Front Royal honors late town manager, councilman Duncan

^ Posted Feb. 26

By Alex Bridges

Walter Duncan, a longtime Front Royal town manager and council member, died Sunday.

Duncan served as town manager from Aug. 16, 1963 to Feb. 1, 1985. After he retired , Duncan served on Town Council from May 1986 to June 2000.

Town Manager Steven Burke announced Tuesday that, in memory of Duncan's contribution to the community, Front Royal's flag at the new government center will fly at half-staff until sunset Friday.

Town officials lauded Duncan on Monday for his service to Front Royal and the community. Front Royal Mayor Timothy Darr noted Duncan's support for the town.

"Not only was he an icon, as I said earlier, for the town but he also was a great historian and a cheerleader for the town," Darr said.

Duncan researched and put together literature about the town that he then would distribute, Darr noted. The mayor recalled meeting with Duncan on occasions to hear advice from the former councilman and town manager.

"He was certainly a very good person," Darr said. "His passion truly was the town of Front Royal."

Town resident Tim Ratigan spoke to council and recalled his first encounter with Duncan in the early 1970s. When the Ratigan family moved to Front Royal, a bank would not cash his father's out-of-state check so they could eat, he said. Duncan, in the bank at the time, gave money to the family, Ratigan recalled.

"That was the kind of man Mr. Duncan was," Ratigan said. "He was very giving, very concerned, kind ... He had great love for the community and a particular love for the town of Front Royal."

Burke also commented on Duncan's passing.

"Mr. Duncan will always be remembered fondly for his significant contributions to the town," Burke said.

Councilman Bret Hrbek joined other members to give his condolences to the Duncan family.

"Mr. Duncan was a great supporter of mine, really, reached out and gave me advice and helped during my seeking office," Hrbek said.

Front Royal had honored the former administrator and councilman earlier by naming its infrastructure compound the Walter M. Duncan Public Works Center.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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