Darrel Oliver Duncan, age 89, loving husband of Doreen “Doe” Duncan, died at his home in Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. He was born on February 19, 1926 in Weatherford, TX. He grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma where he and his brother, Basil, quickly learned the value of hard work by helping out their father in the family ice house business. At age 18, Darrel enlisted in the United States Navy where he served for two years as an Aviation Electronic Technician's Mate, 3rd Class. He entered college on the G.I. Bill and graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After college, he began his lifelong career with IBM, starting out as a typewriter repairman.
While in college, he met his first wife, Irene Gilmore, and they were married in 1948. They had two sons, Dennis and Rick who were born in Oklahoma City. In the 1960's, after many moves with IBM, they settled in Raleigh, NC where Darrel continue to work at IBM until he retired in 1988. His wife, Irene Gilmore Duncan, passed away on March 5, 1991. A year later, in 1992, Darrel and Doe were married.
Throughout his life, Darrel's motto was that the only way to do things was the “right way,” which usually was his own. A highly intelligent “make do” kind of guy, he was a creative tinkerer who could make and fix anything. Whether it was his exquisitely constructed balsa wood glider airplanes that he built while in the Navy, his home built electronic gadgets, or even a unique way to get laundry dried using ceiling fans, Darrel managed to get the job done. If anything got broken, you would invariably hear Darrel say - - “wait, I've got something to fix that” as he sprinted out to his workshop.
Besides his delight in making things work, he also was an avid fisherman. If he had a boat and water, or even just a small pond to fish, Darrel was happy. He passed on his passion for fishing to his sons and grandsons, and they spent many a weekend camping and competing for the big one. If the weather was good and it wasn't a holiday weekend, he also ventured out with the family in tow to Atlantic Beach where he had a beach trailer that was a perfect time capsule from the 1970's. While there, they would catch fish and dig clams on Shackleford Banks.
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After he married Doe, Darrel focused on less competitive pursuits. Always a fabulous dancer, he and Doe enjoyed twirling to the big band sounds and he also took up a bit of traveling, including a fabulous cruise to Alaska. In between spending time with the grandkids, they were members of the Owls Bowling League at AMF Pleasant Valley Lanes and Darrel also managed to golf pretty regularly, although more as a social venture rather than a competitive sport. He slowed down a bit in his later years, but never lost the twinkle in his eye and his passion for making it right.
To the end, he was a good provider, a loving husband and a caring father and grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Currie and Hazel Duncan, his brother, Harold Basil “Dunk” Duncan, and his stepson and daughter-in-law, Trey and Kristen Emerson.
Darrel is survived by his wife, Doreen “Doe” Duncan; by his sons Dennis (Irene) Duncan and Rick (Beverly) Duncan; by his stepdaughter Laura (Richard) Edwards; by his stepson Brad (Donna McGee) Emerson; and by his grandchildren Dan (Aurelia) Duncan, John Duncan, Sean Duncan, Zach Emerson, Jessica Edwards and Cassidy Edwards.
A memorial service will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 SE Maynard Road, Cary. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the American Cancer Society is appreciated.
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