Dunca 1In memoriam – Duncan Syme

Duncan Syme passed away May 2, 2024, peacefully at home with family and friends. He had incurable cancer.

Duncan lived 10 years at Prickly Mountain in what is now Candy Barr’s Studio in the Tack House cluster in Warren. His contribution to the community and to everyone else was unique, hilarious, and inspiring.

There is where he evolved the Defiant cast iron stove, the first of a series of stove designs that became the most sought after and popular stoves made in the U.S. It is also where he designed and made (he was a first-class welder) the only wood-fired Zamboni ever made. It survived eight seasons making the Prickly Pond the best pond hockey skating ever. Legend has it that the Zamboni was left on the ice and is now at the bottom of the pond.

Duncan Syme was one of the winners of the 2023 annual design awards at the Madsonian Museum. He graduated from Yale University with two degrees and was one of the few who entered with perfect scores on the SAT exams.

He is survived by his wife Dee and four grown children. He was one of the best story tellers I have ever known as well as one of the most creative innovators. Some of the wackiest Prickly Fourth of July floats came from Duncan. For example, “Washington crossing the Delaware” float. Or constant remodeling of his house, his car, his boat even his living room floor had to be changed to a model railroad yard.

There will be a celebration of life for Duncan at the Madsonian Museum in Waitsfield this summer. Date to be announced.