A life well lived.
Elizabeth (Betty) Duncan passed away Saturday, September 2, 2023 with her son Robert and daughter-in-law Lynne Duncan by her side. She is survived by her daughter Diane Smith of Kansas City, MO; son Robert (Lynn) Duncan of Woodland Hills, CA; grandsons Ben Duncan of London England, Chris Duncan and his fiancé Ella Ellenson of Saint Frances, WI; niece Irene Lindsay, and sister-in-law Betty Cummings of Scotland. Preceded in death was her husband John Duncan, parents John and Elizabeth Cummings, siblings Nettie, John, Daniel and Anna, and niece Patricia.
Betty was born in 1933 in Kirkcaldy, Fife Scotland and she would always let you know she was from Scotland. Telling us stories of how during World War II she had to take a gas mask to school in case of an air raid and they had to go into a shelter. Recently, she was telling a story of meeting Queen Elizabeth, then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret, when they travelled through Kirkcaldy on their way to Balmoral Castle in Scotland. It is stories like these that Betty loved to share with family and friends.
Immigrating to the United States in 1953 to marry our dad also from Kirkcaldy, she settled in New York City. Leaving family and friends in Scotland to begin a new journey in life in the US, where she raised her daughter Diane and son Robert. New York is also where she started her long, 40 plus year career in the retail sales industry, working for a wonderful family in a small clothing store. This career continued in Southern California when the family moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles. Whether just running to the store for groceries or going out with friends and family, Betty loved to fashionably dress. Everything matched, from her shoes and jewelry to her handbag. She was our very own fashionista.
Her grandsons, Ben and Chris, were her pride and joy. You just had to look at the walls of her apartment to know this. She had pictures of them everywhere. She loved taking them to auditions and watching them play in whatever sporting events they were involved with.
Betty had a beautiful soprano voice and along with her daughter Diane, sang in the chancel choir in the Presbyterian church in New Jersey. She was always humming or singing when a song would come on the radio in the car that she knew. She was a good dancer too, and always joked that our dad had two left feet. She would tell stories of when she and her sister Anna would go to dances in Kirkcaldy. Pretty sure that’s where her son Robert and daughter Diane get their rhythm from.
Betty also loved to craft. Her dining room table would turn into a craft table, making things for the craft fair at the apartment complex where she lived. Always with a camera, Betty also loved taking pictures, literally of everything. She would send her daughter copies of pictures of the sky in the morning and evening, tiny lizards and flowers.
The family will advise a date for the celebration of life service which will be held at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. There she will join her husband John, our dad and grandfather.
In lieu of flowers, her family would appreciate donations to the Alzheimer’s association in her name.
Link to donate: