Michael Calvin Duckett Leicester - Michael Calvin Duckett, age 74 passed away at home January 11th, 2017 after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend. Mike was born November 17th, 1942 to the late Calvin and Geneva Duckett. He was a lifelong resident of the Sandy Mush Community of Leicester where he and his wife, Margaret Ellen operated Four M Acres Dairy for 42 years. He loved farming and was always willing to try innovative ideas which have impacted many area farms. He won many prestigious awards including Dairyman of the Year, Outstanding Farm Conservation for the Buncombe County Soil and Water District, Production Awards, and the Seven State TVA Farm Management Award. With his determination and knowledge, many local dairy herds have benefited from his ability to breed high producing, genetically improved cattle. He was always eager to try new farm practices to improve production and his farm community. He was an officer of the WNC Holstein Association, the Sandy Mush Community Club, The WNC Dairy Commission, and the Buncombe County Dairy Herd Improvement Association. He was also a member of the Buncombe County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and served on The Maryland-Virginia, Carolina-Virginia, and WNC Milk Producers Associations Boards. He was an Advisory Board Member of the Buncombe County ASCS, FCX, Southern States and the North Carolina Dairy Youth Foundation. Mike strongly supported FFA and 4-H youth and was always willing to support them with fund raisers or by just allowing them to visit his farm for dairy judging contests. He was a leader of the Sandy Mush 4-H Club. He was instrumental in helping establish the Little Mountaineer Scholarship that has helped many dairy and farm kids in Western North Carolina further their education. He was a mentor to many young people who had an interest in agriculture. He felt it was important to be a good community steward and thought it was important to help out in the community by helping those in need, fighting to get better roads, and participating in beautification projects. He oversaw the care of Ebenezer Church Cemetery for many years. Mike loved his family and friends and enjoyed being around people. He never met a stranger and little kids were always drawn to his friendly nature. He enjoyed traveling to other areas to see a variety of agriculture ventures. He loved going to farm equipment shows, dairy shows, talking to friends and always loved a good meal. He will be greatly missed and will remain in the hearts of the many lives whom he touched. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 47 years, Margaret Ellen Brown Duckett, his daughter Melisa Duckett Wells and husband Martin, his son Michael Duckett and wife Julie, his grandchildren Maisey Wells and Logan Duckett who were the light of his life and kept him going when things were hard. He is also survived by his sister Betty D. Wilson and mother-in-law Margaret Brown. Mike thought the world of his in laws and considered them his own brothers and sisters. They include sister-in-law Lavon Cox, sister-in-law Sarah Benson and husband Ron, brother-in-law Charles Brown and wife Tammy, brother-in-law Terry Brown and his wife Regina. He will also be missed by several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he is proceeded in death by brother in laws Johnny Cox and Gene Wilson and father-in-law Thomas J. Brown. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday in the Patton Ave. chapel of Groce Funeral Home, with the Revs. Ray Hipps and Jackie Collins officiating. Interment will follow at Green Hills Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Matthew Cody, Jeremy Fox, David Wells, Dustin Brown, Charles Shook, George King, Keith Teague and Mike Broome. Honorary pallbearers are Ronnie Caldwell, Aubrey Wells, John Garrett, Charles McKeel, Charles Brown, Terry Brown, and the late Phillip Wells. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Flowers are welcome or memorials may be sent to the Little Mountaineer Scholarship Fund at 428 Willow Creek Rd., Leicester, NC 28748. The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com .
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