One of Our Own
A Fellow WarBird has Gone West
Not Alone into the Sunset
But into the Company of Friends
Who have gone before Him

Picture of Doctor Duncan

Dr. Frank Duncan,
Hoosier Warbird Member,
Hoosier Air Museum Member,
Newsletter Editor and Volunteer


          Soldier Saluting the United States Flag    Salute to a Fallen WarBird     Soldier Saluting the United States Flag         

AUBURN — Longtime Auburn dentist, Frank Allan Duncan, Jr., died Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at his home in Auburn, at the age of 90.

Dr. Duncan moved to Auburn in the summer of 1953, and immediately opened his dental practice in downtown Auburn at the age of 29. "I helped him that first day," his wife Sigrid, who predeceased him, recalled later. "We were jubilant, and took in $7 in cash, which we framed.

"He maintained dental offices at 106 N. Cedar Street in downtown Auburn and later practiced with Dr. Gina DeWald and the DeWald Northeast Dental Group at 405 Smith Drive in Auburn until he retired from the practice of dentistry in 2013 at the age of 89.

Frank Allan Duncan, Jr. was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1923 to Frank A. Duncan Sr. and Altha (Straube) Duncan. In 1930, the family settled in South Bend, Indiana, where he attended elementary school and graduated from James Whitcomb Riley High School in 1941.After graduation from high school, he worked for the Underwood Elliott Fisher Company of South Bend in the typewriter and adding machine service department and remained there until starting his undergraduate education at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. in 1942.

Frank’s Kalamazoo College education was interrupted by World War II. He enlisted in theUnited States Navy from 1942 through 1946, attaining the rank of Ensign. He was trained at the United States Naval Reserve Midshipman's School at Notre Dame, Indiana. and at the U.S. Naval Torpedo School at Newport, Rhode Island. He served on the original commissioning crew on the bridge of the USS Steinaker (DD-863) as a navigator and torpedo officer.

After World War II ended, he returned to Kalamazoo College, graduating in 1947 with a B.S. degree in chemistry. He attended Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago from 1947-1951, and graduated in 1951 with the degree of Doctor of Dental Science. On June 17, 1950, he married his Kalamazoo College sweetheart, the former Sigrid J. Nelson of Berkley, Michigan.

Because the Navy's senior dental program had no openings at the time of the Korean War, he resigned his commission as a Naval officer and joined the United States Air Force, where he served as a dentist in the Air Force's Medical Corps during the Korean War from 1951-1953. He was first stationed with the 142nd Tactical Fighter Wing at O'Hare Air Force Base, near Chicago. Dr. Duncan described the area now known as O'Hare International Airport as "a wheat field for as far as you could see," during the time he was stationed there.In May of 1952, while still serving in the Air Force, Dr. Duncan was stationed at Itazuki Air Force Base, near Fukuoka, Japan, on Kyushu Island, the southernmost island in Japan. While stationed there, Dr. Duncan treated men who had been wounded in the Korean War, and he produced a film of civilian life in post-war Japan. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force with the rank of Captain.

In 1953, he moved to Auburn with his wife, Sigrid (Nelson) Duncan and their then 1-year-old daughter, Ann. He set up his private dental practice downtown where he remained in active practice until his retirement in 2013. Dr. Duncan was appointed to the Indiana Board of Dental Examiners by former Indiana Gov. Otis Bowen, serving in that position from 1975 to 1982. Dr. Duncan was an active member of the Isaac Knapp District Dental Association for 60 years, of which he was president in 1959 and 1960, where he was awarded the honor of Dentist of the Year.

He was a Trustee of the Indiana State Dental Association, served on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb County Board of Health, the Board of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, and for several years was Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Auburn Young Men's Christian Association. He was also a member, deacon and elder of the Auburn Presbyterian Church, the Auburn Lions Club, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge #1978.

Dr. Duncan was the son of Frank Allan Duncan, Sr., who died in 1958, and Altha Ruth (Straube) Duncan, formerly of Auburn, who died in 1979. Dr. Duncan's wife, Sigrid Juanita (Nelson) Duncan, died in 2000. They were the parents of three surviving children: Ann (Harry) Kneifel, of Martinsville, Indiana, Jon Duncan (Patricia Kelly), of Glenview, Illinois, and Julie (William) Heimach, of Auburn. His sister, Alice Akin, of Grand Haven, Michigan, also survives.

Dr. Duncan was predeceased by two half-sisters, Eleanor (Martin) Lindsey and Virginia (Russ) Whiteman, both of California. He has four surviving grandchildren, Joshua (Kate) Kneifel of Carmel, Indiana, Nathan Kneifel of Aspen, Colorado, Zachary Heimach of Louisville, Kentucky, and Nikolas Heimach of Auburn. He has two surviving great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Kneifel of Carmel, Indiana, and Kai Kneifel, of Carmel, Indiana.

Dr. Duncan was a sixth generation descendant of Revolutionary War Patriot Dr. Samuel Duncan (his 3rd great grandfather), who served as a field surgeon in the Massachusetts Militia. He was also a direct descendant of six passengers who crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Europe in 1620 aboard the Mayflower. According to the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, he was a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Degory Priest, Francis Cooke, Isaac Allerton, Allerton's wife Mary Allerton and their daughters, Remember Allerton and Mary Allerton.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, at the Auburn Presbyterian Church, 111 W. 12th St., Auburn, with the Rev. Lyle Ewing officiating.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Monday prior to the service at the church.

Memorials may be directed to the Auburn Presbyterian Church, St. Martin's Healthcare in Garrett or the Hoosier Air Museum in rural Auburn.