Duke was born in Newark, Delaware on June 2, 1925 to Edith and Louis Detjen. He graduated from Newark High School in 1943, and the very next day enrolled in the US Navy. He was selected for and graduated from the Navy V-12 Officer’s Training Program and was commissioned as a Lieutenant.
Duke graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was elected to the Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu honorary engineering fraternities.
From 1947 to 1983, Duke was employed by Delmarva Power in Wilmington. He was a Senior Consulting Engineer. For 8 years after retirement, Duke worked as a Consulting Electrical Engineer for Shah & Associates of Gaithersburg, MD
He married Caroline Mettenet in 1951, and they enjoyed more than 71 years together. “Carrie” was always the apple of his eye, and together they made a wonderful couple.
Duke and Carrie have one son, David who lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. They also adore David’s daughter, Jennifer, who is also a graduate of UW-Madison, following in her beloved “Pop Pop’s” footsteps.
Duke was always involved in his community, including being a member of Limestone Presbyterian Church, the Limestone Acres Civic Association, and the Dickinson High School Band Boosters. He also was a long-time member of the Newark Country Club, and he and Carrie played many nights in the Twilight group. In addition, he was perhaps the greatest fan in the area of the University of Wisconsin football team.
Duke’s avocation was music. First as a drummer, then a keyboard guy, he played for many people in a variety of settings. In his later years at Willow Valley Retirement Community, he even returned to the drums as part of a jazz combo.
Duke composed dozens of songs. He has written fight songs for 2 High Schools, and the alma mater for Wilmington University. He has also composed religious songs. His popular compositions appeared in National Music publications 37 times, and he won two national and one local (Wilmington Music School) composition competitions.
He is survived by his loving wife, Caroline, his son David, and his granddaughter Jennifer.
Interment in Gracelawn Memorial Park will be held privately.
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