September residents of the month

Meet Roger and Lavonia Duck.

Lavonia was born in Plainview, Texas. Her family moved to various communities in West Texas where her dad served as a preacher and rural church planter. However, after her dad returned from serving in World War II, they moved to Abilene, where she graduated from high school and Hardin-Simmons University.

Roger was born at his family’s farm home near Abilene. He grew up helping his father run their dairy farm. After high school graduation, he attended Texas A&M University before serving two years in the Navy. He later transferred to Hardin-Simmons where he met Lavonia in the fall of 1948.

They soon knew they were destined to spend their lives together and married in May 1950. After graduating from college, the couple moved to Fort Worth where Roger attended and graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1955.

Roger served as pastor of two churches (four years each) while attending seminary. As a pastor’s wife, Lavonia played the piano, taught Bible classes, mentored teen girls, worked to help support the family and had three children: Roger, Randy and Denise.

In the fall of 1957, the Ducks were appointed as foreign missionaries by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. From the spring of 1958, the family lived in San Jose, Costa Rica, while studying Spanish. A year later the family arrived in Barranquilla, Colombia, where they began their missionary assignment.

Roger served as chaplain of the Baptist hospital and coordinator of Baptist work in the area. Lavonia worked with the summer camp programs and the eight small elementary schools in the city. Both were active in helping the churches, teaching classes, assisting the poor, caring for the sick and general mission work.

Roger said one of the great privileges he had was serving as coordinator of the Billy Graham Crusade held in Barranquilla in 1962.

After four years, the Duck family returned to Fort Worth for a year-long furlough. Roger earned a master of education degree at Southwestern and Lavonia earned a master of education in Counseling from Texas Christian University.

At the end of that year, Roger was asked to join the staff of the Foreign Mission Board as the first Regional Representative with an office in Fort Worth. Lavonia worked as a middle school, high school and special education administrative counselor. They both continued their graduate professional studies to become certified counselors and family therapists.

In 1975, they were invited to join the staff of the newly created Center for Counseling in Houston. Three years later, they opened their own practice and continued there until their retirement. In those years, in addition to seeing hundreds of clients, they wrote articles and taught seminars and conferences in Texas, other states and overseas.

After retirement, they volunteered in the community and in Tallowood Baptist Church, where they taught Bible classes and ESL classes. They also traveled throughout the U.S., especially enjoying van trips with their children, grandchildren and treasured friends.

Roger and Lavonia moved to Parkway Place in March. Roger had preached and Lavonia had played the piano in the Vesper Services occasionally over the years. They enjoy the walking paths outside and the outside swimming pool for their grandchildren.

Although they remain involved with many outside activities, they have enjoyed participating in many of Parkway’s planned activities such as films, entertainment, and games. Lavonia also enjoys the book club, exercise classes and the Ladies Bible Study. However, they say that the best thing about Parkway Place is its people. They appreciate the kind members of the staff and the wonderful residents they have met. They are convinced that all people are interesting and they feel blessed that they have had the opportunity to make so many new friends.

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