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Duncan Joseph Lagoe

May 9, 1933 November 11, 2013
Duncan Joseph Lagoe
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Obituary for Duncan Joseph Lagoe

On November 11, 2013, Duncan Joseph Lagoe passed away peacefully at his home in Harbor, surrounded by his family and a close friend. He was born in Seattle on May 9, 1933 to Joseph and Ivy (Winter) Lagoe. In 1949 they moved to Laguna Beach, California, where Duncan graduated from high school and went on to the University of Redlands. He worked for Lawrence Livermore Laboratories until going to work for IBM Los Gatos, California. He was a mechanical/optical engineer, and was instrumental in developing the magnetic stripe for the Bay Area Rapid Transit tickets. He had several IBM patents for other projects. While at IBM he worked at plants in California, Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey and Vermont. In Colorado, he and Mim (Miriam) Landes were married on September 12, 1977. Together, they enjoyed all the travel; getting to know new places and making friends all across the country. Duncan chose early retirement in 1988: he and Mim both thought the extra time was most valuable to them, and indeed it was. They bought a mountain cabin in Wallowa County, Oregon, with a little deer herd grazing the front yard, and lots of good outdoor work to be done. They attended many Friendship Feasts with the Nez Perce people who came in the summer, and still have valued Nez Perce friends. Duncan took a wonderful college course in the Nez Perce language, taught by a Nez Perce elder. He was also on the Wild and Scenic Rivers commission for the Minam Canyon. After 11 happy years on the mountain, they finally settled here on the coast: a fishing haven for someone with such a passion as Duncan's; especially going out with his two sons (and sometimes grandsons). Duncan was an avid vegetable gardener; loved landscaping, building improvements; was an excellent and inventive cook; loved collecting and discussing books with Mim, word games, writing letters to the editor, and most of all, caring for his family. He showed great courage and never complained about the progressive apraxia that altered his life. Cremation took place at the Redwood Memorial Chapel. Duncan is survived by his wife Mim; three children from a former marriage, all living in California: a daughter, Kimberly Taylor and her husband Larry, of Santa Clara; a son, Matt Lagoe, of Mountain View; a son, Steve, of Santa Clara; and two step-daughters: Leigh Nolte and her husband, Jerry, of Cove, Oregon; and Karen Shaw, of Crescent, Oregon; eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; four nephews and their families. Duncan was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Drescher; brothers Edwin Lagoe and James Lagoe; and his sister, Josephine Humes. A private celebration of Duncan's life will be held on December 7, 2013 in Brookings. Memorial donations may be made to the Brookings-Harbor Community Helpers Food Bank, P.O. Box 1415, Brookings, Oregon. Online condolences may be expressed at

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