Saturday, May 30, 2009

Part - 11a - Claire & Family



(No Picture Available)

Eleven and one-half months after Mother and Daddy were married, Claire Louise was born, on May 11, 1928. She was, by all accounts, a VERY active child, getting into almost any place she should not be. She was a "meddler!" Mother said she had to investigate most everything, and nothing held her attention for very long.

She was very talented in several areas. She had the opportunity to take art lessons from Mrs. Carpenter, the Silas Charge, Methodist Parson's wife. Providence was, and still is on the Silas Charge.

I don't know about any piano lessons that the girls took, but I do know that both were accomplished pianists and organists.

I think Claire got some advantages from Mother Minnie that Sylvia wasn't privileged to have. Kinda think Claire knew just how to get on Mother Minnie's "good side!"

Claire painted in several mediums; oils, watercolors, acrylics, color pencil and pen art. There are samples of her artwork in most all family members' homes as well as all around the South.

Claire married Richard Frederick Duncan, of Langdale, AL while both were students at Livingston State Teachers College (now the University of West Alabama). Fred graduated from LSTC and attained his Master's Degree from Peabody College in Nashville.

Claire didn't graduate from Livingston, as she had to take time out to have a couple of their four boys. She did finish her degree work through correspondence courses and summer school. Later, she completed her education by attaining her PHD from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.

She and her family lived in Selma and Autaugaville, AL, and Baker, Ft. Walton Beach and Tallahassee, FL. They stayed in Tallahassee until Fred's retirement. Then, they moved back, and built their home on the "New Ground" hill. She named their place, "The Rockin' D."

Fred worked as Assistant Recreation Director for the City of Selma, coached at Autaugaville, Baker and Ft. Walton, and retired as Assistant State Transportation Director for the State of Florida Education Department.

Soon after his retirement, Fred's health began to fail. He had several major surgeries, including heart by-pass, and an aneurysm. Also, he developed Sugar Diabetes requiring him to have to give himself daily insulin vaccinations. He died of heart disease on June 11, 1988.

Claire worked for an MD in Selma, taught school in several places, worked with the State of Florida in elementary education program development, and retired from the Washington County School System as Science Teacher at Chatom Middle School.

After retirement, she did consulting work for the School System and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in developing programs for the MOWA band of the Choctaw Indians at Reeds Chapel School. She was on the Southern Board of School Accreditation (or similar name) and went to several schools to evaluate them for Accreditation.

Claire enjoyed singing, her artwork, squirrel hunting, etc., which kept her very busy after she retired. She sang at Millry Baptist, Providence Methodist and New Hope AME Churches, taught Sunday School at Millry Baptist, and sang a number of duets with Mother and some trios with Mother and Sylvia. Of course, Sylvia would accompany her unless she was using a tape to sing by.

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