Home Obituaries Dr. Robert Duke

Dr. Robert Duke

MOUNT HOLLY — Dr. Robert L. Duke, 88, of Mount Holly, passed away peacefully at Trinity Ridge in Hickory on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

Born in Hamlet on July 29, 1931, he was preceded in death by his father Robert White Duke (1982), his mother Mildred Covington Duke (1996) and his loving wife Jo Ann Williams Duke (2015), as well as his only niece Susan Leigh Stanley (1984). 

A graduate of Hamlet High School and Lincoln Chiropractic College in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bob was drafted and entered the U.S. Army in 1953 and completed his basic training and duty at Fort Jackson, where he was a private first class in the 923rd Ambulance Company.

In 1956, he came to Mount Holly to work with Dr. Howard Huff and shortly afterward established his own practice as a chiropractic doctor. Dr. Duke continued to practice for 52 years and nine months until his retirement in 2008. He spent his career working to relieve pain and discomfort in his patients and his practice was featured in the North Carolina Chiropractic Association journal in 2006 honoring 50 years of service. 

In 1962, Dr. Duke was invited by Dr. Raymond Moore to join the Mount Holly Rotary Club and, taking its motto of “Service Above Self” seriously, he completed 56 years of perfect attendance in 2018 and is a 2nd level Paul Harris Fellow. 

“Service Above Self” seemed to inform many aspects of Bob’s life, from his years with the Boy Scouts (Eagle Scout with Bronze Palm in 1947 and member of the Order of the Arrow), to working with the Jaycees, to serving five terms on the Mount Holly City Council (1970s – 1990s), to being an active member at First United Methodist Church for many years and later a faithful member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. 

Dr. Duke was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in a 2017 ceremony presented by Robert Whitt at the Rotary Club Banquet.

In May of 1956, Bob met Jo Ann Williams and they were married on June 23, 1957 at First Methodist Church. They were blessed to share over 57 years together and raise a son and a daughter, belonged to a couple’s bridge club for 55 years, enjoyed many lectures and plays at Belmont Abbey College and in the community, monthly lunches with Jo Ann’s Class of ’49, trips to New Mexico and Texas to visit Lisa, Dann, and Michael, and trips to New Orleans and Hickory to visit Dan. 


Bob took a great interest in getting to know people and always appreciated a good meal with others whether it was at home, a family reunion, a Rotary lunch, a church supper, or a restaurant in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Charlotte, or even Hickory. 

Dr. Duke is survived by a son, the Rev. Daniel W. Duke of Hickory; a daughter, Lisa Duke Brown and husband Dr. Daniel A. Brown of San Marcos, Texas; a grandson, Jon Michael Brown; a sister, Rose Duke Stanley and husband John H. Stanley of Gastonia; and a few Duke and Covington cousins. 

A private graveside service will be held on Thursday, April 16 at Hillcrest Gardens Cemetery with the Rev. Jonathan Schnibben and Pastor John Stanley officiating. 

A memorial service and reception will be held in late July at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. 

Memorials may be made to the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 110 South Main St., Mount Holly, NC 28120 or the Mount Holly Rotary Club, PO Box 326, Mount Holly, NC 28120. 

The family is deeply appreciative of the care Dr. Duke received from the entire staff at Trinity Ridge in Hickory, Stress Free Home Care in Stanley, especially caregivers Sheryl Adcock and Carla Hall, and the love of family, friends, and wonderful neighbors. 

Arrangements are in the care of Woodlawn Funeral Home, Mount Holly. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.woodlawnfuneral.org.



Previous articleRichmond County coronavirus cases up to 12; health department releases ages
Next articleHomeschooling champion tells parents sheltering at home: ‘You can do this’