LeRoy Alden Dukes, a veteran of World War II was born November 4, 1916 in Sheridan, Wyoming.
His parents were Albert A. Dukes and Edna G. Dukes. Upon graduation from Sheridan High School in 1934, LeRoy joined the U.S. Navy. He was on a submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor until 1940 when he was transferred to Long Beach California where he met Pearl Crawfish Whitecrow on a blind date and they went dancing. He did not know at that time that she had been married and had two children because she was on vacation and never thought she would see him again. They corresponded and he hitch hiked to Miami, Okla. to find his true love. He knocked at Mary Crawfish's door to inquire about her address. Reluctantly she finally gave it to him and then he found out about Jake Whitecrow Jr. and Florence Marie Whitecrow. In a few months they were married in Columbus, Kan. He worked at Punk Staton's garage in Miami, Okla. until they were going to move to Tulsa, Okla. World War II was declared December 7, 1941 and LeRoy enlisted again in the Navy from March 1942 to November 1945.
Dukes was Lieutenant Engineering LST Dept. on a ship in the Pacific. He returned to Miami, Okla. in 1945 and was home about four days and they divorced. He then returned to Sheridan, Wyoming, where he married Ethel P. Grant in 1946.
In 1948, LeRoy and Ethel moved to Sacramento, California where LeRoy worked for Western Machinery Co. for two years. He then became an insurance agent for State Farm with Ethel as his office manager. They retired from the insurance business in 1981.
Mr. Dukes was a Past Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star, Mount Fern Chapter 62 of Georgetown, Calif. and also a member of the Masons and Shriners. His wife Ethel was a Past Worthy Matron of this lodge. They both enjoyed their association with the Eastern Star. Some of their happiest moments were their nearly 30 years of square dancing with the Pathfinders Square Dance Club.
After Ethel's death in 1989, LeRoy moved back to Oklahoma and remarried Pearl on September 7, 1991 at the First Christian Church in Baxter Springs, Kan. There he became a stepfather again to Florence Marie Mathews of Miami, Okla. and an instant grandfather to granddaughters and grandsons.
LeRoy enjoyed sports by both watching and playing and loved Dancing to the “Oldies” , he would rather dance than eat. He was on a traveling bowling league with his sister-in-law, Alice Marie Tuthill. LeRoy took up bowling after Pearl passed away and at 93 was on four bowling leagues. He was on two leagues before he died and carried a 170 average at the age of 95. He also enjoyed golfing, and his wife, Pearl made a “hole in one” at the Vinita Golf Course while they were golfing. LeRoy was an avid runner while he was living in California and had to have three knee replacements and that stopped his running.
LeRoy was preceeded in death by his two wives, Pearl and Ethel, a sister Eula Mae Zink, and a brother, Jesse M. Duke, a grandson Seneca Black Elk Mathews, as well as his parents, Albert and Edna.
LeRoy is survived by his stepdaughter, Florence Marie Mathews of Miami, Okla., grandchildren Jerri and Tim Montgomery of Quapaw, Okla., JR and Beth Mathews of Miami, Okla., Perry and Lori Mathews of Salt Lake City, Utah, JL and Sharon Whitecrow of Miami, Okla., Jon D and Denise of Quapaw, Okla., Jodi Whitecrow of Miami, Okla., 12 great grandchildren, and 12 great great grandchildren.
LeRoy will be remembered as a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who loved and admired him.
A Memorial Services will be Tuesday August 21, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami, Okla. Rev. Geoff Buffalo will officiate. In Lieu of flowers donation may be made to the Jake Whitecrow / LeRoy Dukes Scholarship Fund at N.E.O. A.&M. College. Online condolences may be made at www.paulthomasfuneralhomes.com.