Paul M. Duke
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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)


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Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Feb. 27, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
March 4, 2008
My father-in-law was a private and caring man. I will miss the evenings we have spent in his living room touching on just about every subject there was to talk about; family history, current events, work, kids, grandkids, movies, politics and so on. Paul and I shared a lot of the same views, and when we didn't, our seperate views were respected. I learned much about gardening dos and don'ts from Paul. One in particular, DO FEED YOUR PLANTS. The photographs he took of Julia, his granddaugher, hang proudly in our house as do the many things that he built for her; a rocking horse, toy box and stool are a few that come to mind. They are now being used by Benjamin and Noah, Paul's great grandsons. How special to have such things to last thru the years. Paul has left us a lifetime of good memories to talk about for years to come. I will miss you Paul.
Kimberly Duke
March 3, 2008
Dear Duke Family,

We were so sorry to hear of Paul's death. We will miss his presence in our audience, and his love of, and support---along with Stephanie---and Wendy---of our theater. We loved bumping into you at the Stratford Festival---and sharing the love of theater.
Thank you for the "loan" of your Shakespeare bust several years ago. It added so much to the production.

Much love to the entire family.
MaryJo Alexander and
Neil Thackaberry
MaryJo Alexander
March 3, 2008
We miss you and we love you Pampa!

Love,

Julia, Drew, Benjamin, and Noah Young
Julia Young
March 1, 2008
The Duke Family
Ted and I are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you now, and always. What we'll remember most of Paul is his love of books, and how he enjoyed sharing family history. He has left behind a wonderful family that shares this passion. I know Paul will be missed greatly. May the memories left behind bring you much comfort. Love, Marilyn and Ted
Marilyn Shaw
February 29, 2008
What a wonderful friendship we have shared,since you have came to be our B&B guests these last 8-10 years.What a mixture of people that have grown to love one another,from Bonanza weekend in Blyth.We share your loss,and will remember the wonderfull times you two had,and thanks for sharing with us all at our table,God bless you. Love Phyllis and Emerson Mitchell.
Phyllis & Emerson Mitchell
February 29, 2008
Dear Duke Family,

I am sorry for your loss. Paul will be greatly missed. I knew "The Kids," Phil and Kim from SST back in the 1980's. I have fun memories of helping Kim and Phil move into S. Court Home in Medina. I remember Phil telling us about his reading great books during his vacation time.

Paul shared many good memories with me regarding rare books. I am glad I purchased some of my books from him and will always enjoy reading them. His cottage garage shop was on the way to my parents' home, so I would stop from time to time to chat with Paul.

My Parents reside in Granger Township and we would bump into Paul at community events, historical meetings, Buehlers Medina Restaurant (when they were dining with Phil and Kim), etc.

My Father, John Van Antwerp, thought Paul Duke was an active participant in the Ohio National Guard. John was active in the Ohio National Guard.

I wish you well. Paul will be missed in this Granger Community. We enjoyed The Dukes' love letters. They were a welcomed read.

Sincerely,

Sue
Susan VanAntwerp-Schoenstein
February 28, 2008
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
David & Irene-Sophia Gevaux
February 28, 2008
I met Paul Duke over 40 years ago when I was a young man. Paul was an inspiration. Here was someone who was a craftsman, an artist, a lover of literature and theatre - a thoughtful and caring and creative human being. I remember a tour of Oberlin when Paul, with great pride, showed me his stonework. I remember many thoughtful discussions of books and politics and a shared love for Thomas Wolfe and Dylan Thomas.

You couldn't "pigeon hole" Paul - He was unique. Thanks Paul for your friendship at times of crisis; thanks for the best picture ever taken of my young daughter (still sitting on my desk after all these years). Pam and I will miss you and we think today of your soulmate, Stephanie.
Jim & Pam Mingle
February 28, 2008
Jan & Miep Verkley
February 28, 2008
A memorable and prolific gentleman whose life is a positive model for us all.
Beverly Mugrage
February 28, 2008
Professor Duke,

My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Tricia Krosky
February 27, 2008
Prof. Duke,
Im sorry to hear of the passing of your father.

Offering my deepest sympathy,
A Student
February 27, 2008
Our deepest sympathies to you and your family. There certainly are many wonderful memories for all the years together.
Love
Uncle Earl and Aunt Nancy
Earl Gary
February 27, 2008
Thinking of you and Kim with our deepest sympathy.
Jim/Sherrie Brooks
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