Thomas LeRoy Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan

James, Thomas, and Clifford Duncan.

My maternal grandfather, Thomas Leroy Duncan (Roy), was born in LaMoille, Bureau county, Illinois on 22 November 1889, the youngest of four boys.  He had a half-brother Clifford, and two full brothers, Howard William and James Edgar (Ed).  His father was James Cation Duncan, a homeopathic doctor in DeKalb, Illinois.  His mother was Annette MaryJane Patchen, who always went by the name Nettie, even on official documents.  She was a nurse/supervisor in the DeKalb area for most of her life.  Roy lived in northern Illinois for his entire life.

abt 1918 formal

He married his high school sweetheart, Albie Irene Oakland, on 21 June 1911 in Sycamore, DeKalb county, Illinois.  They had three daughters, Helen, Harriet, and Barbara.  Mom often told stories about their outings – many picnics, family reunions, and just fun times.

TLD girls AIO bridge abt 1919

Duncan family gathering:  Albie, Harriet, Roy, Florence (Ed's wife), Ed (Roy's brother), Helen Mercer, Nettie Duncan; front: Mary, Helen, Dorothy Duncan.

Duncan family gathering: Albie, Harriet, Roy, Florence (Ed’s wife), Ed (Roy’s brother), Helen Mercer, Nettie Duncan; front: Mary, Helen, Dorothy Duncan. About 1916.

Albie and Roy bowling

The idyllic family life didn’t last long.  Albie died 20 June 1927 in DeKalb, Illinois.  She was 38 years old.  The girls were 14, 12, and 10 when their mother died.  Roy’s mother Nettie, and Albie’s mother, Mary Ann, helped take care of the girls.

This is the family soon after Albie's death.  Roy's mother, Nettie, is helping raise the girls.

This is the family soon after Albie’s death. Roy’s mother, Nettie, is helping raise the girls.

Thomas Leroy Duncan

Thomas Leroy Duncan

On 10 August 1932 Roy married Florence Huckins.

On 10 August 1932 Roy married Florence Huckins.

florence roy dog radio

Florence, Topper, Roy at home.

I like this photo of Roy and Florence in their home – it’s nice to have some photos that aren’t posed.

TLD florence HDC TDC JDC DLC

pc tld to hdc

Florence, Harriet, Roy, Jeanie, Tom,  and Donna (in front).

Florence, Harriet, Roy, Jeanie, Tom, and Donna (in front).  And Polar, the dog.

The Duncans visited us in California often.  Grandpa Duncan was so much fun – I wrote about his positive attitude earlier here.  Florence died on 10 January 1957, long after the girls had married and left home.  But Roy was alone again.

harriet barb jim edith norris helen roy 1957

I think this was taken at the time of Florence’s funeral.
L-R: Harriet, Barbara, Jim (Helen’s son), Edith Norris (Florence’s sister), Helen, and Roy.

Marcella Rice becomes Mrs. Roy Duncan. 1965

Marcella Rice becomes Mrs. Roy Duncan. 1965

The third time around Roy married a younger woman, a little hedge against having to bury another wife.  On 14 April 1962 Roy and Marcella Rice were married in Kings, Illinois.  She adored him and was able to care for him for the rest of his life.

Thomas Leroy Duncan died on 28 October 1983 in Rochelle, Ogle county, Illinois.  He was 93 years old and had lived a full, enthusiastic life.

Grandpa Duncan

Grandpa Duncan

6 thoughts on “Thomas LeRoy Duncan

  1. Pingback: Albie Irene Oakland Duncan | This I Leave

  2. The photo “Roy married Florence” is a very 20th century one in a very 19th century case. Do you know the history of the photo? That is to say, do you know if another photo was removed for this one to be inserted. Could it be the original case for the unframed ambrotype (27th of February)?

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      • Thanks! I love old photos and it is wonderful to find so many documented with their histories, which are so often missing from the pics in my collections. I will look out to see if you find that the other photo fits!

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