Duncan, David Henry

Birth Name Duncan, David Henry
Gender male
Age at Death 54 years, 15 days


Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1936-04-21 San Diego, California, USA Birth of Duncan, David Henry  
Death 1990-05-06 Oakhurst, Madera, California, USA Death of Duncan, David Henry  
Event Note

Buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Oakhurst California.

Event Note

From a photocopy of a letter to the Fresno Field Archery club.

Dear Members,
It hurts so hard to have to tell you, but David passed away here in Oakhurst on May 6th, 1990.

David loved the Fresno Field Archers and all the great associations he had with all of you. He spent so many, many good years and hours working to get the club started, and he loved it. He loved archery. It was one of his greatest joys. He loved to hunt with his bow & arrows, and he loved the mountains---these are all the great things he enjoyed, and we will have to remember him by. David had so many good times and associations with all of you during the 50s, 60s & 70s. Please let everyone know.

David had been doing fine. He was getting ready to make a trip into the High Sierras over the Memorial week-end, when sudenly, overnight, he had a massive asthmatic attack and he was gone.

We are all still in a horrible shock with so many highs and lows, but things are beginning to settle a little. Please let everyone know---he loved you all.

Thank you,
Arlene R Duncan

Event Note

From a photocopy of a letter.


Dear Steve & Laurianne,
It has just been a little over a month now since David's death and during that month, I have found it has been so very different for me to write anyone any thank you notes---I have had so many ups & downs, so many highs & lows that it has been almost impossible for me to do anything but work on a memorial book for David. It has been the only thing that has been keeping me going at this time. As I'm coming to a conclusion with his book, I find my emotions are beginning to settle a little also. I find at this time, Steve, that I want to take this time and opportunity to say thank you so very much for being one of David's pallbearers at his funeral. I could see in your face how hard & difficult it was for you because you & he had been so close .Thank you. I'm sure he was pleased. Thank you Steve & Laurianne for all your gracious love & support you gave to all of us at this time. Your love and support is also graciously appreciated. We love you. Thank you.---

Arlene & Family

Engagement 1958-02-14 Turlock, Stanislaus, California, USA Engagement of Duncan, David and Teller, Arlene  


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Duncan, Henry Paul1909-04-201972-11-20
Mother Lowrey, Rebecca Benicia1918-08-092011-05-08
         Duncan, David Henry 1936-04-21 1990-05-06
    Sister     Duncan, Merrilyn Benicia 1937-10-13 1943-09-19
    Stepbrother     Duncan, Alan 1951-09-14 2018-11-26 (Adopted, Adopted)


Family of Duncan, David Henry and Teller, Arlene Rose

Married Wife Teller, Arlene Rose ( * 1941-04-26 + 2012-07-21 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1959-05-30 Carson City, Ormsby, Nevada, USA Marriage of Duncan, David and Arlene  
Event Note

Married by Rev. Gerald V. Case

Name Birth Date Death Date
[Living], [Living]
[Living], [Living]
Duncan, Debra Ann1960-07-191960-07-19
Duncan, Debra Lynn1960-07-191960-07-19
Duncan, Elizabeth Ann1980-11-171980-11-17



During the Japanese war, Grandma Vance & Rebecca were packing oranges in Lindsey, California when it came over the radio that we were at war with Japan.  They immediately left and returned to the ranch. Rebecca was on the “Watch Towers” for 1 or 2 years watching for any Japanese spy planes that might fly over the skies of California.  It was while she was on duty in a “Watch Tower”, David, Little Tootie, and a cousin went swimming in a small canal they had swam in numerous times before.  Little Tootie stepped into a hole and went under. David was standing on the side of the bank, but because he didn’t know how to swim, he throw her an inner tube.  All he could remember
was her little hand reaching up for the inner tube, but she couldn’t hold on.  The cousin ran to get help.  Hank was on the tractor in the field.  He drove “that” tractor all the way down to the swimming hole.  When he picked little Tootie up, the water was only up to his knees, but little Tootie had drowned.  That was in September of 1943. Hank carried her all the way home. David never got over the death of his little sister. When they had the funeral, so many rose flowers were at her grave site. All the days we were married, David would never go into a church, and he never wanted me to plant any roses. He always said, “Roses have thorns on them”. Years later when I looked into his bible his Grandmother Vance had given him, there was only one passage in John underlined in red pencil, “Why, Oh, Lord, why do I have to suffer so long”. - Arlene Rose Teller


