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3601 Westown Parkway
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Clarence Albert Duke

1920 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Clarence Albert Duke Obituary
Clarence Albert Duke

Des Moines

Clarence A. Duke, 93, passed away on May 1, 2014 at Mercy Hospice in Johnston. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hamilton's on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines with a Masonic Service at 7:30 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. at Westkirk Presbyterian Church, 2700 Colby Woods Drive in Urbandale. Burial will be at the Masonic Cemetery in Des Moines, IA.

Clarence was born on May 11, 1920 in Des Moines, Iowa to Laura (Cocke) and William Duke. He met his future wife, Hazel Moore, at the roller skating rink located at 2nd and Locust, downtown Des Moines where they were avid skaters. They were married a year later on February 10, 1939. Hazel passed away January 20, 1989, three weeks before their 50th wedding anniversary. Duke, as he was known throughout his life, served in the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, VA. After his honorable discharge he worked for Crown Concrete which was then owned by the Hubbell's. Leaving Crown as sales manager, he accepted the position as vice president and general manager of Central Ready Mix where he was instrumental in the completion of the Interstate system setting up portable ready mix plants to pour the concrete for the bridges as I-80 moved eastward. In 1967 he opened Duke Ready Mix and retired in 1981.

Duke was a 65 year member of the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine, the Des Moines Consistory, and Auburn-Union Park Masonic Lodge. As an active advocate of Free Masonry he was constantly seeking new members. He was also a member of Acanthus Masonic Lodge, the Elks, the American Legion, High Twelve, a life member of the DeMolay, and served as treasurer for 6 years with the Masonic Cemetery Association. In 1964 Duke formed the "Diplomats", a 21 convertible car unit of the Shrine with each car owner having its own "Fez" license plate. He served as president of the unit in 1964 and 1965. He would often recall the names of the dignitaries who rode in his car during the many parades. He and his wife, Hazel were charter members of Westkirk Presbyterian Church. Duke was always looking for a need to fill and he and Hazel made several material contributions to Auburn Lodge, their church, and numerous other organizations. When Pope John Paul II came to the Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa in 1979, Duke donated the concrete for the podium.

He is survived by his daughter, Barbara (Jack) Wilson of Urbandale, IA; granddaughter, Laura Mogenson of Prairie Village, KS; a great-grandson, Maddox Duke Mogenson of Prairie Village, KS; and several nieces and nephews. He had a close relationship with his nephew, Richard E. (Marlene) Duke of Orangeville, CA. Duke was preceded in death by his parents, William and Laura Duke; his wife, Hazel; and brothers, William, James and Sterling.

Memorial contributions may be directed to The Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2025 East River Pkwy., Minneapolis, MN 55414-3604, Mercy Hospice in Johnston, or Westkirk Presbyterian Church. Condolences online may be expressed at

Published in Des Moines Register from May 4 to May 6, 2014
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