I know that I have been acquainted with the Duncan family for—I was trying to figure it out—for 28 or 29 years [ca. 1983]. When I pastored Union Baptist Church back in the 80s . . . and where the pastorum and the old church building was located on Jenkinsburg Road, Tad and his family lived just down the road from the church. And that’s how Katie and I got acquainted with Tad and Carol and the kiddos. . . .
I came back to Griffin at the beginning of ’03 . . . And while I was here at Wildwood, I looked out one Sunday and who was there? It was Carol and Tad. And we—I don’t think—we had seen them in about twelve years. But of course I was glad to see them. So was Katie. So when you take our acquaintance and put it together, it equals out to about 28 or 29 years. It’s been a very good relationship.
I never found Tad Duncan to be a man hard to get along with. He was an outgoing person. I’m an introvert. He was an outravert. It’s true. He never met a stranger. He could talk to a sign board. I’ll tell you. That was Tad.
[Woman, perhaps his wife Katie, interjecting:] But it would answer him back, too.
We’d go out sometime with Tad and Carol to have a meal, usually at the Chinese house up here at Belk’s, and he’d have something going with the waitress. That’s the way he was. . . .
While I was here at Wildwood as pastor, we had need of someone to lead us in music. And Brother Milton and Brother Tad, they joined in together and they helped us in leading the music here.
When I get back to myself as just a personal guy from Tad to myself, he was very special. I know we have two ceiling fans hanging in our house that Tad put up. We have two other ceiling fans that Tad put switches in. There’s a light on the front on one of the barns behind our house that Tad wired up. That Chevrolet we drive that’s parked out back here, he put Freon in. And there are other things he did. He probably never thought anything about it.
When that tornado came through last year, my truck trigger, it got damaged. It got damaged bad. It’s still in the hospital. You know what, Guys, I don’t know when he’s going to fix it. But Tad and Carol had just come back from Arizona and they came by to see us. We had some damage. There was other people had a lot more damage than we did. He saw the truck how it was damaged. He said, ‘Ralph, I have a pickup truck at the house.’ He said, ‘I’m going to bring it over here to you. The insurance is paid. It’s got a tag on it. You won’t have to worry at all about it. I want you to take it and keep it and use it.’ So they went back to Arizona and I kept that truck for nearly a year.
And Tad called me one day and said Trey was needing a pickup, and needing a big pickup. It was a big pickup. I said, ‘That’s fine’ because I was going to let Tad have it back—I’d had it for nearly a year—when they came back from Arizona. Trey came back a little bit early and I brought it over to him. Well when he and Carol got here, he insisted to put a trailer hitch on our car. I said, ‘Tad, you don’t have to do that.’
‘Yah, I want to. I feel bad about taking the truck.’
I said, ‘Don’t feel bad about it, man. I had it nearly a year.’ But he went and found a hitch for that automobile that we drive. And he took it over somewhere. He was going to put it on himself, but he ran into somewhat of a problem. (When Tad and Carol came back this past time, I knew something was wrong with my buddy; he had just lost too much weight. I knew. But he just kept going.) So he took that car somewhere and had that thing put on and then he had to wire up the lights.
And you know, when it comes to somebody like that and having a friend like that, I just don’t forget it. I just don’t forget it. I enjoyed being in his company. And there were other things that he did for me in a personal way. So when I come here today in a celebration for Tad Duncan’s life, I can celebrate the fact that he was a great friend of mine. There is a sadness and I miss him already. So does Carol and the family. I know that. But there is something to celebrate when a man lived a life like he did. Not a perfect life. None of us are perfect. But he lived a life.Ralph Simmons, pastor and friend, speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, partial transcription, audio provided by Gloria Boyer (Tad’s daughter)
Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).
Did Tad ever helped you out? What do you recall about that incident?
Do you remember singing with Tad? What did you sing? What was the occasion?
Did he play an instrument? Who taught him to play? Sing?
Growing up, did he talk to everyone? Was he an extravert? Give an example.