Roscoe E. “Gene” Duncan, 65, a lifetime Baker County resident, died August 11, 2004, at his home.

His memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral, First and Church streets. The rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Sunday at the church. The Revs. Jim Stephens, Robert C. Irwin and Camillus Frenando will concelebrate the Mass.

Gene was born in Baker City on October 12, 1938, to Rock and Ruth Duncan. He spent his childhood in Keating Valley and attended the Keating School as the only student in his grade level.

He then moved to the Baker Middle School and attended high school at St. Francis Academy. Gene then attended Oregon State University at Corvallis, Gonzaga University at Spokane, Washington, and Eastern Oregon University at La Grande.

In 1961, Gene was drafted into the U.S. Army. He married Mary Claire Montgomery on November 15, 1961. After his discharge, he returned to the ranch in Keating Valley where they lived for a couple of years.

In 1964, they moved to Baker City where they raised their four children. Gene was a born salesman. He eventually started his own business, Duncan Wholesale, a food wholesale family run business.

In his last working years, he worked in the agricultural department at Farmterial and Lumbermen’s, until his health conditions forced him into early retirement.

Gene enjoyed life and played as hard as he worked. After a 14-hour workday, he would spend hours coaching kids in the evening. He was very involved in youth sports and spent 25 years refereeing basketball from B league up to the 4A boys and girls state tournaments. He loved the Eagle Cap Mountains and the family spent quality time hunting and camping there.
Gene was a 44-year member of the Baker Elks Lodge, No. 338, and for several years he was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also a Knights of Columbus member for 44 years.
He served as president of both baseball associations, Little League and Babe Ruth. He was a lifetime member of the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Claire Duncan of Baker City; his children, Hugh Duncan, Colleen Downing and her husband, Ken, and Matt Duncan and his wife, Jennifer, all of La Grande, and Kathy Duncan-Casper and her husband, Donald, of Wallowa; sisters, Sister Kay Marie Duncan of Baker City and Emmy Ann Bellows of Ontario; an aunt, Mildred Williams of Portland and an uncle, Robert Hermsen of Palo Alto, Calif.; five grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roscoe and Ruth Duncan.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Diabetes Association or St. Francis de Sales Choir Loft Fund through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 13, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor