Cover photo for Rowland Leon Duncan's Obituary
Rowland Leon Duncan Profile Photo
1955 Rowland 2018

Rowland Leon Duncan

October 26, 1955 — January 29, 2018

Mr. Rowland Leon “Red” Duncan, Sr.
Reflections on the “Dash” in His Dash

Mr. Rowland Leon Duncan was born into time on October 26th, 1955. Rowland was the ninth of the ten children of the late Calvin Coolidge and Beulah Mae (Ivory) Duncan. Rowland was their bouncing baby boy. From childhood, he was an active and joyful person. He was the person seldom seen without a smile on his face. In his religious life, he felt the pull of the Lord at an early age, and was baptized by the Rev. A.W. Terry in what is now Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. In his home, he experienced life with 5 older brothers who decided, because of his skintone, that he needed a nickname. They, affectionately, called him “Sandy”, “Sandflea” or “Flea”. They eventually settled on “Red” and this would be the nickname that stayed with him throughout his life.

Rowland attended Peake Elementary and Junior High School and was a graduate of Arkadelphia High School. While a student at Peake, he was one of the founding members of the Arabian Knights Society (AKS) which was a dance step group. He was a “dancing machine” and choreographed many of the groups dance moves. Rowland was always a sociable, outgoing person who made friends easily while maintaining the good grades required by his parents.

Upon graduation from high school in 1973, he attended Henderson State University for 2 years. In 1975, he left school and served his country by joining the United States Navy. In 1976, he married the late Terrie Mitchell. Three children were born to this union: Rowland Jr., Tanika, and DeSean. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, Rowland moved to Michigan for a short time. He was always a homeboy though, and soon came back to Arkansas. After returning home, he completed his studies at Henderson State.

Rowland then found his calling as a firefighter for the city of Little Rock. He loved his job, but he also loved his family and believed their life would be better in Arkadelphia; rather than move them, he commuted back and forth. Rowland was always a devoted husband and father. No sacrifice was too great for his family.

Rowland was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while still in his 30s, but he continued to work for as long as he could. He would not give up the fight to work until it became obvious that he could no longer perform his duties, first as a firefighter, then as an inspector. Upon his retirement, his focus became God and family. His mind was always razor sharp and even as his body failed him, he maintained a wisdom that belied his age. He became a member of the Arkadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church and looked forward to the weekly visits from the ministry where they sang and ministered to and with each other.

Rowland will always be the heart of the Duncan family. His strength and the perseverance he exhibited EVERY day is a shining example to all who know him. No matter what befell him, he never complained. He truly was someone who, when life handed him lemons, he made lemonade. And always with a smile.

On January 29th, 2018, the Lord closed his eyes and granted him rest. His job was completed; his journey here with us was ended. Though we will miss his smiling presence, we know he is right with God and look forward to the day when we will see him once again. His parents, Calvin C. (2002) and Beulah M. (2007) will once again see their baby boy.

His brilliant and shining light and his beautiful smile will be forever missed by his children: Rowland (JoJo) Duncan, Phoenix, AZ, Tanika (Derrick) Flowers, Harker Heights, TX and DeSean Duncan, LA, CA. Also by his nine siblings: James (Thelma) Harris, Culver City, CA, Patricia Ross, Oakland, CA, Calvin C. Duncan, Jr., Bismarck, AR, Clydell Duncan, Bryant, AR, Verdell Duncan, Arkadelphia, AR, Felix (Annerose) Duncan, Tulsa, OK, Jeannette (Frederick) Johnson, Houston, TX, Edna (Alvin) Newburn, Arkadelphia, AR, and Dorothy J. Duncan, Arkadelphia, AR. He also leaves 12 grandchildren: Jaquez, I’onna, Riven, Zahara, Malezia, Rowland III, Akeeleez, Chris, Kierra, Ryan, Lyrrick and Derrick (DJ), numerous nieces and nephews and friends. Also, his special firefighter brother, Sampson Smith.

1955 – 2018
Remember, it’s the dash in the dash that counts and what a dash you have been!!!

Public visitation will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home. A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. with Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., officiating and Rev. A. S. Newburn, eulogist. Interment will be at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens with Naval Honors.

Text "Red" to 28748 to view the digital funeral program

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, February 2, 2018

1:00am - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church

1600 Caddo St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Rest Haven Memorial Gardens

4647 Pine St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

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Fellowship and Lunch

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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