Duck was born in New York City and grew up in Douglaston, Long Island. At a young age, he learned how to sail at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club and skied with his cousins in the Poconos. Following in his father’s footsteps, he attended Taft and then later went to Bucknell College where he formed life-long relationships which would eventually lead him to Telluride.
After college and a brief period of teaching high school history, Duck and three friends sailed for a couple of years in and around the Galapagos, Marquesas and Polynesian Islands. It was an absolutely amazing experience that changed his life forever.
Duck first arrived in Telluride in 1975 to meet up with his Bucknell friends. He drove across the country with Banks Brown in his Volkswagen bus. Sam Siegel and Steve Patterson had convinced them to come and ski the deep and endless powder. Duck fell in love with the sleepy, quiet town of Telluride and became a ski bum and lived the Telluride dream. He would try to ski 100 days a season and during the summers would backpack in the San Juan mountains.
In 1981, Duck married Yvonne who was visiting from England. They later had two sons, Clifford and Mitch who were imbued with his enthusiastic and positive zest for life.
He had an unmatched moral compass and an even temperament that made him an exceptional husband, father and friend. He was a very kind and caring person who had a true sense of who he was. He never wavered or compromised in his beliefs. He was an avid reader of history and philosophy as well as detective novels. He enjoyed discussions based on the books he read and the ideas presented in them.
Football was a passion since playing D1 soccer in college. He played in the local traveling men’s team and later for the Floradora Coed league. One season, due to his speed and shooting ability, he led the Floradora team to a tournament victory. He was a loyal Arsenal supporter and spent many happy hours watching the talented players in the English Premier League.
Duck had a long and successful 44-year career with Rice Lumber and later Alpine Lumber. He won the Salesman of the Year several times and he loved his customers and co-workers.
In January, 2020, he was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. The next day, he went into work and packed up his desk. His retirement began with the Whipple surgery and chemotherapy. Nonetheless, he was determined to live his life to the fullest and after a long, painful recovery he miraculously skied 97 days that winter and during the summer of 2021 he hiked many miles on his favorite trails.
In April, 2023, after completing another 6-month course of chemotherapy, he was given a terminal diagnosis. He was in tremendous pain and decided to set in motion the “Right to Die” Act — ending his life as he had lived it on his own terms.
He died peacefully at home in his favorite easy chair with his wife and sons by his side. Duck’s spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew and loved him.
A Memorial for Duck will be held in the Town Park on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.
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