Former wife of Aboriginal Affairs minister passes away

Published on January 11, 2012

Mary Duncan

August 20, 1955--January 2, 2012.

Campbell River — 

Ahousaht member and former wife of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister John Duncan has died.

Mary Duncan, 56, died of chronic lung disease Jan. 2 at Campbell River where she lived for many years.

The Duncans raised their three children together. They raised a nephew, Scotti Sam, as their own. They seperated about three years ago. “Mary was the mother of our three wonderful children, Adrienne, Ian and Natalie, and she is greatly missed. She was a strong, determined and disciplined mother, community volunteer and a loyal friend to all who knew her,” said John Duncan.

According to daughter Adrienne, her father also has been struggling with health issues. Not wanting to burden his children with news of his heart issues, he waited until after Mary’s services to inform them of a recent hospitalization for complications stemming from his 2010 heart valve replacement surgery.

“He told us he couldn’t fly because of his condition and said he would have been right there by our sides if he could have,” said Adrienne.

John Duncan is on the mend and has since been released from hospital and is back at work, said Adrienne.

Mary Duncan leaves behind a large extended family. She was the daughter of Ahousaht elder Stanley Sam and his late wife Katie (nee Lucas).

Mary is predeceased by her mother Katie, sister Julia Ambrose, brothers John Ambrose, Patrick Ambrose, Jerome Sam and Lance Ambrose.

She is survived by her children Adrienne Edison (Michael), Ian Duncan, Natalie Duncan, her nephew Scotti Sam and the light of her life, grandson Samuel Edison. She also leaves behind siblings Harold Lucas, Catherine (Dave) Frank, Qaamina (Ruth) Sam, Gloria (Gregg) Dennis, Grace Sam, Qwaya (Nadine) Sam Sr., and Corina Beach.

“All who knew Mary will miss her beautiful smile and her loving and generous spirit. Her life was fully dedicated to being a mother and grandmother to her children and grandson. She found joy in special times with her family and friends always appreciating the little things in life. She will be deeply missed by many.”