Grandpa Duncan’s Birthday

Today is Grandpa Roy Duncan’s birthday.  Thomas Leroy Duncan was born 122 years ago in LaMoille, Illinois.

James, Thomas (Roy), Clifford Duncan

Grandpa Duncan was the poster boy for Enthusiasm.  He was always up for whatever activity was suggested.  “I’m going to the store to get bread, does anyone want to go?”  Grandpa Duncan would want to go.  He was interested in anything his children or grandchildren were doing.

He had married his high school sweetheart, Albie Irene Oakland, and they had three daughters.  Mom always said hers was an ideal childhood – picnics, big family gatherings for holidays and reunions, and a few road trips.

Albie & Roy with the girls, Barbara, Harriet, & Helen

But Grandpa’s life had many tribulations.  Albie died when the girls were 14, 12, and 9.  He eventually remarried, but also outlived that wife.  His third marriage was to a younger woman and he was cherished for the rest of his life.

His third wife told me this story.  When Grandpa was getting on in years, he would get up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom.  As he got out of bed, he would pat his place on the sheet and say ‘Save my place for me.’

He gave me one of those childhood dream moments when I was about 10.  He worked in the accounting department at Stewart’s Department Store in Rockford.  Mom and I were visiting to celebrate DeKalb’s centennial.  Grandpa took me to the toy department and asked me what I wanted.  Anything I wanted.   The dream part was being asked, because I don’t even remember what I chose!

I use Grandpa Duncan as a model – which side of the family do I want to be like in a given situation?  Usually it’s his side!  I’ve never quite matched his positive outlook, that enthusiasm, and the willingness to join in and help.  I still aspire to it.

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5 Responses to Grandpa Duncan’s Birthday

  1. Tex says:

    Grandpa Duncan’s are the ones that make life worth living, the icing and the cake, the little things that go noticed. Most of us that breath are non-descript characters but thank God for the Duncans who add color to the world. I want him around to go to the store with me and make the mundane memorable. I wish I could learn to be like him and I do try. I just was not born with color. I miss him too. I had a special Grandma who added spice to my life.

  2. Isn’t it great to have a grandpa like that?

  3. Pingback: Thomas LeRoy Duncan | This I Leave

  4. My Grandpa Harris died when I was six, but he still guides and influences me, sixty-six years later.

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