Tag Archives: Chicago

Duncan Descendants Family Reunion

Chicago | May 27–30, 2016

Dear Duncan Family:

We are excited about the upcoming reunion—less than 1 month away!

We have approximately 34 scheduled to attend. By email, you should have received a file with attendees, their contact information, as well as who has cars (for carpooling).

  • Staying in a Duncan home? Please check the file to see who you will be staying with.
  • Still need a room? Please let Bonnie know asap by clicking here.
  • Prefer a hotel? We recommend the Holiday Inn O’Hare, which is very close. Click here.

We are looking forward to seeing you!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments or if there is anything I can help you with ahead of your trip!

See you Friday night at 7pm (at Joy’s)!

Bonnie

(ALWAYS UPDATED) WEBSITE:  http://www.duncan2016.myevent.com/ 

Duncan Descendants Family Reunion

Dates:  Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30, 2016

Nearest Airport:  O’Hare (ORD) is 10 minutes from Duncan HQ.

Other Airport: Midway (MDW) is 40 minutes away.

Duncan Contacts:  Click here for Barb Duncan. Click here for Bonnie Tinder.

Facebook Reunion Site: Click here to post pictures, watch the weekend, comment and connect.

Weekend Lineup

Friday

7:00 pm — Italian Dinner & Welcome Kickoff at Joy Duncan Farina’s Home

Saturday

9:00 am— Breakfast at Taylor Duncan’s Home

11:00 am— Depart for Downtown Chicago Duncan Scavenger Hunt and Chicago Tour (weather permitting)

6:00 pm— Duncan Family Luau at Bonnie Duncan Tinder’s Home

Sunday

10:30 am— Worship Service Together at South Park Church

following— Lunch Together at South Park Church

afternoon— Group Activities around Chicago

5:00 pm— Dinner Together at Portillo’s in Niles

Monday

9:00 am— Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade and Activities

following— Visit to Wally Duncan’s Gravesite, Town of Maine Cemetery

afternoon— Departures

 

 

Register for the Reunion by Friday!

If you plan to join us for the 2016 Duncan Descendants Family Reunion (and you have not done so already), please fill out this 2-minute, preliminary registration form: Duncan Family Reunion 2016

The deadline is this Friday, January 15. Thank you. It helps us plan for you.

We’ve got 30 people signed up. Are we missing you? Sniff. Hope to see you there!

Chicago  |  Memorial Day Weekend  |  Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30, 2016

Family Reunion 2016

Dear Family,
We are thrilled to be hosting the 2016 Duncan Descendants Family Reunion in Chicago! We’re looking forward to a time of connection and the opportunity to show you around our beautiful city. To gather RSVPs, disseminate logistical information and schedule updates, we have created a website. Please RSVP by January 15, 2016 to Duncan2016.myevent.com.

Duncan Descendants Family ReunionChicago

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30, 2016

RSVP by January 15

Duncan2016.myevent.com

Duncan HQ: Barb Duncan’s home. You can find the address at Duncan2016.myevent.com .

Airports: O’Hare (ORD) is 10 minutes from Duncan HQ. Midway (MDW) is 40 minutes away.

Recommended Hotel: O’Hare Marriott, 8535 West Higgins Road, Chicago (773-693-4444).  A block of ten rooms has been reserved at a nightly rate of $124 under “Barb Padar/Padar-Duncan.”

Approximate Cost: $50–100/person for food and entertainment, not including transportation

Details: Duncan2016.myevent.com

Contact: Barb Duncan (phone numbers and email address at: Duncan2016.myevent.com)

Proposed Weekend Lineup
Friday
7:00 pm                Gathering and Dinner at Barb Duncan’s Home, Party Room

Saturday
9:00 am                Breakfast at Taylor and Sandra Duncan’s Home
11:00 am              Depart for Downtown Chicago (Joy Duncan Farina hosting; options may include Museum of Science and Industry, Botanical Garden, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo)
6:00 pm                Family Dinner and Event Together (location TBD)

Sunday
9:00 am                Breakfast at Craig and Bonnie (Duncan) Tinder’s Home
10:45 am              South Park Church Service Together or Free Time
1:00 pm                Lunch Together at Dennis and Joy Duncan Farina’s Home
3:00 pm                Free Time or Downtown Chicago, Part 2 (Barbie Padar hosting)
5:00 pm                Gathering and Buffet Dinner at Barb Duncan’s Home, Party Room

Monday
9:00 am               Park Ridge Memorial Day Parade and Activities
Afternoon           Departures

RSVP by January 15, 2016 to Duncan2016.myevent.com.
And after you’ve done that, forward this link to others in the family who may not have heard!

