McDonell, Duncan Andrew, age 76 of Enfield, passed peacefully at home on June 7, 2021, with his loving wife, Norma and son, Luke by his side. Duncan had been ill since 2014.
As his illness progressed, he lost more and more of the things he valued in life. Communicating with others was very challenging, and crowds and groups became overwhelming. Despite the reclusiveness that his illness caused him, at home his jokes were heard often and he was able to make those around him laugh with his clever, quick wit. Even when he had nothing much left to be joyful about, he had us laughing until his very final days. Weekend and extended trips with friends had been so important to him but they became a part of his past. Duncan loved to jive. Even when a song wasn’t a jive, he would turn it into one. He was a popular dance partner. He found great comfort in and loved all kinds of music from folk to the blues and many others. The late John Prine was one of his favourites. Duncan loved going to concerts. Duncan had many loyal and caring friends who were there for him in spirit when they couldn’t be by his side. While he was no longer able to spend time at his camp in Renfrew or go for long walks in the woods as he had always done, he found great comfort in being in his beautiful log home, which he designed himself. He loved living near the river and lake and being in his yard or his gazebo. The gazebo was built to mark his and Norma’s 50th wedding anniversary. Duncan was content to enjoy small groups of friends, family, music, and his favourite PBS nightly news program. Duncan loved to know what was going on in the world. He looked forward to reading the Chronicle Herald each morning and he often noted it got thinner every day, He was an avid reader and read everything from pulp western fiction to 550,000 word classics such as War and Peace. One of his favourite authors was Larry McMurtry. He passed that love of reading on to his son, Luke. Duncan was a man you could count on in his work life and personal life. He was a man of integrity. He did good things for no other reason than they were the right thing to do and he had an independent spirit right to the end. Duncan retired from Transport Canada, Halifax International Airport in 1995. He loved working at the airport where he was well liked and respected. Duncan loved retirement and he took over running everything at home while Norma taught for ten more years. It gave him an opportunity to travel with close friends and he would be excited to share those adventures with Norma and show her where he had travelled. Next thing you knew, they would plan a trip and off they’d go. Duncan was a founding member of E.H Horne School Preservation Society and volunteered to make sure that very important Enfield landmark continued to be part of the community. Duncan was a volunteer with Big Brothers where he mentored his little brother, Eric Muise.
Duncan was the third youngest of Arch and Leona McDonell.
Besides his wife and son, Duncan leaves behind his sister, Deanna (Al Wallace); brothers, Roger (Joan), Leo and Mort; sister-in-law, Helen; many nieces and nephews. Duncan was very close to sisters-in-law, Janet and Pat; and Pat’s son, Rob.
He was predeceased by brother, David; sister, Susie; sisters-in-law, Ethel and Monica.
With the support of Dr. Smith, Dr. Iain MacNeil, the Palliative Care team and VON, headed by Dawn Ross, incredible family and friends, we were able to care for Duncan at home around the clock.
He wanted for nothing in the past months. There were daily drop-offs of food, cards, flowers, and of course chocolate. So many people put their lives on hold to help care for Duncan in his final days. Duncan’s wish was to die at home and every effort was made to allow that to happen.
At Duncan’s request there will no service. During the coming months, we will gather in small groups with Duncan’s dear friends and family to celebrate his life with music, laughter and shared memories.
Donations in Duncan’s memory may be made to Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.
Arrangements are under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, Upper Musquodoboit.
A message of condolence for the family may be left by posting your comment as a guest in the area below.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Duncan Andrew McDonell June 7 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Upper-Musquodoboit, Province: Nova Scotia