Mary Elizabeth Duncan

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Angoon resident Mary Elizabeth Duncan, 73, died Jan. 9, 2004, at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka after a struggle with cancer.

She was born May 19, 1930, to Charlie and Sophie Bailey. Her mother died when she was 1, and she was raised by her mother's sister and her husband, Elizabeth and Walter Williams, in Angoon. She spent the rest of her life there.

She worked in the canneries and later became a fisher on the seiner Mary D with her husband. She also worked as an alcohol counselor, a Tlingit storyteller and was past president of the Angoon Alaska Native Sisterhood camp. She spent many years on the advisory school board in Angoon.

Her hobbies included gathering subsistence foods, such as clams, gumboots and game, and putting them away for the winter. She collected china, angels and antiques, and before she got sick, her passion was taking care of her home. She took great pride in taking care of the picnic grounds at the Killisnoo harbor, near the cemetery where she was laid to rest.

Her family wrote that she "is greatly missed by her family and friends."

She was preceded in death by her children, Marilyn and Bonnie Duncan, Irene Woods and Robert, Jeffrey and Mitchell Duncan; grandchildren, Lester Young and Dixie, Kristen and Buddy George; and nephews, John and David Howard III.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Robert Duncan of Angoon; brother and sister-in-law, Roy and Doris Bailey of Sitka; daughters, Jennifer Young and Alberta Duncan of Sitka, Vivian James, Barbara George, Katie Duncan, Audrey Howard and Irene Duncan, all of Angoon, and Anita Peters of Seattle; son, Peter Duncan of Angoon; sisters, Frances Cropley of Juneau and Barbara Johnson of Yakutat; nieces, Anita Leonard, Della Downs, Genevieve Guanzon, Jan Walker and Gaylene Jacobs; and her nephew, John Nanney.

Services were held Jan. 13 at the Angoon Community Hall with the Salvation Army in charge. Burial was at the Killisnoo cemetery.

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