In memory of

Christopher J. Duncan, age 30, of Helena

May 5, 1988 – July 4, 2018

Chris was born on May 5, 1988, to Bill and Susan (Quackenbush) Duncan. Chris’ childhood was an idyllic one, growing up on Wigwam Trail in Billings surrounded by neighbors that soon became like family. After graduating from Skyview, Chris joined the United States Navy in the Nuclear Engineering Program.  He attended Montana State University in Bozeman and then graduated with honors from Helena College with a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.

Chris struggled for a number of years with alcohol and mental health issues but still always found a way to express kindness to those around him. Anyone who knew Chris knew how intelligent he was; somehow, he always knew everything. Chris was an avid reader and was always was able to quote his favorite books and movies. Above all, Chris was hilarious. Chris was the kind of man who would wear wolf shirts un-ironically and keep plastic spine replicas in the back of his truck.

Chris loved those around him deeply. Chris’ relationships were the most important things in his life and his family is eternally grateful to all of his friends who he leaned on during some of his darkest days.

Chris is now at peace and his family imagines he’s fishing with his grandpa John, his dog Luke and taking his grandma to the beauty parlor. His life was one that brought so much laughter and joy to those around him but also had pain and sorrow. Now, he is free of those burdens. We can all learn from the way he filled his life with simple joys. We love Chris fiercely and will keep his memory and hilarious jokes alive. We will hope to catch the new state record trout (which Chris would have landed if his sister, Ashley, would have remembered how to use a net). We should help our neighbors, and even strangers, when we find someone in need. We should love our family with everything we have and do it all in remembrance of a man who was a beloved son, brother, nephew, comrade, cousin, uncle and friend.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, July 20, at Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Ft Harrison. The reception will be announced after the service. The family asks that you wear your fishing or casual clothes, as Chris would have wanted it. In lieu of flowers his family is asking for donations to be made to the Helena Humane Society, NAMI MT, or Healing Waters Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Chris.



Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Kim J Gillan says

    so sorry to hear this news. you are all in our thoughts and prayers. living out of state but returning soon.

  2. Karen Laborda says

    My condolences to the family for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Susan Parrett says

    Bill and Susan…..words cannot express how awful I feel right now knowing you lost your son. My deepest condolences to you both and Ashley.

    Sue (formerly Skuletich) Parrett

  4. Marcus and Tanya Upshaw says

    Susan I am truly sorry that you and Bill have to go through this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. We love you. We are here for you at this time. God bless you.

  5. Tom Naegele says

    Bill, Susan & Family,

    Sending up Prayers of Support & Healing for you all. Know that your son and you are surrounded by The Body of Christ along with our Love. When Phyllis & I return we will see you & embrace life. Perseverance and God Bless.

    Phyllis & Tom

  6. Tamara Hintz says

    So sorry for your loss. Sending you and your family prayers.

  7. Timothy Manning says

    I have a lot of fond memories of Chris. We started off in boot camp together, and officially met learning about electronics for Nuclear Powered Ships in Charleston. He was extremely smart, witty, and was always up for an adventure. My favorite adventure with Chris was driving through New England during the Fall of 2009 with a group of Navy guys to Portland Maine. We went straight to the best lobster place we could find. We started with steamed mussels and beer and finished with some lobster and linguine. Good food and good company. Chris could always make me laugh. I will miss him, and will always cherish the memories we shared.

  8. Valary Frickle Obert says

    My condolences to your family in this difficult time. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

  9. Debra (Reiter) Dusenbury says

    Zach shared the sad news with us the other day. I was so affected and cried together with Zach. My heart goes out to you Susan, Bill, and Ashley… and your extended family.

    What a heartfelt, bravely written, truthful obituary you were able to write. We have been praying for you all since hearing the news. I have many memories of the carefree Alkali Creek years where Zach and so many other kids loved being at your house; spending time in hot tub, and being creative indoors and out. A very bright group of boys!
    Since I never knew Chris as a young man I was surprised to see his full beard, but there was his same smile…right there!

    Praying God will give you the comfort and peace only He can give as you grieve and lean on Him. Thankful you know Chris is now free of his burdens. You will see him again when the time occurs…healthy and whole. For now you will have your many treasured memories until you meet again.

    With affection, Debra (Reiter) Dusenbury

  10. Judy Silverman and Andy Patten says

    We are so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you all. Zach shared the news with us. I have such fond memories of the kids spending time together. I especially remember the road trip you and Laurie took the boys on. Our deepest condolences to Bill, Susan and Ashley.

  11. Gretchen Berube says

    Bill, Susan, Ashley and family,
    I am so very sorry to learn of Chris’s passing. My sincere condolences to you all.
    All my love and prayers to you all!

  12. Patti Dilley says

    Keep the good memories fresh during this time of sorrow and always. My sincere condolences, Susan, Bill and Ashley.

  13. Russ Palmer says

    We are terribly sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all during this difficult time. You’re so grateful for the happy memories we hold with Chris as a as a young child in our neighborhood. May God hold your heart gently during this time and may you always hold fiercely to the memory of this loved young man.

  14. Carol Mathew says

    Susan, Ashley and Bill,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. When I first saw Ashley’s post, I went through old choir and studio pictures and found the sweetest pictures of Chris. I am grateful to have seen Chris and Ashley on this past Christmas eve and give him one more hug.
    You are in my prayers….Carol Mathew

  15. Holly Pool (Eason) says

    Very sorry for your loss! My prayers are for peace and healing for all those who are suffering.

