Duncan Graham Steck quietly passed away on February 1, 2017 at ManorCare Health Services in Lancaster, PA. Born in Camden, NJ on February 26, 1929, he was the youngest of five children of the late Malcolm M. Steck, Sr. and the late Sarah (Graham) Steck. The family moved to Merchantville, NJ where Duncan spent his school years, often spending summer vacations at their grandfather’s cottage along the Susquehanna River in Wrightsville, PA. At age fourteen, Duncan began working summers in Ocean City, NJ. With an interest in theater, in high school Duncan performed the role of the Modern Major-General in “The Pirates of Penzance” and the lead in “Death Takes a Holiday”. In college, at Carnegie-Tech a challenging role was that of ‘Hamlet’. Serving for 2 years in Korea as a company clerk for the US Army he frequently wrote letters back to his hometown newspaper. Continuing his interest in writing, Duncan graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism. After a short stint writing for the Camden Courier-Post, Duncan moved to New York City in the late 1950’s and began working on Madison Avenue with various public relations firms whose clients included Women’s Wear Daily, Chemstrand, and Simon and Schuster. A favorite position was with Anna M. Rosenberg Associates whose clients included economist and columnist Sylvia Porter, Encyclopedia Britannica, mutual fund pioneer Jack Dreyfus and Merriam-Webster. While in New York he sang in church choirs and kept in shape by running in Riverside Park and swimming at the local YMCA. He enjoyed collecting vintage posters and was pleased to have held two poster shows at ManorCare for his fellow residents in recent years. Duncan served as family biographer and frequently sent interesting family photos and articles around for all to read. He spent a great deal of time preparing his annual Christmas card and the family looked forward to what he would send each year – whether it be humorous or historical or both. His interest in family history led him to research and write an account of his great uncle Bishop Rogers Israel’s experience as an Episcopal chaplain in Europe during World War I entitled “The Bishop Who Went to War”. While not formally published, “The Bishop” was copyrighted by the Library of Congress in 2000. Duncan never made the transition to the computer age and did all his correspondence and writing on his beloved IBM Selectric typewriter. An avid black and white photographer, Duncan generally carried his Pentax Spotmatic camera wherever he went and took thousands of photos of his cherished New York City, cemeteries, travels, family and friends. Upon retiring, he moved to Lancaster, PA to be close to his sister, Margaret Steck Jakway. In Lancaster, he began photographing the charming Pennsylvania countryside now transitioning to color. He was especially proud of his photograph of Pope John Paul II on his historic visit to New York City in 1979. Another photograph of the North Carolina Regiment’s monument at Gettysburg won an award in the Saturday Evening Review magazine.
Duncan will be greatly missed by his sister, Sarah Steck Rogers and her husband, George, of Arlington, MA; his brother, Malcolm M. Steck, Jr. and his wife, Trudi, of Palmyra, VA. Duncan was predeceased by his sisters, Mary Steck Weiford and Margaret Steck Jakway. His loss is also profoundly felt by his loving nieces and nephews: Caleb C. Rogers, Leslie Weiford Wise, Mary M. Rogers, Julia Weiford Umbehauer, Sara Weiford Palladino, Richard P. Weiford, Jr., Susan E. Steck, Kenneth L. Steck, Erika S. Steck and Tania Steck Hineline and their families. Duncan’s nieces and nephews will miss his humor, his stories, his annual New York Christmas parties and his “show and tell” gatherings.
Duncan’s family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks for the care provided by the ManorCare staff and warmest appreciation to his niece, Julie, and his nephew, Richard, for their faithful devotion to their Uncle Duncan.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date in Moorestown, NJ where he will be interred with his parents, his sister, Mary, and her husband, Richard. Arrangements by the Workman Funeral Homes, Inc., Mountville/Columbia. To send an online condolence, visit the condolence page.