Claude Duckworth is well known in the veterans groups, and Masonic Lodges throughout southern Ohio. He also known in Twin Valley for his gardens. Most of his neighbors have probably eaten a tomato out of his garden over the years.
This year will be special for Duckworth as the 2019 True Lure Trout Derby has been named the Duckworth True Lure Trout Derby in his honor.
True Lure founder Todd Dunn said it is only fitting for Duckworth’s name to be at the top. “He’s done so much for veterans and disabled children over the years,” Dunn said. “We just thought it was fitting for us to name it in his honor. He served his country and he goes above and beyond for disabled kids and vets. Claude has always helped the kids.”
The trout derby will begin at 6 am on April 27, and last all day for disabled veterans and disabled children. This is the same date set aside for the annual Jaycee’s Trout Derby at the Turkey Creek and Roosevelt lakes in Shawnee State Park. Dunn said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is “roping off” a section of Roosevelt Lake near the camp ground for the True Lure event.
Each participant in the True Lure Trout Derby will receive their own fishing rod and reel to take home after the event. Dunn said he is still looking for volunteers to help with the event, as well as sponsors for the rod and reels. There will also be food and drinks supplied by area businesses for the participants as well, Dunn said.
Dunn said he would like to have enough poles and supplies for 150 participants on that day. “It takes a lot of people coming together to make it happen,” he said. “It just costs too much for one person to try to bring it together.” Dunn said in addition to poles, he is looking to have tents up in case there is a need for shelter from rain. He also assured those who are interested in coming that it will be a safe and fun environment for all. Volunteers will be on hand helping those who need an extra hand.
“It feels strange. I never expected it,” Duckworth said of getting the trout derby named in his honor. “It was a shock.”
Duckworth said he is battling cancer at this time, but said he will be there if his health will permit.
Duckworth is a veteran of the United States Navy which he served from 1951 through 1954. He said he sat out a few years and joined the National Guard and served there until 1994. He is also very active in the local Masonic Lodges, Shriners, and James Dickey American Legion Post 23 where he is a 50 year member.
He was collections manager of Desco Federal Credit Union from its start and said he still serves on the board of directors. “I’ve been at Desco ever since it started,” Duckworth said. “I’ve served on every committee they have.”
When asked if he was planning to catch some trout April 27, Duckworth said “I’ll watch.” Dunn laughingly said he will have a pole in his hand before days end.
“I like to see them (children) have a good time,” Duckworth said. “I hope there is a good showing and the public treats them well.”
As for his gardening, Duckworth is ready for another crop this year. “I feed the neighborhood in the summer,” he said. “I love gardening.”