 

Robert Eugene Duncan, November 13, 1933–June 17, 2010

Bob, ca. 1968Mum called Thursday morning to tell me that Uncle Bob had died. On Monday, he was sitting up in the hospice care facility when Aunt Polly returned from a family wedding in Colorado. On Tuesday morning he was unresponsive and they decided to bring him home. Mum spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights with them. On Thursday morning, Mum was holding his shoulders while the hospice caregiver bathed him. He opened his eyes wide and stopped breathing.

How many people felt the air go out of them when they heard that news. Expected perhaps, but not welcome. Death never is. God comfort my Aunt Polly, my cousins Andy, Gene, and Colin, my dad and his sisters and brother. We all feel so sad.

Uncle Bob is most assuredly not sad. He’s been longing to hear his “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21) for a while now. “I want to be at home,” he told me several times during those long months in the hospital. When he opened his eyes wide, I’m sure he was taking his first look at the Home of all homes.

He would have recognized it. After all, he and Aunt Polly created a home, not just for their children, but for me and my three sisters, for their many other missionary kid nieces and nephews, for the larger family, for their church families, for just about anybody who needed to feel welcomed. My dad tells the story of Uncle Bob catching heat from Aunt Polly when he even welcomed some hippies to set up their tent on the Duncan front lawn, years before I ever moved in.

For many of those years, Uncle Bob and Aunt Polly’s house was my Grandmother Duncan’s home, too—the family seat. When I was a kid, we would drive to the Fort Square parsonage for holidays and birthdays. Far flung family, returning from Illinois, Georgia, California, France, Peru, Colombia, and beyond, could be found in their house. All through high school and college, their home was the one to which I returned during vacations.

During one of my school breaks, I heard Uncle Bob praise me to my parents, “I’ve never walked into my own kitchen and had anyone ask me what they could get for me.” This might sound self-serving until you know that meeting other people’s needs, predicting and supplying them seamlessly was my childhood “job,” my role in the family, but no one had ever noticed that out loud. Uncle Bob saw it in me. He saw me. And for an adolescent girl, who wouldn’t figure out who she was for another fifteen years, being seen and celebrated was profoundly important. He saw into many of our souls.

Uncle Bob became my second father. There were things he could say to me, which I couldn’t have heard from my own dad. As a young adult in crisis, I craved his voice of wisdom, though it was probably the quality of his listening and his sense of assurance that changed things for me. And not just me. Years after he’d left one church, a troubled parishioner would still call him at home, usually at dinnertime, and pour out her anxieties. He always took that call.

He could listen, but Uncle Bob could speak firmly, too. During Urbana ’97, which we attended together, we met for lunch one day. I told him about a young roommate who was asking me many questions concerning women in ministry, which is still a controversial topic in some churches. Though I myself was in seminary, I’d counseled her cautiously because I didn’t want to get her in trouble with her elders. “It doesn’t sound like that is what she needs to hear right now,” he challenged me.

He was a good preacher, too. He’d trot out his sermon ideas during Saturday night dinners and I enjoyed listening to him weave them together on Sunday morning. He delivered the homily at my wedding seven years ago, driving with Aunt Polly from Ballston Spa in New York even though they had to turn around just hours later so he could be home to deliver the sermon on Sunday morning.

Uncle Bob officiated at many weddings, including my cousin Sandy’s thirty-three years ago. I still remember him complaining to my father, a surgeon: “Everybody thinks they know best. Family at weddings where I’m the minister is like relatives crowded into your operating room, all insisting, “Less blood now. Can’t you cut after the tumor is removed? No. No. We need fifteen clamps, not five.”

Being a preacher was good, but what he really wanted to be was a missionary. At least, he really wanted to experience the world. Before he tried seminary, he tried the armed forces, but they wouldn’t send him overseas because of the metal pin in his leg, the result of a youthful motorcycle accident. He and Aunt Polly even moved to Costa Rica temporarily to learn Spanish during the early ‘90s just to see if this wouldn’t morph into a call to missions.

