“Praying for Keith,” Keith Duncan dies at 58


Keith Duncan [supplied]

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Posted February 18, 2021 | By Ainslie Lee and Brendan Farrell, Ocala Gazette

Keith Duncan [supplied]

The Ocala man, featured on a local grassroots sign campaign, died due to COVID-19 complications

Nathan “Keith” Duncan, a Church @ The Springs pastor, died on Feb. 11 due to COVID-19 complications. He was 58.

Duncan was the subject of the “Praying for Keith” signs that popped up around the county in support of his fight against the virus’ effects.

As a child Duncan came to Ocala in 1970. A graduate of Forest High School, he attended Gardner-Webb University on a baseball scholarship before transferring to and graduating from the University of Florida. Duncan also attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a master’s degree in divinity.

After working for Barnett Bank for 12 years he embarked into the ministry performing a variety of roles in Birmingham, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi. He became a business administrator and campus pastor for Church @ The Springs about 10 years ago.

Charlie LaRocco, a group leader with the Church @ The Springs, remembered Duncan as a man of faith.

“Some people claim to be Christians and some people are Christians,” LaRocco said. “And you never questioned that with Keith. You never questioned that his intentions were pure.”

LaRocco said Keith’s death shows the uncertainty of life.

[Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

“You don’t understand why it affects different people in different ways, and you don’t understand why people who are good go before people who deserve to probably go first,” LaRocco said. “But that’s just how it goes. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Keith served his purpose here on earth better than anyone could have asked. You just hope to be a percentage of the man that Keith was. If you can achieve that, you’ve lived a pretty good life.”

Duncan was an avid sports fan, especially Florida football, baseball and women’s gymnastics. He also enjoyed golf and pickleball.

Survivors include his wife Deanne; parents, Clarence and Fran; daughter Lindsay Duncan, Ocala; son, Alex Duncan, Charlotte, N.C.; and a granddaughter.   

A celebration of life will be held at Church @ The Springs on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. The church asks that those who attend wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines. The service will also be live streamed at springs.online.church. Instead of flowers, the family asks donations go to the church’s “Dream Offering” in honor of Duncan’s love for planting churches.