James Joseph Duke

April 11, 1935 - January 16, 2021
James Joseph Duke

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.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.


Purchase Flowers

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • January 24, 2021
    Maureen and Jim Quinn says:
    Margie, our deepest sympathy. We'll miss seeing you at Mass and Jim won't have the "monsignor" to greet any more. Our best to you and your family.

  • February 10, 2021
    Gretchen Reimbold says:
    Mrs. Duke, on behalf of Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc. I would like to send my sincere condolences for your loss. I have the absolute pleasure of working with your son, Jim, and I know this has been a very difficult time for all of you. Our hearts are with you as you move through this journey... We wish you whatever measure of peace can be found in the days ahead. Best, Gretchen Reimbold

  • January 29, 2021
    Mark and Heather Joyce says:
    Dan and the Duke family, we are so sorry for your loss and express our deepest condolences. You are in our prayers during this tough time. With love Mark, Heather, Alex and Katy Joyce.

  • January 28, 2021
    Maria Peterson says:
    Many fond memories with Jim and Margie, our neighbors! Gathering either at their house or ours and them telling us great stories of their travels and whatnot. Wish I had taken more pictures of them together but the only one I have is when we had them over for tacos during Hurricane Florence. Jim would come over, knocking on our door, asking for some kind of help; not figuring out the new tv or why the answering machine wouldn’t work etc Always in his shorts and tank top. Missing him very much but not as much as Margie certainly does!

  • January 27, 2021
    Nancy A McDowell says:
    Jim was an avid member of the Reader Ministry at St. Mark. He was a Reader when I joined the ministry and was a mentor for this novice reader and for many others. I always enjoyed listening to him reading the Word, and talking with him and Margie before and after Mass. I will miss him!