I remember spending some time with my Grandpa at his house. I was really the only one of my siblings who knew him since he died around the time my brother Beau turned two and before my sister Dakota was born. I remember that he was an avid tennis player and he would take me to the courts and I would pick up balls. He let me use a racquetball racquet, which was shorter and more my size. He also would take me on walks to the creek and I remember finding a crawdad down there that was pretty ugly looking.

There was a little tow duck with wheels and legs that would wobble around that I would pull behind me when we went on these walks, and since he would always wear his straw hat and have a walking stick, he gave me a smaller, old straw hat and made me a walking stick with a rubber tip on it, so I could be just like him. There is a photo of the two of us together that he set up on a timer.

I remember being around for April 1st and he told me very straight-faced that there was a huge black spider on my head. I was startled and started trying to brush it off and he laughed and explained to me the concept of April Fool's jokes, the first I'd known of it.

There was an old boat on the property and I remember wanting to climb up and captain it. He'd also push me on a large wooden swing that was in the back yard.

He had a jeep-like car called a "Scout" with two rear-view mirrors mounted on the windshield. Apparently he told me that one was for watching the drivers behind him and the other was for keeping an eye on me sitting next to him.

He had a secret panel in the house that my dad had helped him to build. I thought that was really neat, especially because there were old silver coins, guns, and knives in there.

He was an avid hunter and I remember liking the animal heads on the wall, especially the black goat with the long beard.

He was a Civil Engineer working for the city of Fresno and liked gadgets. I remember little model paper airplanes hanging up in the back room that showed if there was a draft in the house. - Logan West


Romance between Arlene & David Duncan

Place started: Home of Hazelle Duncan. Henry Duncan brings David over to meet Arlene Duncan, but no connection.
Time: 1957

David use to come over with his father, “Hank”, to visit Hazelle for morning coffee and enjoy fresh baked coffee cakes with nuts on top, sometimes, we would have just baked a fresh new frosted cake, and other times, there would even be a just baked homemade pie. When we baked pies, we would make at least 8 or 9 at a time. In those days, farmers and friends from around the area, would come and sit around the kitchen table and visit before going back out for the day’s work. Today, they go to Coffee Shops.

The first time I ever heard of David’s name was during the summer of 1957 when Hank and David had just come back from a trip back East which included a trip to Cuba before it was closed off from the United States. Coming back, with Grandpa “Highpockets” who had been living in Florida, David was driving through Arkansas in their Studebaker Hawk when the car skidded on some ice and it wrecked the right fender of the car. They came over to show Hazelle what the fender looked like. We all went out into the yard to look at it. After that, they seem to come over alittle bit more and alittle more.

One evening, while I was cleaning and moving some furniture in my bedroom, which was right off the kitchen, David was sitting at the table watching me. Like any good gentleman, David started to get up and come into my bedroom to help me with some of the furniture. But just as he got up and started to come towards the bedroom, about that time I slammed the door in his face and went on about my work. I wasn’t going to have any man coming into my bedroom!

Hazelle and Hank wanted us to get together, but somehow it just didn’t dawn on either one of us. They thought it would be a good match. Hank was getting worried because David was turning 21 and would never go out with any girls, so Hazelle suggested for me to go out with him. At the time, I was only 16, I wasn’t afraid to do anything, and Hazelle told Hank, that it might calm me down alittle which meant, they thought if we got together, I would get some of David’s shyness while some of my get up and go would rub off onto David.

I guess the real first time we met was when we were getting ready to go on a trail ride with the Turlock Horsemen’s Club to LaGrange. About a day or so before, someone said that David was going to ride up with us. At the time I didn’t think anything about it.

Well, we got started bright and early. Hazelle and Ralph weren’t quite ready to go, so Susan “Susie” Witt, Loren Andrus, David and I started off about 9:00 a.m. For awhile we all rode together, but soon separated. David and Loren rode behind Susie and me. When we arrived at the place in which we were to rest and eat alittle snack, no one was there. We continued to ride until the rest of the Turlock Horseman’s Club reached us at Turlock Lake. From there on, we all rode together with the rest of the group. Loren and Susie seem to go together while David and I rode together. When we arrived at LaGrange, he helped me unsaddle my horse then we rode down to a river to water the horses.

