Edgar "Paul" Duker, 70, of 3414 The Courts of Westview, Quincy, died at 11:46 p.m. Thursday (April 11, 2013) in his home following many years of health complications due to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam.
He was born Jan. 19, 1943, in Alton, the son of Guy Maxwell and Tula Ruth Paul Duker. On Aug. 20, 1966, he married Suzanne Veach in Quincy. She survives.
Paul was a 1961 graduate of Urbana High School. He graduated from the University of Illinois
with a bachelor's degree in music education in 1965 where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. Paul received his master's degree in school administration at Eastern Illinois University.
Paul was in the Army from 1967 until 1970, serving at Fort Sheridan Headquarters 5th Army Band and Long Binh Vietnam USERV Headquarters Band. He reached the rank of sergeant.
Paul was the high school band director for Unity High School in Tolono from 1965-1967. He was the band director for Effingham Public Schools 1970-1971. From 1971 to 1985 he was an elementary and junior high band director for Quincy Public Schools. He was the principal of Baldwin North, 1986-1989. From 1989, until his retirement in 1994, he served as
the principal of Baldwin School. After his retirement, he continued to do personnel work for Quincy Public Schools.
Paul was active in many community groups associated with child advocacy and was song leader for Downtown Rotary. He was especially proud of co-chairing the Adopt-A-Seat drive in 1984 which allowed for the renovation of the seats at Morrison Theater. That project helped Quincy win the All America City designation in 1985 and Paul served on that committee as well.
Paul was instrumental in the forming of the Quincy Community Band, serving as its conductor and later president of the Quincy Community Concert Band Board of Directors. He wanted musicians of all levels to have a place to enjoy playing music in their adult years.
He was a member of Urbana First Methodist Church from 1952 until 1971. Paul joined Vermont Street United Methodist Church in 1971, where he was an active member serving on many committees and singing in the choir.
He enjoyed golf, tennis, biking, bridge, and was an avid reader.
Survivors, in addition to his wife, include two sons, Douglas Paul Duker and his wife, Laura, of Gurnee, and their sons, Drew and Ben; and Mark Andrew Duker and his wife, Jennifer, of Oswego, and their children Maddie and Josh; a niece, Beth Allender and her husband, Mark, of Champaign, and their children Erica, Ian, and Audrey; a nephew, Steve Holzgraefe and his wife, Debbie, of Prior Lake, Minn.; his brother, John G. Duker of Quincy; his mother-in-law, Emily Veach of Quincy, and his stepmother, Ernestyne Duker of Champaign.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, Roger Veach; his sister-in-law, Pam Holzgraefe, and his brother-in-law, Richard Holzgraefe.
SERVICES: A service in celebration of his life will be held in Vermont Street United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Sunday, with the Rev. Dr. Scott Grulke officiating. Private inurnment will be in Greenmount Cemetery.
VISITATION: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hansen-Spear Funeral Home.
MEMORIALS: Vermont Street United Methodist Church, 818 Vermont, Quincy, IL 62301, or Quincy Public Schools Music Department, 3322 Maine, Quincy, IL 62301.
ARRANGEMENTS: Hansen-Spear Funeral Home, Quincy