Paul M. Duke, longtime resident of Granger Township, passed away Monday, Feb. 25, 2008, after a long and brave battle with lung disease.
He was born on Dec. 5, 1929, in Akron in the heart of the Great Depression. He was the fourth and last son of John and Julia Duke. Paul had a lifetime love affair with the arts and enjoyed reading, theatre and music. A fifth-generation stonemason, he built a replica of an English Cotswold cottage in Granger Township in 1955, where he raised a family and resided with his wife, Stephanie, at the time of his death. He loved his 1 acre of paradise in Granger, where he created and built dozens of projects including furniture, photography and replicas of sailing ships. Paul brought his artistic flair to many passions including the creation of an Elizabethan flower garden, a stone gazebo and garden house, which complemented the cottage. He was a passionate genealogist and spent a lifetime following the trail of his British ancestors so that a complete and fascinating history of his family will be left to his heirs. After his retirement from construction work, he became a dealer in rare and antiquarian books for hundreds of grateful customers. He was a founding member of and the first president of the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society (NOBS). More recently, he and Stephanie wrote and published several books of their own including their love letters to each other some 60 years ago. In his last years he was a member of and regular visitor to the Medina Community Recreation Center and will be missed by his many friends there. Throughout his life, Paul remained a thoughtful and kind man who lived up to the lessons he taught his children: integrity and the quest for a lifetime of learning.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years to cherish his memory, Stephanie Grant; daughter, Wendy of Akron; sons, Philip (Kim, nee Downs) of Medina and Paul of Anchorage, Alaska; granddaughters, Jennifer Duke and Julia (Drew) Young; and great-grandsons, Benjamin and Noah Young.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
Adams-Mason Memorial Chapel in Akron and the Cremation Society of Ohio are handling the arrangements.