Virgil Wayne Duke



Virgil Wayne Duke, 82, of Center, Texas, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday morning, September 14, 2018. 


A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, September 30, 2018, at Mt. Calvary on 417 East in Shelbyville, Texas.


He was a strong, tall, man’s man, who was blessed to not outlive his ability to care for himself and his family.  He was proud and grateful for the time he had on earth and the quality of life he was able to experience right up to the moment the Lord called him home.

Virgil served his country in the US Navy aboard the USS Skagit (105) from 1954-1956.

For many years, Virgil worked and managed several well-known Houston establishments.  He shot a pretty good game of pool, but never learned to play the piano.  Later, he was a successful REPO man, even more successful after his wife, Ruth Ann, became his partner.  She could hook the chains as fast as any man and they almost always got away before shots were fired.  They knew Houston like the back of their hands and Virgil gave better directions and travel advice than MapQuest, especially on where NOT to go.


After retiring and returning home, Virgil was an active member and usher at Mt. Calvary and was loved and respected greatly by his church family and Pastor Don Windham and wife, Linda.  He attended and supported all church functions with the exception of a very few that coincided with Astros games.


Virgil could be seen most any day under the pecan tree and was always ready for a game of dominos or 42. (He especially enjoyed beating James Earl, but would take on anyone willing to play.)  Before losing his best friend, Michael Lee, they could be seen cruising 699 with radio on and windows down, both wearing their cool shades…They were both smooth talkers and impeccable dressers, always starched and pressed.  And that’s only a couple of the many traits they shared.  Michael would tell anyone that Virgil was the coolest sidekick he ever had…Losing his friend was hard on Virgil.


Friends and family enjoyed teasing Virgil about a variety of things including but not limited to the Astros, his age, his exes, and his pointed toed cowboy boots, but he could dish it out as well as take it with a smile.  He was always knowledgeable of current events and seemed to know where everyone was and who was doing what…We finally figured out that he had become quite the proficient at “ghosting” on Ruth Ann’s Facebook!  We love him and we always knew he loved us.  The “Hill on 699” won’t be the same without him.


Virgil is survived by

Wife, friend, and soulmate for almost 24 years: Ruth Ann Weatherford Duke

Brother: James “Jim” Duke and wife, Betty

Sister-in-law: Lynn Locke

Megan Waite
Dee Ann Dockens
Kris and Glenda Dockens
Kevin and Anita Dockens

Cory Causey and wife, Kim
(Kylee, Skylar, Lauren)
Kevin Askew
Kristopher Dockens
Raylee Askew
Brodie Sibley and wife, Kristi
(Bo, Tripp, Emmarie)
Mackenzie Dockens
Witt Dockens

Nieces and nephews:
Lester and Teresa Belrose
(Austin, Tyler, Jordan, Grant)
Bruce and Judy Snider
(Alex, Blaine, Caleb)
Mark and Rusty Gorby
(Jacob, Katie, Justin)
Terry and Tari Dammel
(Carl, Chris)
Ted and Karen Duke
(Kelly, Kevin)
Mark and Tina Myrick
(Stephen, Shawn, Kristin)
Tom and Linda Duke
(James, Brian)

Numerous great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends


He was preceded in death by
Son: Billy Duke
Brother: Smitty Duke
Parents: Virgil and Clara Belle Duke

Online condolences & tributes can be sent at




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