Patsy (Reynolds) and Rick Duncan are celebrating 50 years of marriage. They met at an Episcopal Church Youth Conference at The Old Oak Youth Ranch in Sonora, California in the spring of 1961 when she was a freshman and he was a sophomore in high school.
That summer, they met again at Camp San Joaquin Episcopal Summer Camp. Much of their courtship was at church conferences and camps. Their first date was to see "West Side Story" on a double date with his ex-girlfriend (also a friend of Patsy's) and her new beau.
Rick & Patsy lived 50 miles apart on the Santa Fe Railroad line and traveled by train to go to each other's proms and other events. In those days mail was transported by train and was sorted as the train traveled. Long distance phone calls were expensive. So they wrote letters, took them to the late night train, and they were delivered the very next day.
Rick went to Fresno City College and Patsy went to Fresno State College. He asked her to "run away with him and get married." She said she loved him and did want to marry him, but she wanted to finish college first.
Rick transferred to another college three hours away which offered more scientific programs of study. They dated others for several months, but only became more certain that God intended them for each other.
Rick enlisted in the Air Force to avoid being drafted. He was given the choice of going to New York or California for language school. He thought to himself, "Hmmm. Cold winter in New York or Monterey, CA, three hours from my girlfriend."
Two days after graduation from his course in Mandarin Chinese, they were married at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour in Hanford, CA, on December 2, 1967. During his time in the Air Force, they lived in Texas, California, Okinawa, Arizona, Illinois, Mississippi, Colorado, and Maryland.
While in Arizona, their first child, John, was born just before Rick's graduation from Arizona State University in 1971. Rick was then sent to Officer Training School and on to complete a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Illinois. Their second child, Joel, was born in Colorado in 1975.
Rick was hired by Halliburton Services in 1981 and holds eight patents on products developed during his 17 years there. He then worked six years for Telos at Fort Sill. He concluded his career as a systems development engineer working seven years with Northrop Grumman at Tinker Air Force Base developing avionic software for the B-2 bomber.
Patsy completed three years at Fresno State College before they were married. For the most part, she chose to stay at home with her boys. However, she was Secretary at All Saints' Episcopal Church for five years and Community Coordinator for the Passport for Adventure program. She returned to college studies graduating Cameron University in 1996 with a degree in Communication.
Since moving to Duncan, the Duncans have been actively involved in local programs. Rick serves in the Stephens County Honor Guard. He is a member of VFW, American Legion, Chisholm Trail Amateur Radio Club, the 905 Museum, and Southwest Oklahoma Railroad Association. Patsy has served as President of Church Women United and of Monday Study Club. She also served on the Boards of Toy Shop and Christians Concerned.
Both Rick and Patsy have always been very active in the Episcopal Church in various key leadership positions wherever they have lived. The Bishop of Oklahoma presented Patsy with the "Bishop's Cross" in 2015, recognizing her service to the church. She served three years as state president and another three years on the National Board of Episcopal Church Women and was asked to serve as national President, but declined as Rick was retiring and she wanted to be able to travel and spend time with him.
The Duncans were actively involved in Boy Scout leadership and are very proud that both of their sons, and their only grandson, Daniel, are all Eagle Scouts, college graduates, gainfully employed, and good men.
This Sunday afternoon, December 3, friends are invited to gather at the Simmons Center from 3 to 6 p.m. as the Duncan family hosts a reception honoring Rick and Patsy in celebration of their fifty years of marriage.