Lynelle Elliott Duncan, 91, resident of Olive Branch, MS, passed away peacefully Saturday, June 26, 2021. A private family service took place on Monday, June 28 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Faulker.
Lynelle was born November 10, 1929, in Tupelo, MS, as the only child of O.C. and Minnie Lee Elliott. Times were hard during the Great Depression, but while she may have wanted for some things, she never wanted for love. She embraced her small town life and carried the fondness of it throughout her lifetime. A graduate of Nettleton High School, Lynelle served her senior year as Class President and was a favored member of the community. She left her beloved hometown to attend Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus, MS, where she earned a degree in Home Economics. During her collegiate years, Lynelle attended a dance at which she met Herschell Duncan, the Mississippi State University student who would become her husband. He fell into fondly calling her "Nell," which caught on with friends and family for the rest of her life. They married June 14, 1953, in Nettleton, MS; following their wedding, the Duncans moved to Mobile, AL, where they spent eight years and welcomed their first two children, Michael (1954) and Mary Nell (1956). In 1960, the family relocated to Memphis, TN, where they quickly welcomed their third child, Mark (1960).
Nell was an accomplished church pianist and gave music lessons for many years. Additionally, Mrs. Duncan went on to earn her teaching certification from Memphis State University and cherished her years teaching third grade at Towering Oaks Baptist School. Following Mr. Duncan's retirement, Nell and Herschell spent many wonderful years traveling the country with "The Campers," their beloved, lifelong group of friends formed at Balmoral Baptist Church. In 1990 and 1994, the Duncans two grandchildren were born, and in 1995, Nell and Herschell relocated to the quiet suburb of Olive Branch, MS. Here they lived only a mile down the road from their daughter and grandchildren, and together they all enjoyed many years of summer gardens, southern dinners, holidays, and lovely memories.
Among these numerous accomplishments, Mrs. Duncan's deepest devotion was to her faith and her family. A remarkably selfless, patient, and compassionate woman, she raised her children and grandchildren in warm homes full of fresh biscuits, back scratches, and belly laughs. She was a wonderful storyteller, talented writer, avid reader, and passionate genealogist.
Nell is preceded in death by her parents, O.C. and Minnie Lee Elliott, her husband, Herschell Duncan, and her eldest son, Michael Duncan. She is survived by her daughter, Mary Nell Duncan, her son, Mark Duncan, and her grandchildren, Blake and Claire Hajek.
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