February 19, 1924 - November 25, 2014
James “Harold” Duke peacefully left this physical existence on Nov 25, 2014 and went to join others that have gone before him. He was born February 19, 1924 in rural west Tennessee, the second of seven children. They were a family of farmers and he had many stories about those years.
In 1944, he enlisted for the United States Army Air Corps. Knowing he would be called by draft soon anyway, he decided to go ahead and volunteer. He did his basic training in Miami, Florida, and was sent to England and France. He was back in San Antonio, Texas when he heard the news that the war was over.
Immediately after service to his country, he enrolled in college thanks to the GI bill. He attended University of Tennessee at Martin for two years, and then progressed on to University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he graduated with a degree in agriculture with teaching certification. He went to southern Indiana to teach, where he met Madonna Traylor, whom he married and was her husband for 63 years.
Teaching was not his calling, so he applied to and was accepted into Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, Alabama, one of only two admissions from Tennessee (Tennessee did not have a vet school then). It was also during this time he joined the Masonic Lodge.
After graduation from Veterinary school, he was involved in a few private practices but found his permanent professional home with the Federal Government, USDA branch. His position at retirement was Assistant Federal Veterinarian for the State of Tennessee.
After he retired in 1990, he spent time with family, children, grandchildren, and doing mechanical and construction projects around the house. He had a few hobbies including wine making, woodworking, amateur ham radio, and curing country hams. Most things he could fix or build himself since he had acquired skills with carpentry, electrical, and refrigeration projects.
He leaves behind wife Donna, son Jimi (Donna), daughter Jo (Rick) and three grandchildren.
His wishes were to be cremated and no funeral; ashes will be interred at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your charity of choice on his behalf.
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
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