Wittenberg football legend Ron Duncan, 70, of Springfield, died Thursday from complications of Lewy Body Dementia, a form of Parkinson’s.
“Ron was a great man and will be missed by many, especially the Tiger Football Community,” said 1974 Wittenberg graduate Donn Gallatin. “I know for sure that I’m better for having known him.”
Duncan, a native of Glen Rock, N.J., played football and basketball and ran track at Wittenberg. He was a tight end on the 1963 and 1964 college division national championships. Those teams finished 16-0-1.
Talking to the News-Sun about the 1964 team in 1993, Duncan said, “The thing I think about is, it’s amazing the conglomeration of human beings put together from such diverse backgrounds, yet with a single-minded purpose.
The feeling, and I know it’s trite, was one of family, even though a lot of us weren’t together that much off the field. We all knew the other would be there to do his job.”
In two years as a starter, Duncan caught 64 passes for 1,146 yards and nine touchdowns. His quarterback was future College Football Hall of Famer Charlie Green. Duncan still holds the school record for receptions in a game (12). He was inducted into Wittenberg’s Hall of Honor in 2001.
Duncan appeared in three games with the Cleveland Browns in 1967 and also played professionally with the Eagles.
After his playing career, Duncan settled in Springfield and worked as a certified financial planner. He was a member of the Northeastern Local School Board for 12 years, and he was president for six years.
Duncan started the Ron Duncan Scholar-Athlete Program in 1988 and awarded more than $300,000 to Clark County seniors over 21 years.
Duncan is survived by his wife of 48 years, Karen, and sons Ron Sr. and Daniel and daughter Anna Duncan Ingram (Forest) and seven grandchildren.
Littleton & Rue Funeral Home announced there will be a gathering of family and friends for Duncan from 4-7 p.m., on October 5. A memorial celebration will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 6 at Weaver Chapel at Wittenberg.