Taylor (Duncan-Clausen), Barbara

OBITUARY Barbie Taylor (Duncan-Clausen)

December 17, 1940 – December 31, 2016

Barbara Duncan passed away on December 31. A life-long elementary teacher, mother, wife, animal lover, and friend.

She was born in Emporia, Kansas, and was raised in Manhattan, Kansas where she received her early education. Her father taught agriculture classes in Manhattan High School, and she accompanied him and students to 4-H fairs all over the country.  She became an expert judge of all farm animals including chickens, goats, cows, hogs, and horses. She developed a keen eye for animal structure and conformation.  Before she was 12 years old, she’d been to all 48 states continental U.S.

Barbara was an accomplished cellist and played with the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas State University Orchestra.

She was graduated from Kansas State University in 1961. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity.  She maintained life-long relationships with her Kappa sisters from 1959 to the present. Barbara was a finalist in the Miss Kansas pageant as part of the in the Miss America pageant, performing a Bach cello concerto for the talent event. In the late 1970’s, she also attended St. Thomas University and received her Master’s Degree in the budding field of information technology.

Barbara taught school for 40 years in Kansas, Texas, England, and most recently, at Cedar Park Elementary School in Apple Valley, where she implemented an introductory personal computer education class in the 1980’s, long before computer use was as pervasive as it is today.

For 3 years, when she was in England, she taught servicemen’s children at a US Air Force Base.  She travelled extensively throughout England and the European continent.  As a hobby, she did numerous brass rubbings at various cathedrals in England.

In England, she embarked on still another interest: Breeding, training, and showing German shepherd dogs.  Her experience as a young person in judging animals served her well in her dog breeding and showing endeavors.  She had a keen eye for German shepherd dog structure and movement.

She and her husband, Haines Clausen, started the Keylis German Shepherd Kennel. They bred over 20 AKC champion dogs including two AKC Select Dogs with the added distinction of Award of Excellence for herding trials.  From their bloodline they owned Jecoda Keylis Jest N’ Thyme which was the U.S. German Shepherd Grand Victrix in 2002. Several other of the Keylis bloodline were invited and shown in the Eukanuba National dog show and the Westminster Kennel dog show in Madison Square Garden.

Barbara will be missed and survived by her husband Haines Clausen; two sons and two step daughters.

Brock Duncan (Anne), who is the music director at Benson, MN High School; Sean (Heather), who is an architect at his firm, Future Cities, in Los Angeles; Mary Clausen Hooker (Dan) who is a teacher in Bellingham, WA; Lora Clausen Banasick who is an office manager in Bellingham, WA. She was a grandmother to 7 children

Barbara was a beautiful person inside and out: non-judgmental, caring, and understanding. She had the grace and sophistication to relate to adults and children from all walks of life and to her wonderful German Shepherds. Basically, she was a class act.

A memorial service is pending but will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 7 at the White Funeral Home, 12804 Nicollet Ave, Burnsville, MN  952-894-5080. A light lunch will be served following the service.


Memorials in Barbara’s name can be sent to:

Fairchild Terrace Scholarship Foundation

1228 Westloop Pl. Pmb 213
Manhattan, KS