Later in the evening, everyone else was busy taking their horse’s home or had gone to town. There were about six of us sitting by the camp fire. I was in a real silly mood and began to talk and laugh real loud. David was so disgusted with me; I didn’t see him again until about two weeks before my birthday. (April 26th)

One day, Hank had come over and said David’s birthday was a week before mine. (April 21st) He said he wanted to give him a surprise birthday party, as he was turning 21 years old. I told him I would help him plan it. We decided to have a surprise birthday party for him at some archery friends, Pete and Jerry Istilate’s home. Bert Walters was David’s best friend, so we let him pick him up. Bert went to the house and asked David if he would like to go to the movies with him. David said no, because he had a test the next day and he didn’t think he should. Bert almost had to tell him about it, but David soon gave in. They drove around by the show, and then Bert said he had to make a short stop at Pete’s for a minute to see about some arrows. When they arrived, we really surprised them. He said he didn’t even know what was happening.

We had a lot of fun playing games and later in the evening, someone said that David’s car was missing. So, Bert, David and I took a spin around town to different places, to see if we could locate David’s car. It was missing! While riding, David put his arm around me. We came back to Pete’s and the car was in their garage. David sat with me while we finished the evening eating our ice cream and cake. Later, he walked out with me to the car and we said good-nite.

A few nights later, he and Hank came over to show us the pictures they had taken on their trip back East. A bee had stung me near the eye. Man, was my eye ever a sight. I sat on the floor in front of David, while he sat in the overstuffed chair, as we watched the slides.

The next day, he came over after school and asked me if I would like to ride to town with him to get his watch fixed. I said O.K. That was the first time I had ever ridden with him alone in his car. When we arrived home, he asked me if I would like to go to the show with him the coming Friday, May 2, 1957. I said O.K. That Friday we went to the show and David says that when he brought me home, I kissed him, but I still say I didn’t.

After that, we continued to date. We have gone to shows, miniature golf, bowling, out to dinner, school affairs, and dances, swimming, horseback riding, archery, and taking trips to the hills and mountains. It was so much fun to just be alone together. Some nights after a date, we would spend hours talking and enjoying each other parked in the yard for hours.

One evening while we were on a date, I asked David why he ever dated me after that first time he had met me. He remarked: Well, the first time at LaGrange, I was really disgusted, but after the birthday party, I thought I’d give it another try, just to see for sure.

We went together for eight months before David gave me his high school class ring, which meant we were going “steady”, as it was called in those days, on November 14, 1957. On February 14, 1958, only four months later, he gave me his mother and father’s wedding rings and we announced our engagement. We were married on May 30, 1959 in Carson City, Nevada by Rev. Gerald V. Case. I had just turned 18 years old by one month and David was 24 years old. His mother and step-father, Rebecca Lowrey Duncan Woolliscroft & William Duncan Woolliscroft were with us, along with David’s best friend, Bert Walters and Joan Edwards, my best friend, who were our Best Man & Maid of Honor.

After our wedding, I lived with Grandma & Grandpa Woolliscroft for a couple of weeks, while David returned to Fresno State College to finish out the school year there and for me to graduate from Turlock High School. Grandma Woolliscroft celebrated our wedding a few days later with a beautiful reception at their home on Duncan Acres in Delhi, California. For our honeymoon, David and I drove to Fish Camp, just before Yosemite Park, and camped for about a week, as we both loved the mountains.

When we returned to Fresno, we lived in a one room studio apartment above a mom and pop grocery store for $40.00 per month, but we were so happy!


David was a licensed professional engineer. His information as of 2012 is as follows:

License Number: 29127
License Status: CANCELLED
Expiration Date: March 31, 1991
Address: P O BOX 666
State: CA
Zip: 93644
County: MADERA
Actions: No

He was also a parlimentarian for the Fresno City Employees Association beginning in 1978.


ssn: 562-48-3109

Family Map

Family Map