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Paul M. Duke

Paul M. Duke

Paul M. Duke, longtime resident of Granger Township, died February 25 after a long and brave battle with lung disease.

Left behind to cherish his memory are his wife of 58 years, Stephanie Grant; daughter, Wendy of Akron; sons, Philip and Kim (Downs) of Medina and Paul of Anchorage, Alaska; granddaughters, Jennifer Duke and Julia (Drew) Young; and great-grandsons, Benjamin and Noah Young.

Born in Akron, Ohio Dec. 5, 1929 in the heart of the Great Depression, he was the fourth and last son of John and Julia Duke. Paul had a lifetime love affair with the arts and enjoyed reading, theatre and music. A fifth generation stonemason, Paul built a replica of an English Cotswold cottage in Granger Township in 1955 where he raised a family and resided with Stephanie at the time of his death. He loved his one acre of paradise in Granger and there created and built dozens of projects including furniture, photography, and replicas of sailing ships.

Paul brought his artistic flair to many passions including the creation of an Elizabethan flower garden, a stone gazebo and garden house which complemented the cottage.

Paul was also a passionate genealogist and spent a lifetime following the trail of his British ancestors so that a complete and fascinating history of his family will be left to his heirs.

After his retirement from construction work, he became a dealer in rare and antiquarian books for hundreds of grateful customers. He was a founding member of and the first President of the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society (NOBS). More recently, he and Stephanie wrote and published several books of their own including their love letters to each other some 60 years ago. In his last years he was a member of and regular visitor to the Medina Recreation Center and will be missed by his many friends there.

Throughout his life, Paul remained a thoughtful and kind man who lived up to the lessons he taught his children: integrity and the quest for a lifetime of learning.

A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. (CREMATION SOCIETY OF OHIO, 330-535-1012)

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Feb. 27, 2008
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