Still God didn’t send them, so he had to content himself with traveling, which he did avidly. He visited missionaries and missionary family members ever chance he got. He led tours to the Holy Land. He joined a Presbyterian delegation to the church in Cuba. He visited his grand-children in Korea. For a long time, an apt cartoon of him in his preaching robe and hiking pack hung on the basement wall. “After the benediction,” it read, “Polly and I will be leaving for Israel.”

One time he and Polly were lost in Morocco. They’d eaten something that disagreed with them. It was hot and they were out of water. And now they were in danger of missing the ferry back to Spain. Afraid and unable to find anyone who spoke English, they leaned against a wall and prayed. Seconds later an old woman touched him on the arm and motioned for them to follow her, which they did. She led them back to the boat, but when they turned to thank her, she was gone. Years later, he still claimed that God had sent them an angel.

There wasn’t anywhere he wouldn’t go. And if he couldn’t fly, he drove. He loved to drive and he loved cars. On one long trip, we stopped at a gas station for a break. Heading back to the station wagon, he detoured to an old Studebaker. Without a qualm, he pulled open the door and leaned in to inhale. “I just wanted to smell it,” he explained.

There were many drives to and from college and during one, he collected me at my roommate’s house. “Whadya got in here, a dead minister?” my friend’s dad teased as he hoisted my suitcase into Uncle Bob’s car. Then realizing that Uncle Bob was a minister, he blushed and apologized, but Uncle Bob was too busy laughing. Laughter and tears came easily to Uncle Bob.

He enjoyed music and reading, filling his theological shelves with all comers. “Don’t read that commentary,” he exclaimed one day when he found me in his office after Sunday worship. He didn’t think the author’s scholarship was sound, but the book was still on his shelf. Another time, he lent me his favorite book A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. “What is it,” I asked? “A love story about a couple who try to build the perfect love between them. It’s a selfish love, though, because its only expression is inward.” In that book Uncle Bob recognized his own ideal as well as the temptation to selfishness curled up inside.

Uncle Bob was unselfish, a good minister. He preached well. He pastored empathetically. He visited the sick constantly. He used to wear a clerical collar when he went to the hospital to keep security and nurses from questioning his motives. This earned him the honorary “Father” because people thought he was a Catholic priest, and some not so honorary glares when people saw him with his beautiful young wife Polly sitting in the front seat of a car together.

During this past year in and out of hospitals, his ministry to his own caregivers continued. Word of his testimony filtered back to me through many sources: Our daughter’s babysitter’s husband played cards with him a couple of times and I heard about his love for Jesus. A woman who knew one of my co-leaders in ministry was married to one of his doctors. I heard about his faithfulness from her. His family and I are grateful to all those who cared for him and for Aunt Polly through this final, hardest sickness.

My sisters and cousins and I cannot properly thank Colin, Gene, and Andy for sharing their parents with us. Uncle Bob and Aunt Polly leaned on God for their apparently endless store of family love, but I know it was sometimes your space that we took up. All of us in the church families that they served have a debt of gratitude to you. Thank you for sharing even your grieving space with us.

The last time I heard Uncle Bob pray, we were together in one of his hospital rooms. I was taking up his grandson’s space, so I gave hugs and turned to Uncle Bob. He held out his hand.

His grip was strong. Before I could offer, he began to pray. He prayed a short blessing on me and my dad, who was in Angola at the time. Then he began to bless God. He asked him to “be with us here, too” and confessed “for we do not know what tomorrow will bring” in a cadence and with a strength that sounded like Uncle Bob in the pulpit. He told God, in a tone that felt instructive to us also, that “we will be careful to offer nothing but thanksgiving” and “we will have nothing but praise on our lips for you.”

And interspersed with his prayers he said, over and over, “and we will rise with the wings of the morning. We look forward to rising with the wings of the morning.”

He was misquoting Psalm 139, applying it to himself as he looked ahead to his new day. It reads, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I fear, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (vv. 9–13).

Even this darkness is as light to our God. Uncle Bob has risen on the wings of the morning. Our turn will come.

written by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter) on the occasion of Bob’s death, June 19, 2010

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 Bob as an adult? Please tell us.
  • Do you have a Bob preaching story? A visiting Bob story? A Bob’s book story? A Bob traveling story?
  • Can Did you live with Bob as a child while your parents were elsewhere? What stands out to you? Do you have a story of that time to tell?
  • Did Bob perform your wedding ceremony? How did it go? What do you remember about it?

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?