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Joel Duncan Hosford

December 31, 1969 September 1, 2015
Joel Duncan Hosford
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Obituary for Joel Duncan Hosford

Obituary Joel Duncan Hosford Joel Duncan Hosford, age 84, known to all as Duncan Hosford, passed away on September 1, 2015. Duncan was born June 30, 1931, in Hosford, Florida to Robert Lamar and Ruby Thomas Hosford. Growing up during the Great Depression, Duncan learned to plow a mule and milk a cow by the age of 8. By age 12, he was driving cows, as Florida was an open range state. He mastered the skills of roping, branding, and marking cows in his teenage years and became an expert in the use of a 16-foot Florida Cracker cow whip. Duncan also loved horses, breaking and training his first horse by the age of 8. After graduation from Liberty County High School, Duncan felt the call to serve his country in the Korean War, enlisting in the United States Army on March 12, 1951. He was assigned to the 25th Division, 27th Infantry Regiment ("Tropic Lightning"), known as the Wolfhound Regiment, legendary for their military tactics and fierce fighting in Korea. Duncan experienced four seasons on the ground in Korea, serving as an accomplished sniper under General James Van Fleet. Known as a soldier's soldier, he received numerous medals, badges, commendations, and citations but would never discuss or answer questions about his service, only telling his family to "read my discharge papers after I'm gone." On September 2, 2015, the day after his passing, his family discovered that he had received three (3) bronze stars for acts of valor and courage under enemy fire. After the war, and while serving as an instructor of marksmanship in the Officers Training Corp (OTC), Duncan was encouraged to pursue a career in the military, with the offer of advanced training and education. He responded by saying that all he ever wanted to do was be a farmer and a cattleman, and that he longed to return to his family and beloved home in Liberty County, Florida. In 1953, Duncan did just that, farming and raising cows and even hauling a load of yearlings to market last week on August 26th. Along the way, he served as a superintendent on the construction of the Florida Gas Transmission line and later as an operator at the pumping station. Duncan also worked for Independent Life Insurance Company out of Quincy, Florida. In 1976, he was elected Liberty County Clerk of Court, serving until, as he often joked, "the people retired me" in 1992. Duncan was profiled as one of the most colorful clerks in the history of Florida in Cody Taylor's 2014 book, entitled, The Clerk. Duncan will be greatly missed. He was a rock for his family, his community, and all of the horses, cows, and hogs that he daily shepherded. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Ruby, and four brothers: Robert Flournoy (Bob) Hosford, Wesley Coe Hosford, Thomas Edward (Ed) Hosford, and Isaac Lamar (Ike) Hosford. He is survived by two sisters-in-law, Joyce Summers Hosford of Hosford, FL, and Martha Hosford of West Grove, PA, and a host of adoring nieces and nephews, for whom he was the original cowboy. He will be especially missed by two nephews, Ken and Russell Hosford of Hosford, FL, of whom he often said he raised and to whom he became a second father. He loved and adored Ken and Russell's children on a daily basis, assuming a grandfatherly role. Visitation will be Saturday, September 5, 2015, at 10:00 AM at the Old Wesleyan Methodist Church in Hosford, with the service following at 11. Burial will follow at the Hosford Family Cemetery. Charles McClellan Funeral Home, Quincy, FL., (850) 627-7677, is in charge of arrangements.

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