Stephanie Grant Duke (78), of Medina, died Sunday, March 21, 2010 at the Cleveland Clinic. Born in England, Stephanie immigrated to the United States on March 10, 1950 and married her pen friend Paul M. Duke who preceded her in death in 2008. Over two years Paul in the U.S. and Stephanie in England, wrote hundreds of letters to each other until they met and married in 1950. They built and lived in an English Cotswold Cottage for more than fifty years in Granger Township. Stephanie first worked as a secretary for General Tire and then for B.F. Goodrich in Akron during the 1950's and 1960's. She was determined to earn her college degree and did so by working at the University of Akron Institute For Civic Education while at the same time taking evening classes at the University over many years, working full time and raising three children.
After earning her B.A. in 1970, Stephanie taught at Archbishop Hoban High school in Akron. She continued her education and earned her M.A. in History from the University of Akron in 1974 and began a rewarding career teaching in the History Department at the University of Akron and English at Kent State University until she retired in 2000. During her many years in the classroom she enriched the lives of thousands of students with her enthusiastic and caring approach.
Stephanie believed strongly in the equal rights of all Americans. Because of her conviction she was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960's and 1970's. She took part in marches and rallies to help give voice to the need for social justice.
In her retirement Stephanie built a close association with her beloved friends in the local chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was able to share with them her love of theater, art, music and literature. They in turn offered their love, support and help during her illness, and to them, the family is eternally grateful.
Stephanie leaves behind, son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Kim Duke of Medina; her daughter, Wendy Duke of Akron; son, Paul Duke, Jr.; and granddaughters, Julia (Andrew) Young of Medina and Jennifer Duke of Columbus; great-grandsons, Benjamin and Noah Young of Medina; and her sister, Sonia (Peter) Wakely of Whitchurch-on-Thames, England.
Stephanie graciously left her body to the Cleveland Clinic so that, like in life, her death may help students learn and grow. A memorial remembrance will be scheduled at a later date.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, 2010.