Tag Archives: Carol Duncan

Miss Bowen To Wed Airman

Tad and Carol Engagement Notice“Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowen, 95th St., make known the betrothal of their daughter, Miss Nancy Carol Bowen, to Airman 2nd Class Taylor Albert Duncan Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Albert Duncan, Boston, Mass.

“Miss Bowen is a graduate of LaSalle High School. Airman Duncan is stationed at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base.

“An early spring wedding is planned.”

newspaper notice discovered in Tad’s papers by Gloria Boyer (Tad’s daughter) and scanned at the family reunion, January 2014 by Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Tad and Carol Duncan WeddingCan 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 you ever visit Tad/Junior at the Niagara Falls Air Force Base? Can you tell about that period for Tad? How long was he in the Air Force?
  • Can you tell the story of Tad’s courtship with Carol? Where did the engagement/wedding rings come from? 
  • I can’t seem to find the wedding date for Tad and Carol. Can you supply it?
  • Do you have the name of this newspaper or the date this was posted?
  • Can you offer any wedding pictures of Tad and Carol’s wedding?
  • What church did the wedding take place in? Where?
  • Were you at the wedding? Can you tell us about it? Were there family attendants or groomsmen? 
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A She-Bear and a Man without Guile

Carol, Tad, Gloria, Trey, ca. 1970 or 71Today is Uncle Tad’s 75th birthday. It’s his first birthday in heaven, and we rejoice with him. You know, as I was reflecting back on my uncle, there are several word pictures that come to mind, pictures of his qualities.

One of the first ones that came to mind was that he is like Nathanael. Do you know when Jesus called Nathaniel what he said of him [John 1:47]? Do you remember the story?

[Answering from the crowd]: A man without guile.

A man without guile. That’s the way I think of Uncle Tad. He’s a man, an honest man, a man who didn’t beat around the bushes. He just told the truth.

So I appreciate my uncle in many ways, lots of other ways, but I want to read to you a letter from my sister Gail, who spent some time with them.

Also before I do that, I want to just mention that one of his generous qualities was to, well to supply needs whenever they were there. It’s been mentioned several times already. When my mother had a need—she was without a vehicle for a while—Uncle Tad just gave her a vehicle, just gave her a car. She drove that car for years and years.

My sister Gail has driven with my Uncle Tad. She lives in Arizona as well. When my Uncle Tad drove out to my mother’s husband’s, to Ken’s funeral, she says: “I have felt close to Uncle Tad and Aunt Carol since they lived in the Tucson area the numerous past years and I spent a good amount of time with them. Uncle Tad drove me from Tucson to Santa Ana for Ken’s funeral and back. We had such a great quality time together.”

And then Gail had the chance, along with my sister Virginia, to be in Tucson for the funeral during that period of time. She said, “A couple of nights after Uncle Tad died, I had a dream. In my dream I saw Uncle Tad in heaven. He could look down and see Aunt Carol, Gloria, and Trey, the family along with many others who were sad. But then he turned his face to Jesus and fell on his knees and fell prostrate before the Lord Jesus. From what I could see in my dream, he was so overwhelmed with being in His presence, he started raising his hands, crying, and singing praises to Jesus. And Gail says, “He wasn’t in tune either, but Jesus didn’t care.

“The Lord gave me such peace. I was sad for myself off and on, but I want to be happy for him. He’s in the presence of the Lord.”

And I have just a few words that I shared myself. I was writing, actually, a letter and as I thought and thought through some different episodes of my time with my Uncle Tad, some of the qualities that he has, this is what I put together.

“I think of Uncle Tad being present at gatherings, at this gathering as he almost always was for the Duncan clan, entertaining with interjected wise cracks from a side table—welcome humor when least expected and typically self-effacing. At this celebration of his life and in his honor, he’s undoubtedly watching now, too, from behind a curtain. But if we listen closely, we may just hear his unbridled guffaws at his own expense.

“You know the character types that Gary Smalley writes about, that he uses? I don’t know if you do, but the lion, the otter, the beaver, and the golden retriever. Some of you may have heard of those different character quality types. Well, Uncle Tad was a bear, a honey bear most of the time, who loved the unfortunate and would do anything for you, but with a healthy dose of mother she-bear at times, uncommonly loyal and protective and utterly transparent. He was just like Nathanael.

“With his gusto laugh and quiet generosity, he left his mark everywhere.” And then I mention the car that he gave to my mother when she had a need. “As a Wycliffe Associate, he spent lots and lots of time in Arizona.” You all know that. He went to actually live there. “He was always filling gaps wherever they may be. He was an engineer who preferred to drive a truck; a Crystal Palace[Crystal Cathedral]volunteer who quietly, energetically carried gifts to needy children; a dedicated and loving husband and father. Gloria’s Facebook ID pictures him well: Uncle Tad’s mischievous grin that would charm a clam and her kiss gladly returning his generous love.

