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Helen Smith Duncan

Posted By DeBord-Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On October 14, 2020 @ 3:19 pm In Obituaries | 8 Comments

Duncan Photo web

October 7, 2020 witnessed the passing of the loving, compassionate and giving Helen Smith Duncan.  She passed in her childhood home in Lancaster after a long struggle with dementia.  She was cared for the whole time by her six loving children.

Helen was born August 14, 1931 to the late Harold E. Smith and Malinda Shaub Smith.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years Harold S. Duncan.

Helen raised 6 loving children — Dennis, who passed in September of this year, Christine (David), Robert (Sharon), Andrew, Louise, and Luther (Wendy).  She was a grandmother to 15, a great grandmother to 16 and a great great grandmother to 1. They all cherished her.  She always had a smile, a giving heart and time for many games of Farkle, Yahtzee, Up-Jenkins, spoons and more.

Helen graduated from JP McCaskey High in 1949.  She then started her family and gave her children the time and attention they needed to grow.  She always wanted to be a nurse, and realized her dream in 1980 when she graduated from St. Joseph School of Nursing with her Registered Nurse Degree!

She used her degree as a career nurse for Hospice of Lancaster which allowed her compassion and love for all to be used working with and consoling families as their loved ones passed.  She retired in 2000.

Helen supported the Lancaster community as a volunteer for many causes.  She assisted Hospice of Lancaster in their annual Labor Day Auction for 20 years.  She sat on the School District of Lancaster board for two terms and the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster board for over ten years.  She assisted people in filing taxes as a vita volunteer, and she helped her daughter Louise as a bell choir member at several churches.

In addition to her children, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, Helen will be missed by her three remaining sisters, Kitty Dunn, Barbara Rightmire and Molly Sperandio.  Helen was predeceased by her sister Ann Probst.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family. If desired, memorial contributions in Helen’s memory may be made to Hospice & Community Care, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA, 17604.


Condolences for the family of “Helen Smith Duncan”

Condolence from EllenTrimble on October 15th, 2020 6:28 am

My prayers are with the family Helen is with the Lord memories will be with you all she could be put a smile on your face. She would win every time we played card and tell me how to drive she will be miss. Love to the family God Bless

Condolence from Maj Gen (retd). Sardha Abeyratne (Sri Lanka) on October 16th, 2020 6:52 am

So Sorry and Sadden to hear the demise of our loveable friend ” MOM ” Helen Duncan. She along with her husband Harlod Duncan , generously accommodated me at their residence at Lancaster PA, during my vacation while I was following a Military course at the US Army Ordnance Centre & School at APG, Aberdeen, Maryland in 1990/91. Since I left USA, she corresponded with me upto 2010 and stopped may be due to her bad health. She was a truly Loveable, Joyful , Wonderful & Graceful Lady who proudly talked about her Candies & Lollypops she made for the Thanksgiving and X’mas . May God give her Eternal Rest and daughter Louise the strength to bear the great pain. Please accept My & My family ‘s Heartfelt Condolences from SriLanka.

Condolence from Robert Carey on October 16th, 2020 9:10 am

Prayers and condolences to the family. I have fond memories of Helen and knew her for many years. She was a wonderful, caring person with a strong personality and quick wit. She will be missed.

Condolence from Mary Lynn DiPaolo on October 18th, 2020 1:09 pm

To the Duncan family,

Please accept my sincere condolences on your mothers passing. She was the epitome of the perfect homemaker. She made the best ever clear toy candies. Helen excelled at everything she did. I sure miss the good old days on College Ave. Condolences on Denny’s passing.

Love and Peace,
Mary Lynn Hobday DiPaolo

Condolence from Joanne Berkowitz on October 20th, 2020 7:02 pm

I was lucky to work with Helen for many years at Hospice and witness the compassion she gave to so many patients. She was smart, kind and a favorite by so many patients. I will always remember her kindness , to me and all who knew Helen. Her memory is a blessing.

Condolence from Elaine Bornstein on October 21st, 2020 6:03 am

I remember Helen playing with Bethany Bells @ Bethany Presbyterian Church & directed by Louise. These memories bring smiles. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy at the loss of your beloved mother. Elaine Bornstein

Condolence from Carol A Olson on October 21st, 2020 10:40 am

Helen was great to work with on the Board of Governors of the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster. She was always willing to help with the fundraisers and kept us on our toes during the meetings. We enjoyed when she would accompany Louise to the meetings after she retired. I will miss her spirit and sense of humor. My prayers are with you during your time of loss.

Condolence from William E McCoy on October 21st, 2020 1:42 pm

My deepest sympathy to Louise and all the family members….Enjoyed knowing your mother while attending church services,,,,,,Also recall visiting your home some years ago when we needed to do some music rehearsal during which your mother was most helpful… A gracious lady . Blessings to all the family..!

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