James Gordon Duncan
1923 - 2009
James Gordon Duncan died Jan. 15, 2009. He was born July 14, 1923 in Springfield, Mo. to Rolla Duncan and Marvin Elsie Crane Duncan.
Immediately upon his high school graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy, eventually becoming an instructor of mathematics at the Navy Pier.
After his time in service, Mr. Duncan formalized his education and obtained his Federal Communications Commission license, pilot’s license and completed an executive program in business management. With this knowledge, he took on many entrepreneurial interests across the country including building the first television station in Alaska, building the first radio tower in Tijuana, producing oil and gas in Pennsylvania and mining precious metals in Arizona.
Later in life, Mr. Duncan enjoyed teaching classes about local geology and minerals at Gila Community College.
He joined the Payson chapter of Kiwanis International in 1985. During his years as a Kiwanian, he held the positions of club president, Southwest District lieutenant governor and Southwest District foundation president. His most celebrated accomplishment during these years was the building and opening of Kamp Kiwanis in Gallup, N.M. for disabled and underprivileged children.
In addition to his service in Kiwanis, Mr. Duncan was also a member of the Payson Hospital Board and helped to pass a school bond in the 1980s to fund Payson’s public schools.
Mr. Duncan is survived by his brother. Robert C. Duncan of California; sisters, Mary E. Hampton of California and Nancy A. Waligorski of Idaho; children, Beverly R. Jensen of Kentucky, Daniel G. Duncan of Oregon, Gloria J. Wallace of California, Janice M. Russell of Florida, Dr. David W. Duncan of California; Elizabeth A. Till of New York, Cathryn J. McAlister of Washington, William J. Duncan of Arizona and Tamaron E. Ellis of Arizona. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas A. Duncan.
A memorial service will be held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 31 at Messinger Payson Funeral Home, 302 W. Aero Dr.
Donations may be made to the Southwest District Kiwanis Foundation http://www.kswdfoundation.org/GivingOpps.htm or Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, http://www.phoenix.va.gov/giving/needs.asp