“How can we go on without a man of his character and stature? Well Uncle Tad would probably quip with a belly laugh, ‘Wanna’ trade places?’

“Where he is now, I wouldn’t mind. I’d be glad to.”

transcription of Eric Kindberg [Lee’s son], speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, 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.).

  • Gail, can you tell us more about your ride to and from Ken’s funeral with Uncle Tad?
  • Will someone tell the story of how Aunt Lee and Uncle Ken came together?
  • What jokes can you recall Uncle Tad telling?
  • What was the date of Ken’s funeral?

Tad Ignores Betty and Gives Lee Away

I’m Kathy [Courtright]. I’m the daughter of the oldest of the Duncan children, or adults. My mom Lee was very close to Tad. She was not able to make it today. She lives in California, but she did want to pass on a little message, so she told me this on the phone, so I could read it to you today.

Marcia, Steve, Tad, Harley, Barbara, Polly, Carol, Lee, Betty at Bob's funeral, June 2010, courtesy of Colin Duncan“Tad has been the closest in personality to me and though he was ten years younger than me [Lee b. 1927; Tad b. 1937], we have always been close friends. At one point when we were young adults, he traveled and brought me back a gift of really nice earrings. That meant a lot to me. That’s something to do for an older sister.

“We had a lot of fun times together, especially when living close together in Tucson. There was a time Tad took me out driving to help me build my confidence when I was still driving.”

She was getting to the place where she couldn’t see very well and she was losing that confidence. He wanted her to be able to do that again for a little while longer.

“He was the one who gave me away to Ken [Watters] when we married fifteen years ago [Lee and Ken Watters [m. 03.17.2001]. And Carol graciously made our wedding cake for the ceremony at the Wycliffe Center in Tucson. Tad helped us get away after the wedding for a quick escape.

“Also Tad and Ken shared the same birthdate—”

That’s today, when he would be 75 today.

“—although they were twenty years apart. Carol has been such a big help to me in improving my wardrobe over the years. In Tucson, they offered their home for short stays and we exchanged hospitality at our homes. We had good times together. I will greatly miss their visits with me here in California. They have been such good friends and I will greatly miss seeing Tad again.”

That was from Lee.

The other sister Betty, who could not be here, either, today—she’s out in California also—she had her husband send this by email.

“When I was six years old [b. 1931], Tad entered the circle of our family. My first babysitting job was looking after him. I remember that Tad had a mind of his own and wasn’t always willing to follow the instructions of Sister Betty.

“Years later, when Brother Wally bought an old hearse, Tad loved to ride in the back with the others and enjoyed it when Wally would stop at a light and he and others would sit up where the casket was supposed to be and stare, and scare the onlookers.

“As the years wore on, Tad showed a great interest in family and things of the Lord. This was renewed a year ago when he stopped by our home. What a wonderful time of spiritual fellowship we had. I treasure that precious memory.”

That’s Aunt Betty.

transcription of Kathy Courtright [Lee’s daughter], speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, 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.).

  • When (date) were Lee and Ken married?
  • What other stories of Lee and Tad getting together in Tucson and California do you remember?
  • What other stories of Wally’s hearse can you tell?
  • What other stories of Betty babysitting can you tell? Dad can you pass along the baby-Steve-drop story?

Tad Serves and Surprises at Weddings and Funerals

Hello, I’m Tad’s sister-in-law, having married into this wonderful family over forty years ago. I married Wally, his oldest brother, who died six years ago. Tad’s the third boy to be contented with the Lord, so I’m sure they’re having a wonderful reunion and laughing.

The boys all have similar traits, tinkering around with pieces of junk, trying to get it working. One thing they have is they’re very, very sensitive, very loving men that we married, we women. I remember a couple of instances: Tad, as someone said, was always there.

Whenever, in our family we had a wedding or a funeral or even a birthday party for his brother, Tad and Carol drove up, which was a distance to Chicago, to be with us and to support us. That’s another thing the Duncan family has had is great support for one another. It’s been my blessing to be part of it.

Once when we came to a wedding, my daughter [Joy] had lost the patchable sleeve of her wedding dress. He and my husband drove a hundred miles into Indiana to find some material to replace it. He just wanted to serve. He was so much fun. Whatever there was to do, he was going to help.

At another wedding, I had a 95-year-old mother, who was just full of life and fun-acting, but without a dance partner. He came over to my mom and he danced with my mom. He danced, not one dance, but a few dances. She remembered that wedding when Tad had danced with her like she was Cinderella at a ball. As I said, a very sensitive heart.

When he’d come to visit, often, he’d never prepare us. He’d always surprise us. We’d get a call, “I’m on the border of Chicago and Indiana. I have an 18-wheeler. I’m going to leave it here. Could you come and get me and I’ll come see you?” Surprise! We were going to drive fifty miles into Indiana. Or he’d call, “Carol and I are just about at your house. We’re coming to visit Wally.” Wally was sick. They were always pleasant surprises and we loved to have him.

