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Mrs. Duncan was born on March 18, 1912 in Leon County, Texas to Grover Cleveland House, a Methodist circuit preacher, and Mary Ada (Easterling) House. While growing up, she often sang at her father's church services, accompanied by her older sister, Fay, on piano. She was promoted rapidly in school, and graduated from Wheelock Public Schools along with her older sister, at age 14. After high school, she attended finishing school, graduating as salutatorian. She attended Lon Morris Junior College in 1928 on a voice scholarship, graduating in 1930. While there, she was the 1930 Texas State Junior College Tennis Champion in both singles and doubles. She began teaching school at Vineyard, in Jack county, where she met her future husband, Ira ("Ike") Duncan. While on the way to be married, they were stopped by police because Ike's car was exactly like the one driven by outlaws Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker! Their marriage had 3 children, Lois Lavelle ("Sara"), Dixie Lee, and John Keith ("Buddie").
While living in Fort Worth, Mrs. Duncan returned to college at Texas Wesleyan College, graduating in 1952, and taught 2nd grade at Lake Worth ISD for 25 years. She was a charter member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teacher's association, and in 2010, was recognized as the longest-standing active member, giving her a 50-year award. In 1987, several years after Ike's death, she moved to Mineral Wells to be nearer to her daughter, Sara. She joined First United Methodist Church, were she was active in the choir, and United Methodist Women. She was a member of the Palo Pinto County Retired Teachers Association, where she served as a past president, and the Mineral Wells Home Extension Club. Following gall bladder surgery at age 101, she has resided at Lakewell Place in Mineral Wells for the past 6 years.
Born just prior to the sinking of the Titanic, DeLois has seen many things in her nearly 107 years: the terms of 20 U.S. presidents, transportation going from horseback to jet airplanes, heating bricks in the fireplace to wrap in quilts so they could keep their feet warm while riding to a church service in a buggy or a Model T, her husband serving on the Lexington air craft carrier in World War II, and meeting famous ranchers Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving in Jermyn at one of her father's church services.
Mrs. Duncan was preceded in death by her father, Rev. G.C. House, Sr.; her mother, Mary Ada House; her step-mother Alma House; her husband, Ira Duncan; her sister, Fay Marsh; her brother G.C. ("Chick") House, Jr.; her daughter Dixie; her son, Buddy; granddaughters Carol Estes and Linda Haley; and grandson Mark LeFan. She is survived by daughter Sara Simmons, grandchildren Paul Simmons, Mary Slider, Drue LeFan, Gerald LeFan, Debbie Blanchard, Bryan Duncan, Christi Simmons, and Wade Duncan, as well as numerous great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and great-great-great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the employees of Lakewell Place for their loving care of Delois for the past 6 years that was above and beyond the call of duty. Also, we, the family, would like to express our appreciation to the numerous friends she considered as family, for their friendship and support.
Condolences may be left at www.bcbfuneralhome.com.
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