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John Edwin Duke


1929 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
John Edwin Duke Obituary
John Edwin Duke

July 20, 1929 - April 26, 2018

Cary

John Edwin Duke, 88, passed from this world to the next on 26 April 2018. Born July 20, 1929, to Oscar G. Duke and Irene Wade Duke, John Duke grew up the youngest of eight children in Goldsboro, NC. He attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, lettered in gymnastics, and in 1951 received a B.S. in Business Administration. During the Korean War, he enlisted in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1966, a service to his country he always cherished. In 1953, he returned to UNC for law school, after which he joined Mr. Roy Sasser's law practice in Goldsboro. For 57 years afterwards, John practiced law, with Thomas Brown joining the firm in September 1963. Like Atticus Finch, John believed "you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it," a view he brought to defending clients. John once headed the United Fund Drive and had belonged to First Baptist Church, where he had taught Sunday School, ushered, and served as Deacon. A lifelong and dedicated Democrat, he served on the Wayne County Board of Elections. In 2001, he moved to Cary, NC, where Angela French and he were married. John loved his wife, dogs and pestering cat, his children and grandchildren. He was a father who, though working hard at law, spent quality time with his young daughters, taking them hiking, golfing, arrowhead-hunting, and fishing. He is survived by his wife, Angela French; his brothers-in-law Roy Parker, Jr, and Gene Powell and sister-in-law Monica Powell; his children Jane D. Elkins (Steven) and Mary D. Cunningham (Tim); stepchildren John French (Candia) and David French (Laura); grandchildren Timothy and Joseph Cunningham, and Anne Elkins; step-grandchildren Sierra, Levi, Jocelyn, Sam, and Liam French. The family thanks the following: the health care professionals at WakeMed and Western Wake Hospitals; Transitions LifeCare; and their church families particularly the Agape Circle. A Celebration of Life worship service will be held at The First United Methodist Church, Cary, on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. with visitation after the service. John's wish was that memorial gifts be made to The First United Methodist Church--Cary's "Endowment Fund," 117 S. Academy Street, Cary, NC 27511.
Published in The News & Observer from Apr. 30 to May 1, 2018
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