Farming Rural 18

Robert Lee "R.L." Duncan

June 26, 1930 ~ February 22, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Robert Duncan Obituary

Robert Lee “R.L.” Duncan, 93, passed away peacefully among family at his home on February 22, 2024.

He was born in Nicholas County on June 26, 1930, to the late Clarence and Eva Duncan and later was a proud graduate of Nicholas County High School, attending reunions each year.

His upbringing on a farm instilled the value of hard work. During this time, he learned and refined various skills including carpentry and mechanics.

In 1951, he courted and married the love of his life, June Myers. Soon after, he was deployed to serve in the Army during the Korean War. There, he attained the rank of corporal and was assigned to the motor pool with the duties of transporting officers and driving and maintaining large equipment.

Upon returning home from the service, R.L. and his wife June settled in Lexington where he began his career in carpentry at Dix Dam. He soon transitioned to a forklift operator for a machinery moving business where he quickly advanced to foreman. During this period, R.L. formed friendships with several IBM managers, one who encouraged him to establish his own local machinery moving business.

In 1959, R.L. and June founded Duncan Machinery Movers in Lexington, KY with the purchase of a single forklift. Over the course of more than 30 years, they skillfully managed and expanded their enterprise, playing a pivotal role in the construction of major business and infrastructure projects throughout the country. The legacy of their hard work and dedication lives on today in the business that they founded over 60 years ago.

R.L. possessed the analytical mind of an engineer and the daring spirit of an adventurer. There seemed to be no challenge he couldn’t conquer. In the mid-1960s, he secured his private aircraft license, enabling him to personally pilot his way to business ventures in Texas and North Carolina. An avid golfer for many years, R.L. achieved the remarkable feat of shooting his age when he turned 75, witnessed by his Kentucky golfing buddies, Charlie Buford, Bob Palmer and Buddy Mossbarger. Additionally, he was a member of the Oleika Shiriners and showcased his expertise as a motorcycle rider, generously contributing his time and skill in the Shriners parades.

As a passionate stock car enthusiast, R.L. loved to watch car racing. But R.L. wasn’t content with merely being a spectator; he wanted to be part of the action. In 1973, and after a few years of successful racing as the proud owner of the 1969 Chevelle, affectionately nicknamed “Duncan’s Delight”, R.L.'s racing team clinched the Eldora World 100 National Championship. With this win, along with his earlier racing successes, R.L. Duncan recently received notification that he had been nominated to be inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame.

R.L. was most at home spending time with his family and working on his farm in north Lexington. On many summer nights, R.L could be found riding his tractor or working in his machinery barn after a full day’s work. He stayed active and loved to maintain and repair all types of automotive and farm equipment. RL consistently worked on projects where he would design and enhance new inventions, often using unconventional ideas others might not consider. This earned him the nickname “Mr. Goodwrench”. His energy remained boundless.

During the winter months, he and his wife June resided at their home in southern Florida where they could golf and R.L. could enjoy his fresh blackened grouper and margaritas. He enjoyed music and loved to play the organ. He was a devoted UK fan, following and supporting them throughout the years. This was the only time that R.L. truly relaxed, spending time with June, his children, grandchildren, family, and friends when they came to visit.

R.L is survived by his daughter Lee (Roger) Singleton and son Robert (Lisa) Duncan II, granddaughter Adrienne Singleton, grandsons Adam and Alec Singleton and granddaughter Taylor Duncan. He is also survived by cousin Della James, sister-in-laws Mildred McIntyre, Janice Boyle, Carol Hatton, brother-in-law Wayne Myers, and several nieces and nephews.

Along with his parents, R.L. was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, June Duncan, grandson Robert Lee “Trey” Duncan III, sisters Betty Graves and Mary Elizabeth Duncan and brother Billy Joe Duncan. R.L. loved life and lived it to its fullest. He enjoyed traveling throughout the world and sharing his experiences. His warm smile and outstretched hand welcomed everyone as a friend, and he consistently extended a helping hand whenever possible. His care, compassion, wit and wisdom for his children, grandchildren, family, and friends will be missed every day.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Gloria Calloway, a compassionate friend and companion. Her kindness and devotion were exceptional as she quickly became part of our family.

Visitation will be held at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Road on Thursday, February 29th, from 5 – 8 PM. Funeral service will be held on Friday March 1st, at 12:30 PM with pastor John Byard officiating. Burial will take place at Evergreen Memory Gardens in Bourbon County.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in R.L. Duncan’s name to the Shriners Children's Hospital or Bluegrass Navigators Hospice Care.


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February 29, 2024

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Kerr Brothers (Harrodsburg Rd, Lexington, KY)
3421 Harrodsburg Road
Lexington, KY 40513

Funeral Service
March 1, 2024

12:30 PM
Kerr Brothers (Harrodsburg Rd, Lexington, KY)
3421 Harrodsburg Road
Lexington, KY 40513

Graveside Service
March 1, 2024

2:30 PM
Evergreen Memory Gardens
5364 Lexington Road
Lexington, KY 40511


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