Valhalla Funeral Home & Valhalla Memory Gardens

698 Winchester RD NE, Huntsville, AL


(Ret.) SFC John R. Duke

April 14, 1932July 24, 2020

SFC John R. Duke, 88, of Huntsville, passed away on Friday, July 24, 2020 at Floyd E. “Tut” Fann Veteran’s Home. John was born in Parsons, TN and joined the US Army in 1949 as Infantry and later as Artillery. He served two tours in the Korean War and one tour in the Vietnam War where he was awarded a Bronze Star. He met and married his wife of 58 years, Elfriede (Freymueller) Duke, on his first tour in Germany. He retired in 1969 with the rank of Sergeant First Class and settled in Huntsville eventually working at Monroe Business Equipment for 23 years. He was a loving and caring husband and father who also liked taking care of the house and lawn and enjoyed hiking the trails of Monte Sano with his dogs.

Surviving family members include his wife, Elfriede Duke; his sons, MSgt John Duke (USAF ret) (wife Ruth) and Lt Col James Duke (USAF ret) (wife Lt Col Kathy (USAFR)); his daughter, Karen Brown (husband MSG Michael (US Army ret)); his sister, Doris Gamez and 6 grandchildren (Wesley, Jacob, Hannah, John, Kayla, and Elizabeth) and 3 stepgrandchildren (Lacey, Jenny, and David). He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Rable (Houston) Duke; and brothers, Ernie, Paul, and Ralph Duke.

A Graveside Service, with Full Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 11:00am at Valhalla Memory Gardens in the Garden of the Good Shepherd. Please leave fond memories and condolences for the entire Duke family at www.valhallafunerals.com.


  • Graveside Service with Military Honors

    Wednesday, July 29, 2020


(Ret.) SFC John R. Duke

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jodi Medley

July 27, 2020

Mr John R Duke gave me a ride to work when my car broke down thus helped keep the school kids safe. I remember him being so faithful and steadfast to his wife and sons and daughters. A good neighbor who is missed already.

Randy Duke

July 27, 2020

I remember when Uncle Jiggs would come up to Duck hunt. Dad had the boat and Uncle John would bring the motor in that old green Oldsmobile. We set out early ,early and as day would break I was the eyes for the group being young and all . But as always Jiggs and Dad were the better shots!!!
Thinking of you all, Randy

James Duke

July 27, 2020

So many memories, how do you wrap them up? Funny ones are the best . Like disobeying my dad when I was about 5 and thinking I could outrun him (didn’t succeed). Or when I was 14 or so and holding a tree out the back of our VW squareback hoping I didn’t slide out when he accelerated. Proud moments when he saw me get commissioned and again when I was able to see him after retiring and knowing he understood. I’m proud of his long years of guidance and support through the years.


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