By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Since Thanksgiving Day 1936, T.Z. Duncan has called Roosevelt County home. Duncan and his wife moved to the area after marrying in 1935 and began a lifelong career on the farm.
For 34 years, the couple was involved in the dairy business. They started out milking by hand and putting the milk in 10-gallon cans that were picked up daily by the coop. In 1945, the couple was able to build a Grade A barn and install milk tanks, Duncan said.
“The dairy was good to us and it helped all the kids to get an education,” Duncan said. “It was real good for us.”
Duncan is one of two Roosevelt County residents that have been nominated for the Pioneer of the Year award that is given annually in conjunction with Heritage Days. Criteria for nominees includes having been a resident of Roosevelt County for 50 years, being at least 75 years old and contributing to their community in some way.
“I think it’s quite an honor that people in the community would think you were beneficial to the community. I really feel honored to be nominated,” Duncan said.
“I just think he is very worthy of the honor,” said Cindy Harth, longtime friend and neighbor. “He’s just a good person and supportive of the community.
For many years, Duncan volunteered his time to sit on various boards. He served on the Causey School Board for 15 years, soil conservation and the Baptist Foundation boards for nine years and 24 years on the Roosevelt County Electric Coop board, he said.
“I have a lot of experience with different kinds of boards,” Duncan said.
Duncan and his late wife Katherine were also actively involved in the community together, visiting family, friends and neighbors who were in the hospital or not well. Anytime someone was ill, Mrs. Duncan would prepare food and the couple would then deliver the food to that person, Duncan said.
“That was a part of our life, visiting sick people,” Duncan said.
“They had a lot of compassion for people,” Harth said.