Joan Duncan, 93, of Topeka, passed away Sunday, May 14, 2023.
She was born November 23, 1929, in Horwich, Lancashire, England, the daughter of William and Evelyn (Maybury) Dudley. She attended Rivington, Bolton England.
Joan married Herb "Johnnie" Duncan on October 24, 1951, at Holy Trinity Church in Horwich, England. The young couple embarked on a lifetime of adventure spanning 71 years over three continents. Marrying into the United States Air Force, Joan followed Johnnie to the United States in January 1952 arriving in New York on the ship Franconia. As proud as she was of her British heritage, Joan was enthusiastic in learning about her new home and intertwining her new world with her British customs. Joan and Johnnie were transferred to Japan, another great adventure where they lived for four years. They welcomed two children, Karen and William (Bill) while they were in Japan. Transferred to Forbes Air Force base, they welcomed their third child, Barbara. Over the next 71 years, they stayed in touch with several couples they initially met in the Air Force.
Joan and Herb were two of the founding parents of TARC. She dedicated many years serving on the board of TARC in various positions. She also testified before the Kansas legislature regarding issues facing the families with a developmentally disabled child and served on many community boards She was an advocate for education opportunities for all children with disabilities and worked tirelessly to ensure the programs initiated were successful. In addition to her dedication to TARC, she was involved with the development of the Civitan Day Camp at Gage Park.
Joan also belonged to the British Wives group, meeting monthly for years, loved to reminisce about all the things they loved about the United Kingdom including the food. She was a founding member of the Fortune Hunters Investment club and remained active for the last 23 years, Joan supported the Diabetes Association and Helping Hands Humane Society.
Joan had a passion for traveling. She also loved animals and often took care of the neighborhood cats. She enjoyed keeping up with longtime friends, she never met a stranger, spending her time with her family including playing cutthroat parchesi with Mom and Bill playing as partners against Dad and Barb. They took no prisoners! To knock off the opponent or win the game, knocking off the opponent. and you better be moving that blockade Bill!
Joan is survived by her husband, Herb "Johnnie" Duncan; children, Karen (Steve) Alfrey, William "Bill" H. Duncan and Barbara Duncan; granddaughter, Emily Alfrey; one grandson; one great grandson and many extended family members and close friends both in the U.K. and U.S. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Bill.
Services will be held at 10:00 am., Monday, May 22, 2023, at the Penwell Gabel Funeral Home, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66604. A private family burial has been scheduled. Memorial contributions may be made to TARC or the Helping Hands Humane Shelter.
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