Transportation 16

Ernest Ridgway Duncan

June 14, 1942 ~ July 27, 2022 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Ernest Ridgway Duncan, 80, was tragically killed while attempting to remove an obstruction on the roadway on I-93 on July 27, 2022. He was born in Boston, the only child of Ernest Watt Duncan and Phyllis M.B. Ridgway, who died during his infancy. Ernie was raised by his grandparents, James and Frances Duncan, as well as by his father and mother, Ernest and Margaret Clay Duncan, in Woburn, MA. In 1959, at the age of sixteen, Ernie graduated from Woburn High School, and then went on to higher educational pursuits at Lowell Technical Institute, Wentworth Technical Institute and Harvard.

Ernie began his professional career at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. He moved on to Cambridge Electron Accelerator, a Harvard and MIT collaboration. After funding cuts, he was hired by Richard “Wink” Tapply to run a new program entitled “Crafts-Reation” which provided enrichment activities to senior citizens in 16 communities throughout New Hampshire, including Bristol, where Ernie raised his family and lived out his remaining years.

In 1973, Ernie began what would be a 30-year engineering career with IPC, now Freudenberg NOK. He was proud of his work, and derived particular personal satisfaction from his appointment as the technical liaison between plant operations in the US and Germany. This provided an opportunity for him to move his family to Germany where they lived from 1985-1988. While there, Ernie made numerous lifelong friends among his colleagues and neighbors with whom he remained in close contact. He took great pleasure in his annual overseas trips to spend time with them, his last trip being May 2022. Ernie retired from Freudenberg in 2003.

Ernie’s life was profoundly impacted by a hearing impairment, which he kept very private throughout most of his life. While it was certainly a frustration for him, he did not allow his disability to impede his life in any way, and was an adept lip reader.

Always conscious of contributing to his community, Ernie served on the Newfound Area School Board, was a member of the former Bristol Jaycees, and was a former director of the Slim Baker Foundation. Additionally, he was a member of the Bristol UCC, and a proud member of Union Lodge #79 F & AM of Bristol. He was always there to lend a helping hand to family and friends, lending his physical labor, plumbing, electrical, building, finishing and crafting skills to many homes and projects.

Having a huge spot in his heart for animals of all kinds, his life included a plethora of special pets, from his beloved childhood dog, to two domesticated skunks, a charismatic duck, and many, many rescue dogs who always became his best pals and were treated like royalty. Ernie was an avid motorcyclist. He always had a collection of bikes to work on or ride at any given time. He thrived during the summer months, and would ride with friends, biking and camping from coast to coast to visit with his children and family. Ernie had a knack for making friends and sharing stories wherever he would travel.

Family was so important to Ernie. He was especially pleased to travel to Ireland with his father on two occasions to research his family’s history, and to travel and share the world with his children. A lifelong lover of learning and of language, Ernie was a proficient German speaker, but also took time to study many other languages. He had a deep appreciation for the usage and meaning of words. He leaves his wife of 55 years, Susan Faulkner Duncan; three children and their spouses: Lyla J. Duncan Adkins; Lauren R. Faulkner-Duncan and her spouse, Jen Sandler; James D. Duncan and his spouse, Kristen Near; son-in-law, M. David Adkins; grandchildren Rachael Adkins, Rebecca Adkins, Julian Sandler-Duncan, Celia Duncan and Catherine Duncan; and his most recent rescue dogs, Daisy and Mae. He was also very close to his brothers-in-law, John M. Faulkner, Sr. and his wife, Carol, and Donald F. Faulkner and his wife Monica; his cousin, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth P. Weldon and his wife Joyce; his cousin Raymond Griffith; and the extended Clay family of the greater Virginia area; and innumerable friends across the world.

A celebration will be held on Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 2pm on the grounds of Slim Baker Lodge, 301 New Chester Mountain Road in Bristol, officiated by the Rev. Andrew McLeod. Casual attire is welcome, motorcycle jackets and all. Please wear comfortable footwear suitable for uneven terrain. A shuttle will be available for those who may have difficulty walking.  A private interment will be held at Homeland Cemetery at later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to:

Assistance Canine Training Services, PO Box 52, North Conway, NH, 03860,; or

Slim Baker Foundation for Outdoor Education, Inc., c/o Elizabeth Seeler, 100 Summer Street, Bristol, NH, 03222,

The Celebration of Life will be recorded and uploaded to this site on August 8, 2022

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