It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of William “Bill” Duke of Midland, NC on May 9, 2022 at the age of 78 years. He was surrounded by his family, who provided him comfort as he departed this life for his eternal home.
Mr. Bill Duke was born on January 11, 1944 in Michigan to the late Hoke S. Duke and the late, Mary B. Duke. He was also preceded in death by his loving bride, Frances Duke and his brother and “partner in crime”, Lewis W. Duke.
Bill, also known lovingly as “Daddy”; “Bubby”; “Pawpaw Bill”; and “Little Bill”, is survived by his three children, whom he deeply loved: William “Billy” Duke (Angie) of Midland, NC, Angie Julian (Tony) of Mooresville, NC, and Melissa Coursey (Gary) of Midland, NC; his seven grandchildren, whom he adored, Kristi Rokey (Brad), Tyler Duke (Bri), Jeremy Duke (Ashlynn), Johnny Julian (Amanda), Brooke Julian (Carl), Gary Coursey and Heather Coursey; and his cherished great-grandchildren, Samson Duke, Sabatino Ruggiero, and Salem Duke. His fourth great-grandchild, “Walker Duke" is due to arrive in June. Bill is also survived by his loving sisters, Patsy Halo, Peggy Monroe, Mary “Butchie” Tysinger, Carol Allred, Bernice “Bunny” Williams, and Terri Duke; many nieces and nephews, who always held a special place in his heart; his former wife, Nancy Hager; and a multitude of friends that enriched his life with love and laughter.
Mr. Bill Duke was a proud Navy veteran and loved to tell stories of his time stationed in Puerto Rico. Following his military service, he held many jobs, with the last being a professional truck driver. He loved seeing the US behind the windshield of his “big rig”. In his free time, he could be found casting a line on the lake or swinging a club on the golf course. He loved music and was an avid dancer. His favorite dances were square dancing and shag dancing. Bill was an early riser and enjoyed sitting outdoors in the pre-dawn hours, in which (in his words) he would, “witness the world come alive”. He loved watching nature and pondering the miracle of God’s creation. This was his time of prayer and reflection. Bill was a man of strong faith. He served for many years as a board member of Rock Hill First Wesleyan Church in Rock Hill, SC. He graciously shared his faith with others.
Bill never met a stranger. He loved conversation and he was a compassionate listener. He lovingly shared his kind wisdom and he sought to encourage and uplift others. He was so generous and was always ready to lend help to everyone in any way that he could.
Bill had a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. He loved practical jokes and he had the most contagious laugh. He left a lasting impression on everyone that he met.
One of Bill’s favorite sayings was, “there are 3 things that you can freely give away and still have plenty of...a smile, a hug, and a kind word.” He believed this to his very core and he tried to live out this message every day, even as he was coping with his own life struggles.
Bill will be greatly missed by all of those who knew him. Our lives are forever changed by having had the great honor to have known and loved him. Our hope is that we can live our lives by the example that he so generously provided.
The family will receive friends from 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland. The funeral service will be held Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland, officiated by Pastor Eugene Ku. Music will be provided by Pastor Eugene Ku, Glenda Schock, and Kelli Duke Hogue (all dear friends of Bill). Reception to follow at the family’s home.
Memorials made be made to: Rock Hill First Wesleyan Church, 218 Annafrell St., Rock Hill, SC 29730.
Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland is serving the Duke family.