Duncan Macpherson

Obituary of Duncan G. Macpherson


Duncan George Macpherson of Freehold, NY, passed away peacefully on January 4th at Columbia Memorial Hospital after a long illness. Born on January 20, 1941, in Troy, he was the first of six children of the late Duncan Alexander Macpherson and Mary Agnes Jeffs Macpherson. 


Duncan is survived by his wife of 32 years, Linda Macpherson, of Freehold. He is also survived by, and was the proud father of, Duncan F. (Terese) Macpherson of Clifton Park, Kara Marie Macpherson of Albany, Christine Mary (John Gieschen) Macpherson of Chesterfield, NH; Kate (Seth) Arel of Freehold; Scott (Nora) Macpherson of Freehold; and Mary Alyssa (Clay) Macpherson of Delmar. 


Duncan was the beloved grandfather of Duncan Bryce Macpherson, Andrew Charles Macpherson, Elias Daniel Macpherson Wein, Georgia Yardsley Gieschen, and Frederick Christopher Gieschen. He is survived by his sisters, Yardsley A. Macpherson of Latham; Elizabeth R. (John) Rowe of Oceanside, NY; and Christine F. (John) Meharg of San Francisco, CA. He was predeceased by his former wife, Diane M. Macpherson, of Clifton Park, NY; brother James F. “Gabby” (Annie) Macpherson, and sister Mary K. (Kathy) Macpherson, both of Watervliet, NY. 


Duncan was also predeceased by his parents-in-law Muriel F. and Joseph A. Staunch, and was the brother-in-law of Sally A. Staunch, Bonnie L. Staunch, and Joseph (Michelle) Staunch of Freehold. He was the former brother-in-law of Frederick S. Smith, Jr., of Albany. Duncan also leaves behind several nieces and nephews. Throughout his life, Duncan was a devoted caregiver to both stray and domesticated animals, and he leaves behind several cherished dogs and cats in the Macpherson household.


Duncan grew up in Troy and Watervliet. He attended primary school at the Sacred Heart School in Troy and high school at the La Salle Institute, graduating in the Class of 1958, later attending college at Buffalo State University. He was a devoted member of St. John the Baptist Church in Greenville and served as an Acolyte, Eucharist Minister, and general parish supporter. His attendance and worship were not limited to St John’s; he often visited and engaged with his community at several other area churches.


A true and natural-born leader, Duncan was a man who made an impact wherever he was and wherever he went. Whether at home, work, church, as a volunteer, or in his immediate neighborhood, he was always involved. He was known for his kindness, mentorship, a powerful determination to make positive change and help others, and his boisterous sense of humor. Among the neighborhood kids, he was everyone’s favorite Dad and was always ready for fun, but also made sure to impart essential life lessons along the way. His lengthy and detailed storytelling was renowned, and he had a commanding presence that was balanced by his soft heart and sensitivity for others’ plights. Those who knew Duncan best marveled at his unceasing drive, energy, and persistence to make whatever he tackled better and to always give back to the world. His mind could not have been sharper, his wit could not have been quicker, and his spirit could not have been more inspiring. 


Duncan was employed by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for nearly 42 years and retired as Director of Data Processing. Among many other achievements, he was among a small group of first coders for the inception of electronic DMV systems. He spent many years as a volunteer with the American Bowling Congress, working in New York and traveling frequently around the Northeast and to Midwest to contribute to the organization. He eventually served as national President of the ABC, now known as the United States Bowling Congress. Duncan was also an avid golfer and runner. He could often be found on courses across the country and was frequently seen running through Washington Park in Albany; his completion of the Boston Marathon was something he was especially proud of. He loved to travel and was often hopping planes to his next “to do” location, and he generously shared his frequent flyer miles with family.


After retiring, Duncan served the Greene County Region Blue Star Mothers as a father of military personnel. He served his community as a Boy Scout Troop Leader, a Greenville Food Pantry volunteer, and was a regular blood donor to the American Red Cross. Duncan was honored to be elected by the taxpayers of the Greenville Central School District to serve on their Board of Education, working on many committees, and eventually stepping up to serve as Vice President and NYS Voting Delegate. 


He was the Coach of Greenville’s CYO Summer League Baseball and was Greenville School’s Associate Wrestling Coach from 2006 to 2011. Duncan also served as a Greene County Department of Human Services volunteer, delivering Meals on Wheels to the homebound and providing medical transportation. In 2021, he received Greene County’s Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen Award. Even without an organization, Duncan always found ways to help others, such as assisting neighbors in need with daily routines, transportation, and simply lending his supportive, uplifting spirit.


Duncan will be remembered by family and friends as an inspiring and rare “one of a kind” person. His legacy, contributions, and love will live on in his children’s and grandchildren’s spirits forever and in the hearts of those he loved and supported throughout his life. The ripple effects of his life well-lived are immeasurable and his loss is deeply felt by all. 


Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 11th, in the AJ Cunningham Funeral Home, 898 NY-81, Greenville, NY.  A Mass of Christian celebration will take place on Friday, January 12, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., at Our Lady of Knock Shrine, 2049 Rte. 145, East Durham, NY, 12423. Internment will take place at a later date, to be announced by the family.


In lieu of flowers donations by check may be made to the Greenville Food Pantry, PO Box 631, Greenville, NY, 12083, or to the GCAA (Greene County Humane Society Project) by check to PO Box 99, Catskill, NY, 12414.


Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 11, 2024
A. J. Cunningham Funeral Home
4898 State Route 81
Greenville, New York, United States

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Friday, January 12, 2024
Our Lady of Knock Shrine
2052 State Route 145
East Durham, New York, United States
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