Mr. Albert J. Dukes Sr. was born April 23, 1917, in Roe, Ark., to the late Edward Dukes and Cora Deloney. He was the youngest male child out of 10 children. At an early age, he was baptized at St. Paul's Baptist Church in Roe, Ark.
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In 1937, he left Roe and enlisted into the U.S. Navy until 1941, when he was honorably discharged. Mr. Dukes was united in marriage to Lillie O. Mitchell in 1942. From this union, three children were born: Mary Lee, Albert Jr., and Wesley Dukes. The following year he was drafted in the United States Army World War II and served until he was honorably discharged in 1945.
In 1943, they moved from Arkansas to the New York City area. He worked for 20 years with the New York City Transits Authority as a bus driver. In addition to driving the bus, he was employed with various companies such as: Woolworth Department Store, Mattel Toy Company and the U. S. Postal Service. In 1980, he retired from the NYC Transit Authority and he and his wife relocated to Petersburg in 1993.
He was preceded in death by: his wife of 59 years, Lillie O. Dukes; a son, Wesley C. Dukes; four sisters; four brothers; and a brother-in-law, Jack Butler.
He departed this life of 96 years in the comforts of his own home. He leaves to mourn: a daughter, Mary L. Mercer (Rufus) of St. Thomas, Virgin Island; son, Albert J. Dukes Jr. (Jean) of Dale City; three grandchildren, Jennifer Kirkland of Petersburg, Albert J. Dukes III (Rashida) of Dale City, and Shimeka M. Dukes, Maryland (Ron); a sister, Cora Butler of New York; and a host of great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; other relatives; in-laws; friends; and church members.
A funeral service for Mr. Albert J. Dukes Sr. will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 8, 2013, at First Baptist Church, 236 Harrison St., Petersburg, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Tillman, pastor, eulogist. Interment to follow at Albert G. Horton Jr., Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2013, at the funeral establishment.
The family will also receive friends at 332 Greenwood Drive, Petersburg, and may be contacted by calling 804-732-3373.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mr. Dukes at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from June 30 to July 6, 2013