Charles W. Duncan was born September 30, 1938 at home in Chickasha, Oklahoma to Charlie A. and Ruby Marie Dutton Duncan. They gifted him with a fierce love of family, an extraordinary work ethic, and an abiding faith in God and love for Jesus.
He grew up tenant farming with six siblings, Albert Lee Duncan, Mae McClure, Marietta Clark, Sharon Ann Tollison, Sam Duncan, and Carolyn Sue Emberling. He attended many schools as a youngster. In fact, he never spent a full year in any one grammar school, and had to redo the sixth grade. That year, his father was desperately ill, so he spent extra time working the cotton fields to help contribute to the family support. His last school “home” was Moore high school in Moore Oklahoma.
Although the great depression was over by the time Charles reached his teen years, hard times still persisted for many in Oklahoma. He set out for the oil fields of New Mexico to make his own way in the world.
But that was the time when our country still had the military service draft for young men. Charles expected to be drafted. To make the most of his military time, he volunteered. He was told that, by doing so, he could choose a career path and whether or not to serve state side. He had no interest in serving overseas. He wanted to stay at home in the United States. And he wanted to learn to be a mechanic, a skill that he could use as a civilian when he was discharged. The Army sent him overseas where he spent two years in Germany training as a tank mechanic!
Prior to discharge in 1961, he was stationed in North Chicago, Illinois. It was there that he met his future wife, Michelle. His preacher father married them June 22, 1962, in the First Baptist Church in Edmond Oklahoma.
Less than a year later, he began his career in the electrical field as a warehouseman at Electric Supply of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. At the time, he and his wife thought if he ever earned as much as $300.00 a month, they would be sitting pretty. He worked hard toward that goal and eventually attained it. He made a couple of moves within the field, first to Emsco Electric and then to Harrison Electric. Through the mentoring of Jack and Bill Harrison and Charles’ willingness to apply himself, he eventually became a partner in the business. After their deaths, he became sole owner of what became Harrison-Duncan Electric.
One of his favorite pastimes, was to point out the work the company had done throughout the Oklahoma City metro. He was so proud of the high quality of the company’s electricians. And he was even more proud that his son, Chuck, was one of the best among them. With his reluctant encouragement, many of them moved on to start their own successful businesses. Others have remained long term. Together, they all worked to literally bring light to the community.
As important as his work was to him, his family always took first place. In fact, his dedication to working was one of his expressions of love for them. His main goal in life was to take care of his family – and he did a wonderful job of it.
His wife of 58 years never knew a day when she didn’t feel loved and cherished by him.
Short on praise but long on love and pride, his children were so precious to him.
He loved them deeply and was so pleased with each one’s special gifts. Beverly Lynn, for her quick intelligence and her ability to make everyone feel comfortable in her presence. She never met a stranger: Kim for her compassion. She was his sounding board for all things personal: and Chuck for his character and skills as an electrician and later as a business manager. He knew he could count on his son.
Beyond his immediate family, he took special joy in extended family gatherings. He loved competing with his brothers, Lee and Sam, to see which one could embellish cherished memories the most. He loved hugging his sisters, Mae, Marietta, Sharon and Carolyn - and eating all their delicious home cooked food. He enjoyed watching his nieces and nephews grow up.
This was who Charles was – a hard working family man. But he was not a man focused only on this physical life. That hard work included serving God. And that family included his family of faith in Jesus. As a boy, he squirmed under the stern eye of his preacher dad during Sunday morning services. Those sermons and others led him to accept Jesus as his personal savior. He was ‘dunked’ in outdoor waters. “Never mind the snakes,” the preacher said, “they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”
Through the years, he valued all things Baptist, especially warm friendly hugs, gospel sing-a-longs and pot luck dinners – not necessarily in that order. He loved the fellowship of special friends, Chuck and Tommie and their son, Kent. For more than twenty years, members of Wilmont Place Baptist church were his family of faith. He loved attending Sunday School, where he served as assistant director of the Adult III department with Alton Hall as director and where he studied the Bible with teacher Paul Gettle. He loved listening to the sermons of Bro. Danny Frazee and Bro. Shaun Nichols. He loved listening to and singing hymns on Sunday mornings. ( Although he had trouble wrapping his head around some of the newer music.) His favorite hymns help to express the foundation of what he believed: How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, and Go Rest High Upon the Mountain.
Charles is survived by his wife of 58 years, Michelle; by his three children, Beverly with her husband Kelley, Kim with her husband Glenn, and Chuck; by grandchildren Christina, Kyle, Kevin, Corissa, Leiloni, Jacob, and Gabrielle; by his great grandchildren Rori, Kylie, Chase, Ella, Julianna, Jordan, Maikylah, Amarah, and K.J. and by his sisters, Mae and Sharon Ann; and his brother, Sam. He was preceded in death by his Dad and Mother, Charlie and Ruby; by a son, Robert; by brother Albert Lee, sister Marietta, and sister Carolyn Sue.
Charles had a full life and died peacefully holding hands with his beloved wife.
Services will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles W. Duncan, please visit our floral store.