Ozella Marie Rash Duncan, age 89, passed away on January 4, 2014 at Margate Health and Rehab in Jefferson, NC.

She was born February 11, 1924 in Jefferson, NC to James Albert (Jim) and Blanche Lewis Rash. Ozella grew up in Buffalo Community. She graduated from Jefferson High School, Jefferson, NC, in 1941. She began working for Glenn L Martin Aircraft, Baltimore, Maryland in 1942 as an Engine Mechanic and took classes for an Aircraft and Engineer License. She was selected and trained as one of seven women to become Martins first all-girl ground test crew to completely check every functioning part of the PBM-3 Navy Patrol Bomber. These women replaced the men who were called into military service during World War II. During this time she earned a pilot’s license for single engine, land.

Ozella married Edgar (Eddie) Thomas Duncan, Jr, June 7, 1945 in Baltimore, MD. They were married for 55 years. Ozella was a member of Buffalo Baptist Church where she served many years as a Sunday School Teacher, Bible School Teacher and baker of wonderful homemade yeast rolls. She worked at Sprague Electric Company; was manager of Newton’s Dept. Store in West Jefferson; she and a friend owned and operated The Fabric Shop in West Jefferson; and she retired from Jefferson Apparel. She was a Volunteer Grandparent at the Ashe County Public Library; a Hospice Volunteer since 1987; she received The 1994 Female Volunteer of the Year for her work with Hospice; was presented the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Work in 1994 by Governor Jim Hunt; volunteered for the American Red Cross at the blood drives;

Ozella was preceded in death by her husband, Eddie Duncan; parents Jim and Blanche Rash; two brothers, Estel Rash and Delmer Rash; sister, Grace Rash, and sister-in-law Edna Graham Rash. She is survived by her daughter, Dolly Richardson and husband Rick, Raleigh, NC; sister Mrs. Ruth Clark and husband Bill, Lansing, NC; sister-in-law Mrs. Jean Rash, West Jefferson; Granddaughter Betsi Petway and husband Jeff, Haw River, NC; Step-grandsons Rob Richardson, Valrico, FL; Bill Richardson and wife Angie, Prattville, AL. Six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive.

Funeral services for Ozella Marie Rash Duncan will be conducted Tuesday afternoon, January 7, 2014, at 2:00 o’clock, at Buffalo Baptist Church,619 Central Buffalo Rd, West Jefferson, NC. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock. Officiating will be Reverend Ken Furches, Reverend Dean Watson, and Reverend Jim Rash. Burial will follow in the Lewis Family Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Tuesday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 o’clock, at the church, prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Buffalo Baptist Church, c/o Debbie Phipps, 2940 Bald Mountain Road, West Jefferson, NC 28694; or Ashe County Hospice, 392 N Carolina 88, Jefferson, NC 28640; or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the Duncan family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com.

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.

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