  16. Krista Kockler says

    Duncan family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Duncan was such a sweet and caring person. My thoughts are with you in this tough time. He was a special person who will be missed.

  17. Debbie Lutz Richert says

    So very sorry for your loss. Know Christopher will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. May God provide you all comfort and strength.

  18. Jayne Lakey says

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry to hear about Chris’s passing.

  19. John & Denise Hudson says

    Bill Sue and Ashley,

    John and I are so very sorry for your loss. We will treasure all the memories we hold dear of all the fun times we had together with the Wigwam Family.

    We hold u in our prayers and ask God to give u peace as you travel through this very difficult season
    In your lives. We love u all.

  20. Bonnie Champney says

    Susan and family,
    So sorry to hear about Chris. Sending love and prayers your way.

  21. Sandy & Dave Doll says

    Bill, Susan & Ashley & family – so sorry to hear of the passing of Chris – Sending prayers.

  22. I didn’t know your son but reading about him made me think of my own son. I’m so very sorry for your loss. You are all in my prayers and thoughts

  23. Tracy Davidson says

    Dear Bill, Susan and Ashley,
    So very sorry to hear of your loss. Sending my heartfelt condolences, a big hug and extra strength to you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  24. Don Uhrig, USN (ret.) says

    I did not know Chris well, but he would come through my office at the Fort Harrison VA Hospital every day at about 4:10pm. I looked forward to Chris coming by — not just because it meant the workday was almost over — but because he was such a nice person. During Chris’ visits I discovered we had both served in the Navy and in fact had been on the same ship at different periods of time. I am genuinely missing Chris and wish I could have known him longer. I will be attending Chris’ graveside services on July 20.

  25. Vicki Weida says

    Susan, Bill; So sorry to hear about Chris. Vicki and I are thinking of you and sending you our thoughts and support. Hope to see you soon,
    John and Vciki

  26. Dorothy Evans says

    Susan and Bill, We were so sorry to hear of your loss! The last memory I have is attending his graduation party in your backyard. I think it was yours–I do remember that the party was for at least two graduates–Brett Brubaker was another one! And then there are many HOPE memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you! John and Dorothy Evans

  27. Carol & Steve Athearn says

    We didn’t know Chris but we can tell he was a special person from the beautiful obituary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. This is an emptiness no parent or sister should every have to feel. Be thankful for the good memories. Ashley house sat for us several years ago and she was a joy. We’ve been in a similar situation for the last several months and know that this is a journey you hoped you would not ever be on. Look to others for support. Thinking of you. Carol and Steve Athearn

  28. Jennifer Larson says

    I didn’t know Chris but lost my son, Kyle, a year ago who sounds very similar to him. 30 years old and full of intelligence, love and could make me laugh. So sorry for your loss.

  29. Arlene and David Widdows says

    Bill, Susan, Ashley, unfortunately we never met your Son and Brother, Chris, but from this beautiful obituary, he would have been someone special to get to know. He will always have a special place in your hearts. Thinking of you and sending our Love.

  30. Pam Stuart says

    Bill and family, What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss. May he Rest In Peace.

  31. Deanne O'Donnell says

    Susan and Family.
    So very very sorry to hear of your son Chris’s death.. There are no words that seem appropriate at this difficult time, just know you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I pray for healing and comfort as you prepare to bury your precious son and for the future without him. May he rest in peace. God Bless. Susan..

  32. Deb Chouinard says

    Bill and Susan, I’m friends with Lois, and I can tell from what she has said that Chris was a wonderful young man. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please let the memories of all the good times and laughter shared, be of comfort to you in the days ahead. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  33. Gordon L. Dilmore says

    I would have liked to have met Chris. What an interesting personality. I’m sorry for your loss but it sounds as though he will have great company in heaven. My prayers are with you both.

  34. Claudia Davis says

    Chris was a special young man who loved his family. The memories of good times will be what comforts you. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    All our love,
    Claudia and Jerry Davis

  35. Ivan Rahman says

    I’m so sorry to hear about Chris. I first met Chris when he visited Chicago with Tim M (who he had met through the Navy). I remember dressing up formally so we could go to an “upscale” restaurant for steaks and drinks. Afterwards we had a great time in the city and spent the next few days exploring the city. My last memory was having a text conversation about life and ice fishing. You’ll be missed bud!

  36. Loretta Carter says

    Susan and Bill,
    You are both in our thoughts and prayers; losing Christopher is a terrible tragedy. May he rest in peace, and may you both find peace also.

  37. JoAnn Holmes Hannifin says

    Sending my prayers and hugs to you both. My God comfort you at this time.

  38. Violet Malsor says

    Lots of prayers and love to you through this time.
    Thinking of you.

  39. Susan Duncan says

    Thank you to everyone for all the beautiful thoughts & tributes to Chris. We feel your love & support & are eternally grateful for your friendships & prayers.

  40. Beau Stewart says

    I met chris at ft harrison anf we soon became friends talking for long hours about fishing and hunting he was a good friend and a fellow vet. I’m deeply sadden for your loss and will be rememberd always by his fellow veterians. May u rest in peace brother

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