Roger and Lavonia Duck have been married 64 years and are still madly in love as the day they wed – if not more so.
The pair has been active in serving their local community and communities around the world, and even after moving to Parkway Place, a Buckner senior living community in Houston, continue to serve their neighbors.
“Our whole culture as a Christian is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and we want to honor Him, and know Him, and worship Him,” Roger Duck said. “You know the Scripture tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people, so we’re awake every morning and we praise God for the opportunity that’s before us that day.”
Roger and Lavonia met in college and soon knew they were destined to spend their lives together. They married in May 1950. After graduating from college, the couple moved to Fort Worth where Roger attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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 has been such a wonderful partner,” Lavonia said. “We have a real good partnership in everything we do. We’ve served together all these years and God has blessed us.”
After four years, the Duck family returned to Fort Worth for a year-long furlough. Roger earned a master’s of education degree at Southwestern and Lavonia earned a master’s of education in counseling from Texas Christian University.
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.
“God is just opening our eyes to the opportunities we have at Parkway,” Roger said. “We wake up in the morning and we see that God has an agenda for us, and we just move into it just as natural as breathing, and depending on the Holy Spirit to lead us and to open the way and to instruct us we seek to be ministers to others and to be ministered to.”
Roger and Lavonia moved to Parkway Place a year ago. 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.
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