James Joseph Duke, age 85, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 16, 2021, in Wilmington, NC. Born and raised in Atlantic City, NJ, the son of James and Victoria Morrell Duke, Jim’s childhood instilled the importance of faith, hard work, purpose, and commitment to family. His Catholic school education set him on a course for service. He served in the U. S. Marine Corps, was a devoted father, and for nearly three decades spearheaded countless endeavors as a parishioner and school parent at Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.
Jim instilled in his family a love for the ocean at Virginia Beach’s North End. Jim was a musician who enjoyed the Big Bands. A trumpet player, at Virginia Tech he started “The Collegiates” dance band and marched with Virginia Tech’s “Highty Tightys” band in President Eisenhower’s Inauguration Parade. Jim was also an expert on World War II history and encouraged world travel. One of his favorite destinations was the Caribbean and countries in Southern Africa.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Marjorie Duke, his five children; James Duke Jr., Stephanie Penner, Michael Duke, Daniel Duke, Christopher Duke, and eleven grandchildren.
Jim Duke lived a full life, in his own way, from start to finish. Fortunate are those who met Jim Duke along his journey to eternal life.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.