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William Duncan

Obituary
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William Bryan Duncan "Bill" HIGH POINT - Mr. William "Bill" Bryan Duncan, 87, resident of High Point, NC, Davidson County, died June 19th, 2013 at Pennybyrn at Maryfield. Bill was born October 5th, 1925 in Ashe County, where his family descended from Scottish Highlanders who settled there in the 1700's. His great-grandfather was an itinerant minister of the gospel who rode the mountains on horseback. After spending a portion of his youth and graduating from high school in Bel Air, Maryland, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps amid the gathering storm of the Pacific War, just after Pearl Harbor. After training at Parris Island and Camp Lejune, he was sent to the South Pacific. On Easter Sunday, April 1st, 1945, as a radioman of the First Marine Division, he was part of the invasion of Okinawa. After Japan surrendered he was sent to North China to help evacuate Japanese forces back to their homeland. When Duncan returned from World War II, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. To prepare, he attended The Bullis Prep School in Maryland and thereafter entered the Navy as a Midshipman. After graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Soon after graduating from the U.S.M.C 9th Officers Basic Candidate School in Quantico, VA, he served with an air defense unit in the Korean conflict. After Korea, Duncan was posted to Ohio, then back to Quantico as an instructor in the Officers Basic School. Later he completed postgraduate work at the U.S. Naval School in Monterey, CA where he earned a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. Later he completed further studies at George Washington University and the Stevens Institute of Technology. From there he returned to the Naval Academy where he taught and helped develop their systems engineering majors program. Duncan was involved in research and development of the guided missiles programs of Quantico and the Pentagon. Duncan left the military to pursue a career in business. He joined Pilot Freight Carriers, Inc., as Vice President of Engineering, a company founded by R.Y. Sharpe, his father-in-law until the company was sold in 1981. Afterwards at the dawn of the computer revolution, he and his wife Shirley Sharpe Duncan opened and operated Computer Gallery, a chain of computer stores and a computer training center, located in the Piedmont Triad and the Triangle for several years. For the past eight years, Duncan served as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of North American Emerald Mines, Inc., a production emerald mine and quarry in Hiddenite, NC. For more than 40 years, Duncan was active in civic and religious activities in High Point. He used his talents in photography, videography, gardening and music to assist in various projects to enhance and improve the community. Duncan particularly enjoyed volunteering with the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church outreach programs with Macedonia Missions, in-school programs and travel with the chancel choir. He was a committed member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church where he served as a past Trustee; the High Point Rotary Club and the High Point Country Club. Surviving is Shirley Sharpe Duncan, his wife of 60 years; his son, Malcolm Duncan and his wife Deidre of Lafayette, IN; his grandson, Zachary Duncan of Lafayette, IN; his granddaughter, Alexa of Indianapolis, IN; his great-granddaughter, Paige Duncan of Lafayette, IN; his sister, Lyn Houck and husband Bryan of Gastonia, NC; seven nieces, Suzanne Houck Johnson of Charlotte, Laura Beth Levy of Gastonia, NC, Jenny Duncan Routh of Chapel Hill, NC, Mindy Duncan Calvin of Greensboro, NC, Leonora Sharpe of Greensboro, NC, Felicia Doobrow of Greensboro, NC and Berry Hill Gennari of Winston-Salem, NC; two sister-in-laws, Lynn Sharpe Hill of Blowing Rock, NC and Tone K. Duncan of Iron Station, NC; five nephews, John Duncan of Iron Station, NC, Jim Duncan of Raleigh, NC, Jonathan Sharpe of Atlanta, GA, Matthew Sharpe of Greensboro, NC and James King Hill Jr. of Concord, NC; his brother-in-law, Keith Y. Shape of Winston-Salem; and his former sister-in-law, Judge Margaret Sharpe of Greensboro, NC. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church with Dr. Al Ward and Rev. Richard Howle officiating. A reception will be held in the Asbury Room at the church following the service. The inurnment will be held at a later date at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium in Annapolis, MD. Memorials may be directed to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, 1225 Chestnut Dr. High Point, NC 27262 or to the Hiddenite Center and Museum, P.O. Box 311, Hiddenite, NC 28636. Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point is assisting the family. On-line condolences may be made through www.cumbyfuneral.com.

Published in Charlotte Observer on June 22, 2013
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