Southern California Rental Industry Legend Ernie Duncan Dies

April 3, 2014

Lonnie Ernest Duncan, better known in the rental industry as Ernie, died March 31 of cancer at the age of 84 in Fullerton, Calif. Duncan was one of the early post-war pioneers of the rental industry, founding ADCO Equipment in the 1950s.

As a young man, Duncan went to work for the Los Angeles Times as a pressman. Duncan worked at night for the Times and during the day he began a rental business with a partner, buying construction equipment and renting it to contractors. As the rental business grew, Duncan left the Times and later bought out his partner. Duncan grew ADCO into one of the leading rental companies in Southern California and was listed in the early RER 50 and RER 100 listings of the industry’s largest rental companies. Duncan sold ADCO Equipment to United Rentals in 1998.

Duncan, referred to by California Rental Association executive director Dale Blackwell as a “progressive rental man,” is remembered with great affection and appreciation by many in the rental industry, particularly among the many who worked for him in the Los Angeles area.

Duncan is survived by his wife Kimberlee; daughters Teena Duncan and Susan Duncan; sons John, Stephen and Craig Packard; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the Duncan family has requested donations be made in name to the St. Jude Memorial Foundation, 101 E. Valencia Mesa Drive, Fullerton, CA 92835.