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Lois M. Duncan

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By The Staff

Duncan – Lois M. Duncan passed away March 12, 2008, after a brief illness. Lois was cherished by her family and any who knew her for her loving and positive nature. She will be remembered as well for her beautiful oil paintings of fall aspens and mountain scenery.Lois was born on March 10, 1922, in Burdick, Kan., where she grew up on a farmstead. She attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., for a year and then moved on to Kansas City. During WWII, she worked in a munitions plant and met the man who was to be her husband and companion for 62 years, Wendell R. Duncan. In 1943, Lois and Wendell were married, he was called up to serve in the U.S. Army, and Lois gave birth to their first child, Janice. A second child, Carolyn was born in 1946 and shortly thereafter, the family moved to Los Alamos, where Wendell accepted a job with the AEC Protective Force.Although their families in Kansas and Missouri were convinced they were going to the edge of the earth by moving to the western frontier, Wendell and Lois loved it. A son, Gerald was born in 1949 in the old Quonset hut hospital in Los Alamos. During the years they lived in “the secret city,” they were active in the community and the First Methodist Church. The family moved to Santa Fe from 1953-1958. During this time, two more children were born, Linda in 1955 and Kenneth in 1958.Lois and Wendell and their brood of five moved back up to “The Hill” in 1958. Shortly after their eldest child went off to college, Lois began painting. She became known locally for her paintings of vibrant landscapes and mountain scenes, often in miniature sizes, even though she was mothering the remaining four kids and went to work part-time. Her paintings were often exhibited at local restaurants, gift shops, Mesa Public Library, and various arts and crafts exhibitions and fairs.After Wendell and Lois retired, they traded in their home in White Rock for life on the road. They spent a few years going to RV “Round Ups,” visiting family and making many new friends. Lois continued to paint and Wendell became an expert framer. They moved back to New Mexico to stay in 1997.The last few years of their lives together, Wendell and Lois had many adventures with their New Mexico children and grandchildren, and traveled to Alaska and Arizona to visit family there. During several extended summer visits to Fairbanks, Alaska, an enthusiastic fan club developed. Lois will be greatly missed by her Alaskan friends, and a gathering on the banks of the Chena River in Fairbanks will be held sometime this summer to celebrate her memory.Lois is preceded in death by her mother and father, Cora and Albert Danielson; a brother, Alan Danielson; and her husband, Wendell Duncan. She is survived by daughters: Janice St. John and husband Layne St. John, of Fairbanks, Alaska; Carolyn Duncan of Santa Fe; Linda Walters and husband Joe Walters, of Albuquerque; and sons: Gerald “Jerry” Duncan, of Fairbanks, Alaska; and Kenneth Duncan and wife Beverly Duncan of White Rock. Lois used her cell phone to talk often with her grandchildren and keep informed of their activities. Grandchildren and their families are Stryder St. John and Shawna Anderson and sons Shayden and Skylen; Lyric St. John; Quinn and Melissa Duncan and sons Andrew Ortiz, and Zander Duncan; Zachary Aikey; Justin Heinz and Jeremy Heinz; Tyler Duncan and Megan Duncan.Friends of Lois and her family are invited to the burial ceremony at 10:30 a.m. March 24, 2008, at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe and, thereafter, to a celebration of her life and accomplishments at her son Ken Duncan’s home. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to send a contribution in her memory to the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave., Los Alamos, NM 87544. Please include a notation “In memory of Lois Duncan.”