I thought when he died it was a surprise to all of us. We didn’t expect it. So like Tad. [. . .] He didn’t even want to come into the viewing of the casket of his brothers. It hurt him. I know it’s just because he was so sensitive and loving he could barely bear with that.

He passed from us but into the presence of the Lord, I’m sure, just the way he wanted to: surprising us, but not suffering or dependent on anybody for help. He just is in heaven rejoicing, I’m sure. Carol, I’m sure there’s a reunion in heaven.

transcription of Barbara Duncan [Wally’s wife], speaking at Tad’s memorial service, Wildwood Baptist Church (950 County Line Church Road, Griffin, GA 30223), June 22, 2012, 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.).

  • What year was Joy’s wedding when the patchable piece was lost?
  • Which wedding is the one that Tad danced with Barbara’s mother? What year was that?
  • What was Barbara’s mother’s name?
  • Can someone send me a digital photo of Joy’s wedding, particularly the gown? How about a photo of the other wedding mentioned, particularly if we can get one where Tad’s dancing with Barbara’s mother? Thanks!
  • Whose weddings was Tad in? What role did he play? How did it go?
  • Tell us the story of Tad attending your wedding or your children’s weddings. What did Tad do to the get-away cars? What sorts of pre-wedding hijinks did he play? How did he help out?

Foolin’ with Old Junk

Carol and Tad, ca. 1961I delight in the fact that he [Tad] liked to work. He liked to work.

When I went to Union Baptist Church, he had an eighteen-wheeler. And an eighteen-wheeler is like a motor home. If you don’t keep it on the road, you’re not going to get your money out of it. When you own an eighteen-wheeler, you have to keep it rolling. He’d make long runs. I’d see him come out from where he lived and I’d see him come back in. He worked. He was a hard-working man. Everything that I can say about him, Carol, he was a worker. He was a worker.

I know the last, I guess maybe the last conversation, I was over there cutting grass at their house. Tad had a mower and he was cutting. I said, “Tad,” I said, “Why don’t you consider getting you a big mower?” If you’ve been over there where they live on Steele Road, it’s a pretty good size yard, isn’t it, Trey? And I think I might have had him talking into getting one.

“But Tad was a guy; he liked to fool with old junk.”

[Trey interjects]: Amen!

Old junk. My son-in-law gave me a lawnmower, a riding lawnmower and it was parked down at the house, Marvin. I didn’t ever use it. I said, “Tad,” I said, “Could you use this old mower?” It cranked up and run good, but it had miles on it. He brought it over. Still over at the house over there. You rode it the other day. He got it out and was going to ride it when they got back. The deck on it wasn’t level. When I saw him, he said, “Ralph, I’ve cut some grass, but I really whacked it up.” You could, you could see it where it was dug in. I said, “Well that’ll heal in time because that grass will grow back.” He was that kind of a guy. He just liked to take something or other that looked like it was wore out and make it go. And most always he was successful. I delight in the fact that he was a workman.

I delight in the fact that he loved his family. He and Carol met on a blind date. Didn’t you?

[Carol]: Yes.

Carol, Gloria, Trey, Tad, ca. 1970You did. He was in the Air Force. You see Tad’s from Massachusetts. That’s where Romney’s from. I don’t want to get into politics. But Carol’s from Pennsylvania. There’s a distance between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Anyway they were brought together on a blind date. A spark flew. It turned into a fire. And they got married [ca. 1959]. I believe you told me y’all had been married 48 years?

[Carol]: Fifty-three.

OK. How about that? And in that marriage, the Lord gave them a handsome son and a very pretty daughter and also a son-in-law Chris and a grandson Brett. He delighted in his family.

Tad delighted in the Lord’s work. I never heard him teach a class nor never heard him preach a sermon, but he delighted in joining in and participating. He liked music. I delight in that fact.

But there was something else about Tad Duncan that I can’t pass over and that’s this: I delight in the fact that he was man enough to stand up when he thought something was wrong and speak out. And some of you know what I’m talking about. He wasn’t hard to get along with, but if he didn’t think it was right and going right, down the right path, he would stand up and he would speak out. There were times he had to stand alone. I delight in that.

So, my dear friends, I could go on and say more, but time is passing by.

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, transcription of 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.).

  • Do you recall other stories about Tad as an adult?
  • Can you tell about his experience in the Air Force? When did he join? Why? What did he do? Where did he train? Where did he serve?
  • Can you tell more about Tad and Carol’s wedding? Do you have photos? I guessed they married in 1959? Was that right? Can you provide the exact date?

Outravert, Music Leader, Source of Electricity and Trucks

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.