When Royce Duncan passed away in January 2016, the loss was felt deeply, not only by his family but also by his community and business associates, including Sugarloaf Wealth Management. A CPA for many years and a partner at Rhodes, Young, Black and Duncan, Royce and his firm had partnered with Sugarloaf Wealth Management a number of years ago to provide clients with additional services.
Giving was always important to Royce, as well as to Sugarloaf Wealth Management, so when they decided to honor Royce’s life, they turned to the Community Foundation.
“We’ve always given away a portion of our profits, then last year we opened our own donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation,” said Adam Wilson, principal at Sugarloaf Wealth Management. “When we began discussing how to honor who Royce had been, we first considered another donor-advised fund.
“I called Randy (the Community Foundation’s executive director) and told him what we were thinking. He asked if we had considered a scholarship fund, which would allow other people to contribute money as well.
“Since so many people had known Royce, and his wife works for the Gwinnett County library system and education has always been important to them, we thought a scholarship fund was the best way to proceed.”
Royce’s wife Nancy was deeply honored when she heard what Sugarloaf Wealth Management wanted to do.
“It’s hard to lose someone but if you know that their life made a difference and continues to make a difference…I’m very thankful for his legacy continuing through the scholarship fund,” Nancy said.
Education has always played a significant role in the Duncan’s lives. All three of their children graduated from college, and they have a daughter and daughter in law who teach.
“Having raised three children and watched two little grandchildren grow, Royce was very focused on children and the importance of education,” Nancy said. “He was a big volunteer in the community – from volunteering at our church with the kids to getting involved in our parks and recreation to help with parks for the kids and so on. He was also involved in several college fairs and even talked to middle school students at a local school about managing money.”
For many years, Royce and Nancy traveled to Guatemala on missions trips, where, again, Royce surrounded himself with children.
“We even became part of nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of those living by the dump there,” she said. “Royce had a picture he loved of him and a little Guatemalan boy taken probably eight years ago. When I went back this year I saw that boy, who now teaches at the Compassion school!”
For Nancy, having a scholarship in Royce’s memory that’s geared toward helping students really means a lot.
“The thought that these children may have to work as well as go to school, that they’ve struggled more than most – it’s really such a very good thing to create this to help them succeed,” she said.
“The people at Sugarloaf Wealth Management are so incredibly nice, and Adam and Jason have helped me so much during this time. They’ve been very generous with this scholarship fund.”
This past May, Sugarloaf Wealth Management officially opened the Royce Duncan Scholarship Fund. The fund is available to Gwinnett County students who are economically challenged, especially minority students and those who are the first in their family to attend college.
“Royce was always very concerned about people, and we think this is a very fitting way to remember him,” Wilson said. “It’s our hope that the community will contribute to the scholarship fund as well and it will grow quickly.”
To find out more about opening a scholarship fund or how you can donate to the Royce Duncan Scholarship Fund, contact Randy Redner at email@example.com or visit cfneg.zaxis.