Dr. Malcolm Duncan, eighty-eight of Moraga, died Tuesday June 22, 2022, at the Moraga Retreat in hospice care, surrounded by his loving family. Malcolm’s memory is cherished by Pearl, his wife of 68 years, his daughters Kathryn and Kimberly, his sons Keye and Bruce, Kathryn’s husband Michael, and Bruce’s ’s wife Corlyn, and his Grandchildren Kiley, Stacey, and Nicholas. He is survived by his brother William Duncan, jr., and wife Ann of Franklin, Tennessee, niece Liba, and nephews Barton, and Eric (deceased).
Malcolm was the second son of William and Lois Duncan and was born in Bluefield, West Virginia on August 6, 1933. Malcolm grew up on Signal Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he met Pearl Green; they began dating in high school and married in 1954. He graduated from The Baylor School as Valedictorian, and Class President in 1952. As a young Father in 1956, he was a Phi Beta Kappa member and earned his bachelor’s degree, from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. By 1960, he was father of three, and earned his Medical Doctorate from Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine. He did his medical internship at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, and his psychiatric residency at Letterman General on the Presidio in San Francisco. In 1967 Malcolm served as Chief of the Psychiatric Department and Director of Training at Letterman Hospital. He separated from the US Army in 1968 as a Major, settled the family in Moraga, and joined a private psychiatric practice in Berkeley. From 1972 to 2005, Dr. Duncan maintained a group private practice in Berkeley and Oakland, served as Director of Psychiatric Inpatient Services, Herrick Hospital, Berkeley, and was on hospital staffs at Providence, Gladman, Summit and Alta Bates. Malcolm went to night school and earned a master’s degree in public health and hospital administration from John F. Kennedy University.
Malcolm and Pearl closed his private practice in 2005 and then he joined Psychiatric Physicians Medical Group where he could focus on his patients. He often shared about the hardworking nurses that supported him in the calling that he loved. He was a true champion of women when men did not often mention it. He valued social equality. Dr. Duncan retired from psychiatry in 2012. Malcolm and Pearl enjoyed retirement, traveled widely, and took family on many adventures to expand their vision of the world. He loved a good joke and cordial when teased about his gentle southern accent. As a young man, Malcolm was an accomplished athlete, Captain of his high school basketball and track and field teams. He was always happy to dance with his girls, from high school balls with Pearl to his daughters in the family living room.
Malcolm’s first loves were his wife, family, friends, and his patients. He had life-long friends from the Army and Moraga including Dr. Jerry and Shirley Parker, Bill and Carole Filley, Tommy and Clara Lee Wernholm, Ed and Mary Ann McCauley, Warren and Shirley Engstrom, Al and Ernie Revelli. He loved picnics at regional parks throughout the Bay Area. He enjoyed reading, fishing, boating on the delta, and he continued to write. He was working on a novel that sadly went down with the “Delta Pearl” when the engine caught fire in 1980. Malcolm was a deep thinker and studied religions, philosophy, and metaphysics. By playing the devil’s advocate, he taught his children to think critically, allowing us to consider all sides of moral and ethical issues. He taught us to be racially tolerant and compassionate. Malcolm often said, “give people the benefit of the doubt; you may not know what they are going through.” That is why we never saw him truly angry. Malcolm was love and patience personified. He will always be loved, forever missed, and never forgotten.
We wish special thanks to Ana, Ron, Wayne, Donna, Johnny, and Vicky of Moraga Retreat for their expert and compassionate care and for the kindnesses of Hospice of the East Bay for Malcolm since 2019. Malcolm suffered dementia that impaired his communication and a recent Covid infection that affected his appetite. A small family memorial was held due to Covid precautions. We would be grateful if you shared any memories you have of Malcolm here.
Sincerely Yours, Pearl Duncan, and Family