Charles Dexter (Dex) Duncan, also known to many as Charlie, 91, of Alum Creek, passed away at his home on Friday, April 21, 2017 with his loving wife, Helen, and his children by his side.
Dex was born July 31, 1925, the third of five children born to Lawrence W. and Tressa Griffith Duncan at Olcott, a small coal mining community in Kanawha County. He graduated from Washington District High School and immediately joined the Army Air Corps to serve in World War II. He was extremely proud of his service to his country as a belly ball turret gunner on a B-24, part of the Liberator Squadron. He often said that he got that assignment because he was the smallest guy on the crew. He went on to fly thirty-three combat bombing missions over strategic targets in Poland, Austria, and Germany. Later, he was an early member of VFW Post No. 4768 in Alum Creek. He was a faithful and active member of the post, attending meetings until last fall. The members of the post were some of his best friends.
In 1949, he married Helen Fitzwater, and for over 68 years they were sweethearts and partners in making a home that was focused on their children, family, friends, and community. Family gatherings and trips with Helen, his children, and grandchildren were his happiest times, and the happiest times for their kids. After his retirement from a long career with FMC, he and Helen loved to travel. He loved golf, the beach, working in his yard, and cigars. He was an intelligent man of few words, honest, principled, and strong-willed. He valued hard work and education. His unrelenting will and determination sustained and carried him through the last several years of declining health. We take comfort that he was able to stay in his home until the end. Most recently, Hospice Care was an invaluable help to us. The family is most grateful for Mason Kirk, caretaker and friend to Dad and Mom, who has been dedicated to them.
Dex was preceded in death by his brothers, Darrell, Nile, and Bob, and his sister, Betty Belcher. He is survived by his wife, Helen, daughters, Diana (Steve) Morris of St. Albans, Drema (Steve) Watts of St. Albans, Jill Novak of Langhorne, Pa., and his son C.D. (Linda) Duncan of Charleston. Also surviving are grandchildren, Erin (Barkclay) Morris of Lexington, Ky., David (Justin) Morris of Portland Me., Erik Duncan of Charleston, Nicholas (Gina) Watts of Cross Lanes, Christopher (Caitlin) Novak of Colorado Springs, Co., Matthew Novak of Rockville, Md., and Katie Novak of Langhorne, Pa. Great grandchildren are Liam and Finley Morris-Phelps, Carys, Elliot, and Miles Novak of Colorado Springs, Co., and the expected August arrival of Ellis and Evelyn Watts in Cross Lanes. He was a great father and best Papaw ever, very proud of his family and their lives. He loved them and was greatly loved by them.
Services will be held at 1:00 PM Tuesday, April 25 at Curry Funeral Home at 2097 Childress Road in Alum Creek, WV, with Pastor Frank Chapman. Entombment will follow at Graceland Memorial Park in South Charleston, with military graveside honors by the Alum Creek VFW Post 4768. Friends will gather one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Alum Creek VFW Post 4768 at 4443 Brounland Rd, Charleston, WV 25309 or Hospice Care at 1606 Kanawha BLVD. W., Charleston, WV 25387