Lillian Marie "Sis" Duncan passed away at St. Peter's Hospital on Friday, June 11, 2010. She was born in Helena on May 12, 1926, to Paul and Elfreda Paulsen and grew up in the Helena Valley attending Bryant School and graduating from Helena High School in 1945. During high school, Sis was a participant in a number of activities, including flag twirling and the Helena High Ski Club.
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Upon graduation, she attended nurse's training in Great Falls and on Aug. 24, 1947, married Philip Raleigh Duncan in a ceremony that inaugurated a love story for the ages. Phil and Sis were blessed with six children during her lifetime, and these children were in turn blessed by them. As she struggled through the last days of her life, they brought her strength and bestowed upon her the comfort she needed to make her final crossing.
Helena was her home, and in her heart always was, even though she and Phil lived in Bozeman for 20 years and Spokane, Wash., for several years to be close to a son and daughter. In Helena, she worked for Montana Meat Co. and the state of Montana, and in Bozeman was employed at the MSU Library, retiring after 16 years of service.
Returning to Helena in 1994 and having the time she deserved to pursue other activities, she dedicated herself to golf and played many rounds with her husband and sons. Along with Phil, she also enjoyed the many monthly meetings at Jorgenson's with members of the class of '45. In addition, you would find her and Phil on the bank at the York Bridge fishing for trout just about any time during the summer and fall. Her real joy, however, was her kids. Between long-distance telephone calls and frequent visits, not much time passed between connections, and if it did you would hear from her.
Her faith and trust in God is her legacy and it still lives in the hearts of her sons and daughters. Sis was a lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Helena, along with being a member of Hope Lutheran Church while in Bozeman and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church during her years in Spokane.
Lillian was preceded in death by an infant son, David Lawrence; her parents, Paul and Elfreda Paulsen; brothers, Kenneth Paulsen, Paul Paulsen, Robert "Bud" Paulsen and William Paulsen.
She is survived by her loving husband and dedicated caregiver, Philip Duncan; sons, John (Janet) Duncan of Ennis, Guy (Nancy) Duncan of Littleton, Colo.; daughters, Susan (Rob) Hensley of Townsend, Janet (Phil) Rosa of West Jordan, Utah, and Carla (Kent) Erickson of Albuquerque, N.M. Additional survivors include grandsons and granddaughters, Dan Duncan and Faye Eidt; Carol Lynn Hensley-Stock, Jennifer Hensley-Gallus, Robin Blazer and Thomas William Hensley; Lauryn and Taryn Duncan; Michael Rosa and Kristin Olson; Jillian and Christopher Erickson; brother, Harold (Betty) Paulsen; 14 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church in Helena at 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 14, with a reception to follow at the church. Graveside services are scheduled for 6 p.m. at Forestvale Cemetery. Family and friends may attend a visitation at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home on Sunday, June 13, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Memorials in Lillian's name may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church.
The family wishes to extend sincere thanks and deepest appreciation for the care received from the physicians and nursing staff at St. Peter's Hospital.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 13, 2010