was us singing Rolling in the Deep together by Adele on our way to the park. He didn’t sing all that well but that never stopped him. Now I’m 23 and obsessed with Adele, all because of John. I’ll never forget all the fun times we had, and I’m glad that that’s exactly how I remember him. Happy and full of life.

  3. Jeff Taylor

    My lil brother, some know and some don’t, you are the man, we grew up together and he was once in my room, everyday was a good memory, if you can honestly leave just one you didn’t know John Lavender

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