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Vernal Dukes

Vernal Dukes Born in Redding, Ca. June 6th, 1949 to Earl Yancy Dukes & Ruth Evelyn Copley Dukes, Vernal Dukes lived in Alturas, Ca. for the next 17 years of his life. He was learned of The General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn when he was 16, was working on a ranch at age 17, was Baptized in 1966 by Bro Melvin Northrup, and was preaching at age 18. He moved to be closer to his mother who was in a Hospital at the time in Redding, Ca and worked in a junk yard cutting and sorting. God promised thru his labors toward his loved ones, that he would see them baptized. He was able to see this promise fulfilled many times thru his life. He drove to Alturas, Ca. at age 19 and was married by Bro Melvin Northrup to Catherine Marie Gayhart on August 4th, 1968. They started out their life together in Salyer, Ca, then to Willow Creek, Ca where he worked in a saw mill pulling and sorting lumber. They drove to either Eureka or Redding to be in church every weekend. Vern, lived for a short time in Redding, then onto Alturas, Ca, worked scrapping metal with brother-n-laws Butch and Billy Gayhart. He was hired on at CalPines Lodge first as a dishwasher then on to being a cook. During this time he became a father for the first time in 1970 to a son Jimmy Clifford. A year later to a daughter Tammy Marie. Yet again a year and a half later to another son Tommy Ray in 1972. For a short time he worked as a cook at Jerry's Restaurant then went to work for Bro. Lloyd Northrup falling and thinning timber and worked for the Forest service doing the same. He later went to work for Jack Northrup in construction, moved to Redding, Ca and worked with Lavonne Boholl installing aluminum siding and roofs; and then later went out on his own doing the same and was featured in National Geographic Magazine working. At this time was blessed with yet another son Timmy Daniel, 1979. He started installing gutters until he fell from a two story roof leaving him with a broken nose, teeth, and cheek bone, fractured bones in inner ear fractured wrist, and messed up his back. The doctors said he would never be able to "Walk the hire wire " again, never be able to do this kind of work. Little did they know he put his trust in a God all mighty and with in 3 years was back roofing for Bro Dan Easter. Not being able to Provide for his family was hard on this hard working man, but he put his faith in God and God saw him thru. During the three years, he moved his family to Brownsville and assembled in Halsey, Or. He lived for a time in Lebanon, then to Salem, Or where they assembled in Turner, Or. When he worked for Bro Dan he worked in Tacoma, Wa, then moved to Elma, Wa. He established Dukes and Martin with Bro. Bruce Martin working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Their sons: Dennis Martin, Jim & Tom Dukes worked for them on and off while going to school. They split the business because of the over load of work. At this time he got his General contractors license and became "Dukes and Sons." Jim and Tom worked with him for a time and later both became electricians. He did plumbling, electric, all types of flooring, and various other remodeling. What he didn't know, God helped him learn. Son-n-law Mike James worked with him for several years. He was a general contractor for 7 years. About 1994 is when they moved to Snohomish, Wa. and continued in construction. From there they moved to Sacramento, Ca and became a vinyl window and door installer with son Tim. A few more years passed and they moved to Tulare, Ca and there by using his years doing electrical work, passed his test to become an Electrician Journeyman with the Local 100 Electrical Union. In the years between living in Elma and Tulare he was blessed with 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandsons. He is survived by wife Catherine Marie Gayhart Dukes, son Jim Dukes & wife Lexi, son Tom Dukes & wife Sarah, son Tim Dukes all of Tulare, Ca, daughter Tammy Dukes James & husband Mike of Hillsboro, Or, grandchildren: Devin, Brandon, Conner Dukes, their mother Sonya Hays Dukes Cayla & husband Chris McManus, Emily & husband Jeff McCracken, Lindsey, Abbigail James Tyler, Cody, Chevelle, Walker Dukes; grandsons Logan McCracken & Cohen McManus; his older brother Gene Dukes and wife Velma resides in Alturas, CA; and various neices & nephews. Vern was proceeded in death by his parents Earl Yancy Dukes & Ruth Evelyn Copley Dukes and two sisters, Pat "Pearl" Roar and Luise Passeti In his 63 years he lived in 10 different cities and towns, and assembled in 7 of them. Vern baptized 24 of God's children in 11 different assemblies. He started in the ministry at 18 and preached the word for 45 years. He was ordained in 2001 as a Bishop along with Bro Stoney Porter and Bro Wesley Hamm; and he worked in the office with Bro Bud Dean and Bro. George Wright in Tulare, Ca. Vern was a " Jack of all trades; and with God's help, master of many". But he felt his greatest accomplishments were in the Lord, doing God's work.


Published in Tulare Adv-Register on Nov. 20, 2012
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