Papa Duncan

Today my husband and I flew to Spokane, Washington to attend a memorial service for a dear friend, David Duncan. (The picture above is of his home town of Great Falls, Montana.) “Papa” Duncan, as his grandchildren called him, was an absolute pillar in his community, loved and admired by his large, close-knit family, his business associates, and even his business competitors (one of whom spoke at the memorial). One thing that struck me in particular was that all three of David Duncan’s sons said in the service they had never heard their father say an unkind word about anyone, ever.

The minister leading the service, Paul Tsika, is also a friend. Paul is a fiery, funny preacher with the most amazing accent: Maine and Texas all rolled into one. You really have to hear it to believe it; it’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, Paul opened the service by telling a joke about a car dealership owner who found out that one of his competitors had relocated his business to the other side of town. Being a cordial guy, the car dealer arranged to have flowers and a note sent to congratulate his competitor and wish him well. About the same time, the florist filling the order also received an order for flowers to be sent to a funeral home in town. As the joke goes, the florist mixed up the cards; the car dealer across town got “With deepest sympathy” and the bereaved family got “Congratulations on your new location!”

The thing is, Paul said, David Duncan’s death is not the end, but rather the beginning of a realer, truer life than any of us have experienced or can imagine. So, Papa Duncan, congratulations are in order.

Papa Duncan, love

and honor follow you
your new location.