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Michael Raymond Duncan

April 21, 1939 ~ March 11, 2018 (age 78)


Michael Raymond Duncan was born to Verna and Raymond Duncan, in Yakima, Washington, on April 21, 1939. They lived in Grandview, Washington, where Mike attended all twelve years of schooling, graduating with the Class of 1957. He was active in FFA during high school and was very interested in agriculture. He continued his education at Washington State University, was a member of Farm House Fraternity, and majored in Agricultural Mechanization graduating with a BS in 1961. He then returned home and joined his father farming for a short time. Wanting to broaden his life, he moved to Kent, Washington, and went to work for Boeing as a Design Engineer. He joined the Boeing Chorale, a mixed choral group made up of Boeing employees, where he met his future wife, Eileen Karlson Nichols. They were married in 1970 on June 13th, in Seattle at a Lutheran church Eileen had been attending. They then moved to Yakima, Washington, where Mike went to work for Occidental Chemical as a sales/farm rep. In January of 1971, his first daughter, Jennifer, was born in Yakima, in the same hospital he had been born in in 1939! The company then transferred him to Tulelake, California, where he worked briefly for local farmers in the area. During that time his second daughter, Angela, was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1973. He then decided to return to Grandview to manage the grape enterprise of Elvin McKenzie, a longtime acquaintance. After Mr. McKenzie's death, he worked briefly overseeing the Yakima Indian Farming Enterprise before taking a position with Wyckoff Farms, a large family farm in Grandview. He was involved in the cultivation of Concord, Niagara, and a variety of wine grapes. He helped establish many of the local area wine vineyards and worked with the winemakers they sold to, making sure the grapes were grown to the vintners’ specifications. In 1976 his third daughter, Christina, was born in Sunnyside, Washington and in 1980 he returned with his family to the old ranch home in Grandview where he grew up.  In 1986 he decided to farm his own land. He bought the land surrounding their home, the same land he had farmed with his father as a young man, and planted Early Italian prunes, Gala apples, Granny Smith apples, and alfalfa hay. He planted, cut, turned, baled and hauled all his own hay. He enjoyed anything mechanical, worked on all his own equipment, and even invented a grape hoe while working for Wyckoff Farms. His invention was written up in a farm magazine. He continued to farm, sang in the church praise team and choir, and learned to square dance with Eileen. In approximately 2000, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but he continued his active lifestyle for years after. The disease progressed slowly the first 14 to 15 years but eventually resulted in more disability. In 2014 it was decided he and Eileen should move to Nampa, Idaho, where Angela, lived with her family. His Parkinson's continued to worsen and in the summer of 2017 he moved into an assisted living facility where he stayed until hospitalized in February of this year. He went to be with his Lord on Sunday afternoon, March 11, 2018.


He is survived by his wife, Eileen, his daughters, Jennifer Duncan, Angela Battershell (Aaron), Christina Raschko (Dale), four grandchildren, Lindsay, Megan, and Nathan Battershell, and Frances Duncan. He is also survived by several nephews, cousins and many friends, including special friends Paul and Judy Battershell, men of the Karcher men's group and friends in Grandview WA.


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