Lily Duncan


A resident of the Garden Villa in Chesterville, for the past five years, Lily Duncan passed away there on Friday, March 18, 2016.  She was in her 99th year.  

Lily was born June 6, 1917, in Oldham, England. The youngest child of John and Eugenie Boyden, she had an older brother James, and sister Alice. 

Lily attended public and high school in Hollinwood and was a church member of the Congregationalist denomination.

Born near the end of World War I, nearly a teenager at the time of the great stock market crash in 1929, and the advent of the Great Depression, she once remarked that “we always had a depression.”  

After finishing school in 1935, Lily went to work in the manufacturing sector — where she claims she learned to “bitch”. 

By the time she was 22, England was at war again. She went to work in the aircraft industry where she became Inspector 13 checking parts, meters and electrical components for Sperry Aircraft.

Sometime around 1950, after her parents died, Lily came to Canada. She had some cousins in Montreal, but she moved to Ottawa, where she continued her work as a parts inspector. 

Through friends, Lily met Robert Duncan, and they were married at City Hall in Ottawa in 1969. In 1971 they moved to Morrisburg into a brand new trailer at the new trailer park. 

Robert worked for Ontario Hydro in Toronto, but quit every year to look after his bees. Lily sold the honey Robert produced.

Robert practised Tai Chi and got Lily involved, although she claimed she couldn’t sit still long enough to really get the full impact from it. 

Robert died in 1986. Lily loved him dearly and never forgot their time together, which she felt was much too short. She was a widow for 30 years.

Lily loved to crochet and knit. She was good at embroidery and when she started weaving she took lessons from Master Weaver, Maurine Casselman. Lily’s hobbies also included candle-making, sometimes cooking, and reading murder mysteries especially the works of Dick Francis. 

She enjoyed watching equestrian events and figure skating on T.V and she loved her chocolate Cadbury eggs, special blend coffee and her favourite drink — Advocat. 

After falling for the third time in a short span, it became necessary for Lily to consider moving out of the trailer park so she moved to the Garden Villa in Chesterville, where she was very happy.  

Lily was known for being extremely forthright and blunt when she felt she needed to be. She had a temper and one always knew where one stood with Lily. 

She was a sweet, outgoing, fiery, generous, honest, hot-tempered, impatient, funny, straightforward, stubborn, determined woman which is probably why she had such a long life and was able to die in her room without ever leaving her new home, The Garden Villa, and the room called “The Lily.”  

Lily is survived by her dear friends Melanie McCourt and Jo and Sandra Barkley-Probst.

She was predeceased by her husband Robert, her sister Alice Robertson and her brother James Boyden.  She is also survived by nieces and nephews.  

A Memorial Service was held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Dunbar, on Saturday, April 2nd at 11 a.m. , with Rev. Jo Barkley-Probst officiating. 

Donations to Winchester Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. 

Arrangements were entrusted to the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg.  Online condolences may be made at 

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