In 1968, he married to Nancy Schutte, and they had one daughter, Nancy Lyn. He served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Duke met the love of his life Karen Nygaard and they married on Nov. 27, 1981, in Cole Camp. Duke, Karen and friends, Mike and Lois Davis found their passion in the “Santa’s Helpers” toy run in 2003. Friends from many miles away celebrated the 10th anniversary of the toy run this past November, which Duke was able to participate in, making children smile once more.
For more than 20 years, he worked for Wolf Paving in Sedalia. He raised a pedigree lineage of Red Bone Coon Hounds. He was an avid hunter and outdoors man and was an active member of the Oak Hill Coon Club for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Karen of the home; one daughter, Lynn Michael and her husband Quincy of Independence; four brothers, Dennis Paxton and his wife Roxy and Norman Paxton, all of Cole Camp, Don Hockaday and William Hockaday, both of Arvada, Colo.; his favorite brother from another mother, John E.; three grandsons, Tyler, Nick and Jordan Michael; two step-grandchildren, Tyler and Whitney Michael; one great-grandson, Rocky Tripp Thompson; 12 nephews; two nieces; and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Mary Rose Paxton.
Funeral services and burial will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at Missouri State Veteran’s Cemetery Chapel, Higginsville.
All are invited to Duke’s last ride from his home in Cole Camp to the Veteran’s Cemetery in Higginsville. On Thursday morning, meet at the Cole Camp Fire Department at 10:15 a.m. and then at Yeager’s Cycle in Sedalia at 11 a.m.
The family will receive friends from 6 to- 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at the Fox Funeral Home in Cole Camp.
The family suggests memorial contributions be given to Salvation Army Santa Toy Run 2014 in memory of co-founder Duke in care of the Fox Funeral Home, Cole Camp.