The Curry Coastal Pilot

Duncan Joseph Lagoe

May 9, 1933-Nov. 11, 2013

On Nov. 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 the family moved to Laguna Beach, Calif., 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 used on 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.

Duncan married Miriam "Mim" Landes Sept. 12, 1977, in Colorado. 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, which had 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 and 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.

Duncan is survived by his wife Mim; three children from a former marriage all living in California: daughter Kimberly Taylor and her husband Larry of Santa Clara; son Matt Lagoe of Mountain View; son Steve Lagoe of Santa Clara; step-daughters Leigh Nolte and her husband Jerry of Cove; Karen Shaw of Crescent. Also surviving are 11 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; sister Josephine Humes.

A private celebration of Duncan's life will be held Dec. 7, in Brookings.

Memorial donations may be made in Duncan's name to Brookings-Harbor Community Helpers Food Bank, P.O. Box 1415, Brookings, OR 97415.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Cremation took place at the Redwood Memorial Chapel.

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.