Duncan was a respected individual of uncompromising dedication. A high degree of engagement and service to his community, profession, hobbies, friends, and family are evident in his absence. Duncan is remembered with respect as a father to Caren and Andrew, grandfather to Cambria and Reagan, and friend to all who greatly miss him. Duncan shared his time and talents far and wide throughout his life, touched the lives of many, and left this world a better place by being in it.
He was lost in service on July 15, 2020, while responding to serve his rural community. It was a tragedy for his family and community, as so much remained to be experienced and enjoyed. Duncan was a humble man of incredible strength and selflessness.
Duncan’s service to Ringgold and surrounding communities started in February 2015, resuming a long history of making a difference in his community. He quickly rose to the role of assistant chief in 2018. Duncan was a strong force in the evolution of the Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department, the surrounding community, and his fellow firefighters. The “Tin Man” had an impact on all who had the pleasure to meet and work with him in Montague and Clay Counties.
Duncan regularly attended Red River Valley Wildland Fire Academy for certifications to increase his skills and capabilities. He was proud, yet humble in his pursuits and attainment at the Wildland Firefighter Academy: GPS & Mapping, S131 Firefighter Type 1, SCBA/PPE/Firefighter Safety Classes, and NFPA 1001 Standard for himself and the department. He represented the RVFD as a storm watcher and crime fighter, contributing a positive force for continuous improvement.
As assistant chief, he assisted in procuring new apparatus and equipment and establishing processes to advance the evolution of the department. Most notable was his effort to convert a Stewart-Stevenson Army truck to a wildland fire truck, “Duncan’s Kitten.” The housing and dedication of this apparatus was completed in memoriam after his death in the line of duty.
Before his involvement with the Ringgold Volunteer Fire Department, he served as an engineer with Minquas Fire Company #2 in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and was an accomplished crash fire and rescue responder during his career in aviation. A private pilot for over 50 years, he was an accredited member of the American Association of Airport Executives, owner and operator of Henderson Field, president of Hand Feed Cattlemen’s Association, leader of the “39 Gang,” and an Eagle Scout.
Duncan leaves us all with inspiration and a legacy that we can only hope to mimic in our own lives. He made the best of this.