Ronald Lee Duke, was born on March 22, 1929 in Vici, Oklahoma. He claimed to be a true Californian because his mother, Mildred Wayne O'Hair Duke and his father, Alva Lloyd Duke moved to Colton, California two weeks after his birth. Ron was the oldest of three boys. Bill, the middle son, was born two years later and John trailed later by ten years. Ron loved football, track and excelled in math. While still in high school, he worked in a small department store close by and in the summer, because he lived near an orange grove, worked in a packing plant.
After graduating, Ron went to Alaska, with a few friends including his math teacher for a short trip. The trip was over when the small plane, he was in, ended upside down somewhere above the Arctic Circle. Thankfully, there were no injuries. That fall, he enrolled at San Bernardino Valley College. During his second year there, we met and the obvious happened. Three years later in 1951, we were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in San Bernardino. It was at this time that I became a part of a wonderful family. The Korean war had started, and Ron joined the National Guard. His unit was activated and he was now in the United States Army. Within three weeks, Ron was off to Japan and Korea. He served honorably and proudly. Ron quickly rose from Private First Class to Master Sergeant. His memories of that time remained throughout his life and the friendships lasted a lifetime.
When Ron came home, he was employed with Murray's Hotel and Restaurant Supply. It was just the beginning of a long career in sales. From there, he worked for PepsiCo, General Mills and Morton Salt. Ron loved sales and was a sales manager, flying to most of the United States. At that time, Alaska and Hawaii were also included. Our daughters, Sydney Lee and Shannon Lee were born. Each one putting much joy into his life. Our family was complete!
The opportunity to move to Oregon arose and Hillsboro became our home. Ten years later, we moved to Hawaii. Our girls, who were out of school, stayed in Oregon. We lived in Hawaii for eight years where Ron managed a small condo complex. He was perfect for the job and he loved it! While it was wonderful, I was very much missing family and friends on the mainland. So, back to Oregon! This time to Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Ron was active in real estate, but when it came time to retire, he was ready.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed many hobbies. Ron canoed, painted, wove baskets, made pottery and won a national hula contest! He also played the ukulele, did pen and ink drawings and loved to amaze everyone with his magic tricks!
So my dear family and friends, this is it. There are many empty holes in this story. May we fill them with wonderful memories and love that never ends!
To God be the glory,
A memorial service was held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at Faith Lutheran Church in Rogue River.
Private inurnment was held at Eagle Point National Cemetery.