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Willis Duke Fenter

Willis Duke Fenter Willis Duke (Bud) Fenter died at home November 18, 2012. He was born in Brawley, California, and growing up he lived in a number of California towns, including several years in St. Helena. He graduated from Woodbury College in Los Angeles in advertising. During World War II, Duke served in the U.S. Army 9th Air Force from 1943 to 1946. He married Merle Taylor in 1944. After the war, they located in California, settling in Ukiah. He worked for the California State Board of Equalization for 30 years. Duke enjoyed building and flying radio controlled airplanes, traveling with his family, and playing golf. He was a member of the Ridgewood Masonic Lodge #146, a member of the Ahmes Temple, President of the Pomo Shrine Club, Director of the Royal Order of Jesters, and member of the Ukiah Elks Lodge #1728. He served on the Ukiah Planning Commission, assisted with Seniors' Tax Preparation for 15 years, and volunteered as a driver for cancer patients. Duke was preceded in death by his nephew Marc Sissons, father Mark Fenter, sister Lorraine Sissons, brother-in-law Gilbert Sissons, and mother Fern Fenter. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Merle Fenter, daughters Ashala (aka Linda) Lawler (Brian) of San Luis Obispo; Susan Lewis (David) of Los Alamos, New Mexico; grandsons Matthew Benjamin (Jillian), Andy Benjamin and Patrick Lawler; nephews Gilbert Sissons II (Judy) and Chris Sissons (Cynthia); grand niece Shelly Cheneweth (Taff) and their children Blake and Lilly; grand nephews Jack Sissons, and Gilbert Sissons III (Melissa) and their children Abigail and Joshua. Duke barbecued the finest steaks, poured the best drinks, and made us all laugh. He will be dearly missed by his family and many friends. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners' Hospital or Phoenix Hospice of Willits. At Duke's request, there will not be a service. Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on Nov. 20, 2012
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