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Kathleen H. Duncan
September 18, 1929-November 17, 2023
Kathleen Hazel Duncan was born prematurely at Loma Linda Hospital on September 18, 1929. The only child of Carrie Leroy Stucker Lollar and Glen Lollar, Kathleen clung to life in an incubator for weeks. Determined Carrie, raised on a farm in Hotchkiss, Colorado, and intent on saving her tiny baby, walked to the hospital every day to nurture Kathleen. A miracle baby, Kathleen appreciated every day and was full of gratitude and joy in living for 94 years. She died at home peacefully on November 17.
Kathleen received a fine educational start at a Seventh Day Adventist School and then public school in Norwalk, California. She graduated from Excelsior Union High School in 1947. During the Depression Kathleen's father Glen dug post holes and drove a slow-going delivery truck, before there were vast southern California freeways, for Alliance Dairy in Norwalk serving Arden Farms. Kathleen was allowed to ride on top of the 10-gallon milk cans and remembered being treated to ice cream at the end of the route. Her father opened Glen's Car Garage in 1941 and passed on to his daughter a life-long love of automobiles and much practical knowledge. She learned to drive in a 1937 Chevrolet coupe stick shift. A classic 1957 Thunderbird with port holes was a gift from her father.
Kathleen married Chuck Koss in 1948 and they lived in Downey, however they divorced after two years ("we were too young" said Kathleen). She learned about hard work and resilience while working at a Super Burger restaurant, the Los Angeles Meat Company, and an office supply company in Santa Monica. After her father died in 1967, Kathleen learned cosmetology and for years she worked at the Beverly Hills Hotel and for a Palos Verdes salon specializing in "Sebring" cuts. During her years working in cosmetology, she encountered many clients in the entertainment industry: Fred Astaire, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Audrey Meadows, Raquel Welch, Count Basie, and many others. A lifelong music and dancing enthusiast when Big Bands performed live, she danced to Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman music and heard Lionel Hampton and Frank Sinatra in person.
Kathleen lived in Manhattan Beach when she decided to "move to the country" and Trinidad became her home in 1979. She met the love of her life, John Harvey Duncan, owner of Park Cafe and Big D RV Park (now Azalea Glen) while jogging to Patrick's Point State Park (Sumeg). John spotted the beautiful Kathleen and called to her to stop for a cup of coffee with "come on in, I just might change your life." And he did. John, a career Army veteran who served in both World War II and the Korean War, and Kathleen were married on Valentine's Day 1982 in Mickey and Patti Fleschner's home and enjoyed 28 years together at their Park and later at their home off Scenic Drive until 2010 when John died at their home. Kathleen and John were active in the Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and accommodated visiting fishermen at their wooded park with duck ponds, making many friends and hosting several outdoor hog roasts.
Kathleen sang in Dottie Haukenberry's Trinidad Community Choir for 22 years, served as President of the Trinidad Civic Club, volunteered in the gift shop at Mad River Hospital for over 15 years, and was a life-long member of the Trinidad Museum Society, having served as its first secretary in the early 1980s. For 15 years she line-danced in Trinidad Town Hall with a group of friends. She and John shared many road trips and Army reunions. They traveled to Germany to visit the places where John captained tanks during World War II. The couple was grateful every day for the opportunities and freedoms afforded to citizens of the United States of America.
Kathleen leaves behind an affectionate family of step-children: Lucille Annette "Tina" (James) Wilson of Magalia; Russell (Anita) Duncan of Whitesville, New York; Hal (Marsha) Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida; Brian Eric (Karen) Duncan of Las Vegas; Dustyn Marcus Duncan of San Francisco; and Bruce Allen (Michelle) Duncan of Salem, Oregon; step-grandchildren James Powell Wilson, Matthew (Martina) Wilson, Nicholas Parker (Melissa Jauregui) Duncan, Air Force Captain Keenyn Duncan. Kellyanne (James) Howarth, Tristram Duncan, Aaron (Lesley Jade) Duncan, Eric (Alison) Duncan, and Patty Reynolds; and step-great-grandchildren Austin Arnold Duncan, Hunter Rose Duncan, and Olivia and Charlotte Duncan. She was close to her cousins, Carolyn Moore of Norco, California, and daughter Jean (Brett) Burns, Glenda (Dave) Cowan of Emporia, Kansas, and Gale Penfield of Novato and to her Nevada family Sam (Shae) and Owen Lompa and Greg (Stephanie) and Corbin Lompa as well as friends Dr. Michael and Kathrin Burleson of Trinidad, Bill and Sue Scott, Kirsten Trump, Donna Haddock and her friend of 50 years, Patricia Fleschner and her children Ashley (Andrea) Fleschner and Michael David Fleschner of Portland, Oregon and Michael David and Gina Duvoisin Fleschner's children Sebastian, Eloise and Georgia Fleschner. Her friend since kindergarten, Polly (Chuck) Donley of Seal Beach, California, predeceased Kathleen, who introduced the Donleys when they were seniors in high school.
Hospice of Humboldt has been exemplary in their care of Kathleen since October 31. Tina Wilson has been a constant and kind companion for over a month, and Anita Duncan flew from New York to lovingly care for Kathleen as well.