Cover photo for Thurman L. Duncan's Obituary
Thurman L. Duncan Profile Photo

Thurman L. Duncan

December 15, 1937 — April 10, 2022


Thurman L. Duncan passed away at the age of 84, at his home, April 10, 2022. He leaves behind his wife, Lois of 65 years, Olathe, KS.

Their three children: Daughters, Paula (Terry) Rhodes, Olathe, KS, Vickie (Bobby) Boroughf, Berthoud, CO., and Son, Russ (Jenny) Duncan, Orrick, MO.

His seven grandchildren: Seth Rhodes, Stephanie (Brad) King, Zach (Ashley) Boroughf, Emily (Nick) Pflipsen, Nick Duncan, Whitney Duncan and Sophie Duncan. And two bonus grandchildren: Macey and Jax Miller. And five great-grandsons: Bentley, Sawyer and Bowen King AND Oakley and Landry Boroughf.

His remaining siblings, Shirley Wood, Harold Duncan, Norman Duncan, Karren Wood, Billy Joe Duncan and Kathy VanHooser. As well as numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

He was preceded by his parents, Clyde and Opal (Luttrell) Duncan, brothers John David, Ronnie and Dickie Duncan .

Thurman was born December 15, 1937 in Brumley, Missouri. He grew up in Miller County during his youth and it wasn't until he met and married, Lois Jones, August 11, 1956 that he left the area. At which point he and Lois moved to the Kansas City area for a job he had. They lived most of their married life in Johnson County, Kansas where they raised their three children, Paula, Vickie and Russell.

He worked construction his entire life doing various things till he started his own company. He did everything from being a hod-carrier to a laborer on a pipeline. Eventually he was given the opportunity to run heavy equipment and found that he enjoyed that the most. With his former boss as his business partner, they started Duncan Excavating in the mid­seventies. This grew and as things changed it led him to go completely on his own and he began R. L. Duncan Construction Company in 1985. He actively ran the company with the help of his son, Russ, until the business closed in 2020. Thurman loved to work. It gave him a great sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that he had completed numerous projects within the Kansas City and even in the outlying regions. It's what he loved.

His hobbies were few, since working was what he enjoyed most, but there were a few other things he enjoyed too. He loved tinkering with and restoring John Deere tractors. He worked on and helped restore well over ten tractors with the help of his friends, who dubbed themselves the John Deere South gang. Taking the tractors to parades, whether it was rain or shine, was a great way to show off their handiwork, but also share with folks who had never been around the old three cylinder tractors, with the distinct Pop-Pop-Pop sound. He loved talking about the work that was put into them. But his pride and joy was a 1937 model he restored, because it was the same year he was born.

He also loved to garden, even though his family tried to tell him that 20-30 tomato plants was a little overboard. He still grew them and various vegetables each year and would give away the excess bounty to family and friends. He just enjoyed sharing what he had with others.

Mowing was another favorite past time. He would say when he mowed it was relaxing. He would just put his headphones on and mow for hours on end, only to start all over a few days later. Didn't matter to him at all.

Thurman was a man who came from humble beginnings. He was not pretentious in any way and was quick to say that God had truly blessed him. He was able to achieve the American Dream through determination, hard work and a quiet faith in God. He loved the work he did and as the saying goes, "If you love what you do and do what you love, you'll never work a day in your Life." That was Thurman through and through.

Although his family and friends will miss him dearly, they know that when he arrived at Heaven's gate, he was greeted with "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 15, 2022 at Fellowship Church of Olathe,  followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m., also at the church. Thurman will be laid to rest in Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens in Shawnee, Kansas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thurman L. Duncan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Friday, April 15, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 15, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, April 15, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens

23215 West 75th Street
Shawnee, KS 66227

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