Jimmie Rogers Duke (1935 - 2015)

    - Eric Duke
  • "Jim Duke was a strong man in mind and body. I will always..."
  • "Looked forward to seeing Jim early mornings at the Bakery...."
    - Gary Farnsworth
    - William Barnett
  • "You will be missed Papa Jim."
    - Terry Umatum

Jimmie Rogers Duke passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 21, 2015, surrounded by family. He was 79 years old; A husband, father, "Papa Jim" and friend to many! He will be greatly missed. Born in Alto, La., to A.J. and Mattie Duke on Oct. 28, 1935, Jim spent his younger years with his Gramma Smith while his parents worked in Arkansas during the war. In 1947, he and his parents migrated to Washington state. He graduated from Pasco High School in 1954, and then worked at Hanford in the nuclear field for 10 years. He then moved his young family to Alaska in 1969, to work on the pipeline. With a short stint in Anchorage, he moved on to Fairbanks where he joined the carpenters local. He worked on the pipeline and settled into life in the interior. In 1979, Jim met his future wife, Janet. Together with her family they started the Fairbanks Bakery. They moved the bakery to College Road in the early 1980s and added a restaurant. In 1987, they sold their share and moved to Anchorage, where Jim was mostly self employed. He worked overseas twice, where he had some great times and made some good friends. In the last few years Jim spent lots of time with his grandchildren and his kids. He was proud of them all! Jim was also a world traveler and enjoyed traveling with Janet. Together they explored Europe and Asia. Jim himself maintained he had a "Good Run!" Jim was preceded in death by his father, A.J. Duke; mother, Mattie V. Smith-Duke; and son, Gregg Duke. He leaves behind his best friend and wife, Janet Duke; his sons, Gary Duke, Eric Duke, William Barnett (Catrina Umatum) and Brian Sparks; daughters, Christie Duke and Rebecca Sparks (Tony Siegler); grandchildren, Kirsten Stradtner (Paul Stradtner), Thaddius Barnett, Kyla Siegler, Elora Siegler and Julius, Zaylan, Riley and Jarvis Sparks; and great-grandson, Braedon Stradtner. Also, his classmates of 1954 Pasco Highschool, of whom he was very fond. Our Papa was very loved and shall be missed.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Oct. 6, 2015