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Thomas Rudolph Duke
June 19, 1929 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Thomas Rudolph Duke, a devoted husband and father, peacefully departed this world on the morning of January 26, 2024, in Tulsa at the age of 94. Born on June 19, 1929, in Clovis, New Mexico, Tom was the only child of Thomas Earl and Alice Inez (Lewis) Duke.
Tom's early years were shaped in Groesbeck & Texas City, Texas. In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving honorably until 1948, stationed in Japan during the final days of World War II. He continued his service in the Army Reserve from 1948 to 1951 at Ft. Sam Houston, earning an honorable discharge in 1951.
During his Army Reserve days, Tom started classes in the fall of 1948. He pursued his Business Administration degree at the University of Houston. It was during this time that he met Mary Estelle Steele, a colleague in the pipeline industry. Tom and Mary married June 10th, 1953 and he finished his degree while working then full-time and going to night school in the summer of 1954. Their union resulted in the joyous birth of three boys: Darrell, David, and Brian. Tom and Mary celebrated over 53 years of marriage before her passing in 2006. While the last three years of Mary's life was difficult with her declining in health, Tom was vigilantly by her side until she went ahead to heaven.
Tom dedicated a significant portion of his life to a career in the pipeline industry, working for Pan American, which eventually became Amoco. He worked as an accountant then in 1980 became an auditor. His dedication and expertise led to a fulfilling career, culminating in his retirement in 1982. Even in retirement, Tom continued to contribute to the industry, engaging in contract work for British Petroleum and conducting audits for the company. His work took him to various places, allowing him to explore the world as an auditor.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Tom and Mary shared a passion for leisure activities. They were active members of a bowling league, enjoyed playing golf with friends, and embarked on many trips to Bella Vista, Arkansas. They were proud members of Rolling Hills Country Club and participated in a couple's bridge group. Tom and Mary were also early members of Asbury Church joining in 1967, where they found solace and community.
Tom is survived by his three sons, Darrell Duke (Karin), David Duke, and Brian Duke (Samantha Benn-Duke). His legacy continues through his grandchildren: Evangelina, Thomas, Lauren, Rebecca, Cameron, Virginia, Ian and Stanton. The Duke family also includes great-grandchildren: Isabella, Roman, Amelia, Evelyn, Jesse, Fiona, Olivia, Kinley, Silas, Mila and Aiden.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Mary. A service will be held at 11:00 AM at Asbury Church on February 3rd to honor and celebrate the life of this remarkable man.
Thomas Rudolph Duke will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to his family, his service to his country, and the joy he brought to the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. May he rest in eternal peace.