Duke, Thomas Aldon
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Thomas Aldon Duke, 81, of Largo, FL and formerly of Hammondsport, NY, passed away peacefully after a short illness on November 4, 2012. Tom was born May 27, 1931 in Roulette PA. He was the youngest of 9 and is predeceased by his parents Linn Langdon and William John Duke, his older Duke siblings and his ex wife Carolyn Hale Duke. Tom was a Korean war veteran and a graduate of SUNY Geneseo. He taught English and Reading to 7th and 8th graders in Hammondsport, NY from the 1960's to the 1980's. Every year he dramatically read the Odyssey and Beowulf, just to name a few, to his classes and insisted that they learn Latin prefixes and suffixes. He was also heavily involved in the NY State Reading Association and sang loudly in many church and barbershop choirs. Tom is best known for his numerous amateur and professional theatrical productions as actor and director. As a friend recently said "the world has lost a little color". He is survived by his daughter Jennifer Duke Harpending, her husband Steve John Anstey of Corning, NY and her three children; Emerson Duke Harpending of Rochester, NY, Alexandra Carolyn Harpending of Brooklyn, NY and Julius Clay Harpending of Syracuse, NY; numerous nieces and nephews all over the country. Please join us for a memorial celebration of his life to be held November 18th, 2012 from 1pm to 3pm at the Village Tavern on The Square in Hammondsport, NY. A toast will be given at 2. The family requests that donations be made, in Tom's name, to Literacy Volunteers of Chemung and Steuben County.
Published in Star-Gazette on Nov. 11, 2012