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Learning to mother through experience
Duncan Family
Rosa Pearl Duncan sits surrounded some of her child. Those who survive are Deloris Duncan, Gloria Johnson, Carolyn Daniels, Reginald Duncan, Antonio Duncan, Jacquelyn Rogers, Annette Shuman, Linda Ford, Rufus Shuman and Gene Allen. - photo by Photo provided.
Rosa Pearl Duncan started her Mothers Day celebrations many years ago, but started this year's last night with a birthday celebration at her church, Baconton Missionary Baptist Church. Mother (as she's known in her church) Duncan will be 81 on Tuesday.
"I am happy God allowed me to live this age," she said. "I have never had an operation. It is a blessing from the Lord."
Duncan is the daughter of the late Sam and Viola Barnard of Allenhurst. Her husband Charles R. Duncan died several years ago.
"My parents had 11 children, and I had 12 children."
All of her siblings, with the exception of one brother, the Rev. James Barnard of Florida, are deceased.
"I have ten living children and two deceased children," she said.
Deloris Duncan and Gloria Johnson are in Atlanta. Carolyn Daniels, Reginald Duncan, and Antonio Duncan live in Savannah. Jacquelyn Rogers lives in Detroit. And Annette Shuman, Linda Ford and Rufus Shuman live in Hinesville. Gene Allen lives in Florida.
"The oldest child is 65 and the youngest is 41," she said.
Duncan's children are employed in various professions; refrigeration and air conditioning, marketing, nursing, case worker, government and electrical.
A snazzy dresser with a contagious smile, her biological children, as well as her spiritual children, shower her with love.
"I think of her as my mother," the Rev. Crystal Ball of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church said.
Duncan comes from a singing family, and has a melodious voice that will bring tears to your eyes. She spent years singing in church choirs and participating on various programs.
"My favorite song is, 'I Won't Complain' and my favorite Scripture is Psalm 27," the matriarch. said    
Duncan spent most of her life in Liberty County and Savannah.
"I worked in home care and the laundry," she said.
Her advice to mothers is to be stern, yet loving.
"When you tell them something, you must mean what you say," she said. "Teach them to love the Lord. Raising children today is so much different from when I raised mine."
She further advises the young wife to love the Lord with all her heart and soul; then love her husband and children.
"Take care of your household and children.  Bring them up in the fear of the Lord. Keep yourself looking good. The same way you looked to get him, you should continue to look that way to keep him. I learned so much from experience."
Duncan has not allowed her age to hamper her from getting out and helping others.  She serves as the president of her church's Mother's Ministry.
"We visit the sick at the hospital and in the home and prepare food for them.  When we visit, we encourage them. Whatever we can do for them, we do it.  We serve as an example for others.  I asked God to use me as He sees fit."
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