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Jack Edward Duckworth

March 6, 1936 ~ May 31, 2019 (age 83)

Canton – Jack Edward Duckworth, 83, ran to the arms of Jesus, on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Born in Haywood County on March 6, 1936, he was a son of the late Clarence and Mabel Williams Duckworth.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Nancy Jean Silver Duckworth; a brother, Neil Duckworth; and a sister, Kay Duckworth Corzine.  Jack attended Canton High School and Berea College where he ran track and still holds the college record for the fastest 440 yard dash on record. 

Jack was an avid golfer and played at his winter residence in Timber Pines, Spring Hill, Florida.  During the summer, he lived in Canton and was a member at Laurel Ridge Country Club.  Jack was a college sports fanatic and was a member of Western Carolina University’s Catamount Club.  He was also a member of the Lion’s Club, a Kentucky Colonel and an honorary citizen of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Jack was one of the most generous men ever known.  If you knew him, he had an impact on you!  He never met a stranger which is why his 35 year career at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was extremely successful.  His motto for sales was “Make a Sale a Day”.  He also made it a point of meeting five new people every day!  Jack was inducted in Metropolitan Life’s Hall of Fame in 1993.  He was only the 52nd person in MetLife’s 150 year history to achieve this honor.

In Jack’s later years, he made sure you remembered him by handing out candy to all the ladies he came in contact with!

He is survived by three children, Donna Diven (Jim), Larry Duckworth (Diane) and David Duckworth (Valorie); seven grandchildren, Jason, Samantha, Jack, Mitchell, Jimmy, Julia and Carson; sister-in-law, Sue Duckworth; and a brother-in-law, Bruce Corzine.  Jack was blessed to know his only great-granddaughter, Nova Jaymes.  He often said, “He was blessed to love two women in his life”.  The last three years of his life were spent with one of the most loving, compassionate and witty ladies our family has ever met, Jean McCarthy.  The family is very thankful for her and she will forever be part of our family!

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 21, 2019 at Canton First Baptist Church with the Reverend Ray Shepard officiating.  A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jack and Nancy Duckworth Scholarship Fund, c/o Canton First Baptist Church, 74 Academy Street, Canton, NC  28716.

The care of Mr. Duckworth has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

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