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Carole Smith Duncan
12/25/44  9/30/2021


 

       "Our Christmas Carole" Carole Duncan, a fifth generation Napan, passed away on September 30, 2021, after a short and courageous battle with sarcoma.

  Carole Duncan was born on December 25, 1944, to Avril Rodgers Smith and Frank Smith at a Vallejo hospital. She grew up at the Double Eagle Ranch in Napa County near Yountville and at a home in Vallejo near the families bottling plant. She attended St John the Baptist Elementary School in Napa from 1st-5th grades and attended 6th through 12th grades at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic School in Vallejo. Carole left the family Ranch as a young woman and headed for San Francisco to attend Heald Business College.

  While in San Francisco she joined the American Red Cross as a Gray Lady. She volunteered at the Letterman Hospital in San Francisco and Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland during the Vietnam War.

  The most important thing she did in San Francisco was to meet the love of her life Jack F Duncan, a marine whose ship came into S.F during the Vietnam conflict. Jack Duncan fell for Carole immediately and knew this one-of-a-kind woman would be his wife. They went on to be married 53 years and to have 5 children. They raised their family in Yountville with faith and a love for the deep roots they are honored to have in this valley.

  Carole was involved in, organized, and volunteered for many different organizations. Almost all of these had to do with her faith or with her roots. She was a member of the Young Republicans, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a proud member of the SPRSI (Portuguese Society of Vallejo), Legion of Mary, a third order Carmelite, CCD teacher, founder of a Rosary Crusade, member of the woman's guild at St Joan of Arc, benefactor of Kolbe/Trinity and founder of the famous Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa BBQ, and a benefactor and director of Kolbe-Trinity's Agape program.

  She was a lifelong Catholic who took her Faith seriously and loved sharing it. She was baptized and married at St Joan of Arc in Yountville and has been a lifelong member of that parish. She taught CCD for many decades in Yountville. Back in the day, children walking home from Yountville elementary knew what days Carole would be teaching because the smell of popcorn would waft down the street. Many would share that the smell of popcorn brings back fond memories of faith classes with Carole.

  She had a love of family that was unique and special. Her memories of her grandparents, mother and especially of her "dear old dad" were legendary. She could tell a story like no one else; and invariably the person listening would love what she was sharing. She loved the Ranch that her great-grandfather, John M Rodgers established in Napa. This Ranch, known as the Double Eagle, was an anchor for Carole. It was the place that was a center for her faith roots, love of family and of sharing with the community around her. She made sure the grounds were cared for, held many nonprofit events there, many family parties, and often went there just to pray.

  She is survived by her beloved husband Jack. Her children Steve Duncan (Nancy Duncan), Avril Duncan-Phelps, Anna Duncan-Hickey (Troy Hickey), Joseph Duncan (Katie Duncan), and Phillip Duncan (Kendra Duncan) and John Bonsey. Her grandchildren Chris Phelps, Regina Phelps, Rebecca Thomasson, Sarah Phelps, Benjamin Hickey, Brianna Hickey, Nate Hickey, Ella Hickey, Duncan Hickey, Nellie Duncan, Payton Duncan, Jessica Duncan, Ally Duncan, Izzy Duncan, Victoria Duncan, and Caroline Duncan, her sister LaVerne Millstead, her Brothers John Smith and Steve Smith, and numerous Rodgers and Smith cousins and great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her father and mother Frank and Avril Smith, by her brother Frank (Smitty) Smith, and by her great granddaughter October Thomasson.

In lieu of flowers please donate to Kolbe Academy and Trinity Prep 2055 Redwood Rd Napa, or to the "Agape" Program run through Kolbe/Trinity or to the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa.

Memories and notes of sympathy may be shared at claffeyandrota.com.

"She was a very kind and compassionate woman with a great faith and love for God which she showed during her daily life. And now she is with God. Praying for her family members and friends as they grieve and remember her many achievements in her beautiful life." - 'Juanita Ruelas Bybee'

"I was fortunate to have three second cousins in our class at St. Vincentís: Joan Thompson, Jack Rodgers, and Carole Smith. Now, sadly, they have all passed on. Iíll miss Carole, especially as the hostess of our reunions, but also for the coffee cake she made from my grandmotherís recipe, which she shared at a family reunion a few years ago.Caroleís grandfather, another Jack Rodgers, owned the Coca Cola bottling plant in Vallejo. I was very young when he died, but I remember being in his house after the funeral (the house that later was Caroleís) and being quite impressed that they had Coca Cola on tap right next to the kitchen sink. Thought that was pretty cool!  The house, with its tall palm trees, has always been a landmark for me. I enjoyed visiting for our reunions, and driving by, even if I didnít stop in, it reminded me of family history."  Bill Nachbaur

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"She was very brave during her illness. I feel blessed that I was able to visit with her early in September" - Jeanne Mausser Doty

"Carole was really a good friend in grammar school and high school.  Her mother Averil Rogers and my mother, Marie Dunklee, were best of friends in school at St. Vincents and through their adult years.  Carole and I had fun talking about them whenever we got together.  Carole was so gracious to host our class at her home in Napa for our reunion picnics.  She was Beacon; a shining light, in her spirituality and devotion to her faith.  May she rest in peace. Julie Marenzi Wise 

 

 
 


Updated 10/9/2021

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