Obituary: Steven Mark Duncan

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Steven Mark Duncan was born Jan. 14, 1962, in Hayden, Colo., to Catherine Taylor Duncan and Harry J. Duncan. He died March 27, 2013, while working bulls on the family ranch near Dixon, Wyo.
Steve is preceded in death by his father, Harry Duncan; his grandparents, Henry Taylor and Alice Wren Taylor; his grandparents Thomas Nelson Duncan and Emilie Otillie (Tillie) Rentschler Duncan; and his sister-in-law, Debra (Debbie) Counts VanHoorelbeke.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Counts Duncan; children Natalie and Braden Duncan; mother, Catherine Duncan; his brother, Nelson Duncan, sister-in-law Trudy Duncan; his brother, Duane Duncan; his father-in-law, Wesley E. Counts, and mother-in law, Beverly Ottens Counts; his sister-in-law, Rhonda Counts; his brother-in-law, Wayne Counts, a sister-in-law Jennell (Jenny) Hawthorne Counts, as well as many other aunts, uncles, cousins and dear family friends.
Steve attended elementary school in Savery, Wyo., and graduated from W. Wesly Morrow High School in Baggs, Wyo., in 1980 after participating in Rattler sports and activities including basketball, track and the FFA. He lived many years before his marriage on the upper ranch located south of Slater, Colo., where Steve’s grandparents homesteaded and his Grandma Tillie and her children grew the Duncan Livestock Corp., first as a large sheep operation before converting to cattle in the early 1990s.
On Jan. 2, 1993, Steve married Linda Fay Counts in Craig, Colo., and they made their home on the portion of the ranch located east of Dixon. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in 2013. In 2005, Steve and Linda adopted Natalie at age 12 and Braden at age 7 — they had been a part of the family since 2004. Steve couldn’t have been a prouder parent and deeply loved both of his children.
Steve was a big-hearted man. He loved the Lord God, he loved his family, ranching and, like many ranchers, he and his dog, Jaxsen, were inseparable. He loved helping new calves into the world each spring, working cows and shipping calves each fall and everything in between. He looked forward to attending Bible class and worship at the Church of Christ in Craig each Sunday, and staying the afternoon to socialize with his Craig relatives and church family each week. The Counts’ vacation property, affectionately known as the “Ponderosa,” near Meeker, Colo., held a special place in his heart.
Contributions in memory of Steven M. Duncan may be made to the LSR Lions Club “Walk 4 Life” at P.O. Box 368, Baggs, Wyo., 82321 (which directly benefits local cancer patients) in honor of his sister-in-law, Debbie, who passed away from cancer in 2005. His ashes will be interred in a private ceremony at the Reader Cemetery east of Dixon.
The following poem was written and copyrighted by cowboy poet Carole Jarvis after the death of her husband, Dan Jarvis, in 2010. Carole gave permission April 2, 2013, to publish it in local papers.

I’ll Ride On

It’s not the end of the trail for me,
I’m just headin’ out to the light I see.
Beyond those mountains there’s a soft glow;
It’s gettin’ brighter the closer I go.
It’s like the beginning of a new day,
And the trail I’m followin’ leads the way.
I feel sure there’s friends and family ahead,
And they’ve set up camp on a
brand new spread.
Yes, I can hear the voices callin’ my name,
sayin’, “Welcome Steve, sure glad you came,
This new range is special, you’ll like it here,
There’s grass for your horses,
the streams are clear,
The cattle are gentle and never stampede,
And in every direction there’s plenty of feed.
If you’re thinkin’ it sounds too good to be true,
it’s not—’cause the Boss made a promise to you.
If you’d ride for his brand, be honest and square,
He’d relieve all your pain, and
remove every care.
He was mighty pleased with your life on earth,
That you did your best, and proved your worth.
So step off your horse, and tie him on up,
Your Dad, Deb and friends want to
pour you a cup.
We’ll talk about old days, as time allows,
‘cause startin’ tomorrow you‘ll be workin’ cows!”