Remembering Lorraine Duncan

Special Collections would like to recognize the passing of Vada “Lorraine” Duncan who has been a loyal and generous supporter of the local genealogy community. She passed away in January, just a bit shy of her 95th birthday.

Lorraine was a charter member of the Scott County Iowa Genealogical Society, holding multiple offices and actively participating in the merger of the Society’s library into the collection here at DPL, ultimately donating much of her own genealogical library as well. She was named SCIGS Volunteer of the Year in 1992 for her involvement with projects at the Scott County Courthouse, unearthing and documenting tombstones in cemeteries throughout the county and faithfully volunteering in Special Collections. I can hear her big, booming voice with a hint of Missouri drawl beckoning one of us to come out to the desk to “HELP!” She had a no-nonsense style, demanded meticulous work, was opinionated and spoke her mind. You knew where you stood with Lorraine–if you didn’t, she would tell you!

The North Scott Press - Wednesday, May 21, 1975

The North Scott Press – Wednesday, May 21, 1975

Quad-City Times - Sunday, March 14, 1976

Quad-City Times – Sunday, March 14, 1976

Her longtime passion resulted in the establishment of an endowment in her name, The Lorraine Duncan Special Collections Endowment, providing permanent funding for preservation of and access to the local history records to which she dedicated so much of her time. We are appreciative for this, but more importantly, we feel deeply grateful to have been able to call her our friend.

We can only hope that she is having the time of her “life,” meeting and greeting all of those ancestors she so diligently searched for. Rest in peace, Lorraine. You and your legacy will be celebrated in our hearts each February.

(posted by Karen)

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1 Response to Remembering Lorraine Duncan

  1. Rita says:

    When I first started in the REFERENCE department, there wasn’t a Special Collections department. We did the microfilm and helped with genealogical research. Mrs. Duncan was a wonderful help as she would always have a smile and would help a beginning librarian with questions.

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