Julia E. Duke, 85, of The Meadows, died Sunday, November 11, at the Siegenthaler Center, a hospice facility at New Hartford, after a courageous battle with COPD.
Born June 13, 1927 in Gouverneur, she was the daughter of Louis and Lottie I. Washburn. She attended school in Gouverneur.
In October 1945 she met Harry Duke, a sailor on leave. Two weeks later, on November 6, 1945 they married in Watertown, a union that lasted sixty years until Harry’s death on June 24, 2006. Mr. Duke was a career Navy man and they lived in many places, including Sasabo, Japan from 1954 to 1956, Massena, South Carolina from 1977 to 1993 and then moved to the Utica area. Mrs. Duke often reminisced of being a young mother traveling alone with two small children, across the country by rail and across the Pacific by ship, to join her Navy husband in Japan. The trains were full of servicemen and each was polite, helpful, courteous and respectful. She carried that admiration and respect for our service men and women throughout her life. She was proud of our military and proud of the country they defended. Following Mr. Duke’s retirement from the NYS Power Authority in Massena, the couple went south to the most beautiful town in the country, Manning, South Carolina for sixteen years. Due to reclining health they moved back to the area to be closer to family.
Family was Mrs. Duke’s greatest passion and she was a devoted mother, wife and grandmother and will be greatly missed.
Survivors include two sons and their wives, Richard and Renee of Plymouth, MN
and Steven and Roseanne of Whitesboro; grandsons, Joseph and Nicholas; and great grandchildren, Jared, Jamie, Josie, Jason Robert and Macy.
The funeral will be 11 am Saturday at Frederick Bros. Funeral Home, Theresa with Pastor Robert Vrooman officiating. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery, Theresa.
Contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY, 13413.
Condolences may be made online at www.frederickbrosfuneralhome.com.