Eleanor Duncan, Mother of Former Montgomery County Executive, Dies at 86
The longtime Twinbrook resident is credited with starting her son in politics.
Eleanor June Duncan, a former courthouse clerk and Democrat Party activist who raised 13 children in a home in Twinbrook, including former Rockville mayor, longtime Montgomery County Executive and one-time gubernatorial candidate Douglas M. Duncan, died Sunday of natural causes.
She was 86.
The family will receive friends at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 520 Veirs Mill Road, in Rockville from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. on Friday at the church with interment to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rockville.
Douglas Duncan credited his mother with getting him involved in politics.
“She never ran for office, but helped get a lot of people elected,” said Duncan, who counts himself as one of those people. “I talked to her a lot when I ran for office because she was very active in politics and in the reform movement in the city and county.”
In a 2005 article in The Washington Post, published shortly after Douglas Duncan announced his gubernatorial bid, the candidate recalled his mother taking him along as she canvassed for the Democrat Party when he was in elementary school. Eleanor Duncan joined a family caravan barnstorming statewide on her son’s campaign, The Post reported.
Known as Ellie, she worked, mostly as a courtroom clerk, in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville from 1973 to 1999.
Eleanor and James T. Duncan moved to Twinbrook in 1954. After James died, Eleanor continued to live in the house where the couple had raised their family, Douglas Duncan said. She spent the last two years living in assisted living facilities in Brookeville and Kensington.
"She loved Twinbrook, loved the house there, always said she wanted to die there," Douglas Duncan said. "She almost made it."
Eleanor J. Duncan was preceded in death by her husband James T. Duncan. She was the mother of Marie Therese Frank, Dwight and Bruce Duncan, Lee Anne Gerrick, Douglas Duncan, Mary Joan Raff, Bernadette Zabel, Mary Anne Harris, Jimmy, Glenn and Brian Duncan, Monica Martinson and the late Nellie Lide. She had 43 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.