Antique Vintage 12

William "Kelly" DUKES

June 2, 1929 ~ September 26, 2022 (age 93) 93 Years Old


William Hiram (Kelly) Dukes

June 2, 1929 – September 26, 2022

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved father, grandfather, uncle and brother, Kelly Dukes, at the age of 93, in Rosetown, Saskatchewan.

Born on the farm in McGee, SK, William was the first child of Bill and Edna Dukes. At the age of six he received the nickname of Kelly from a family friend who would remark, “there comes Kelly with the green necktie” whenever visiting. Kelly received his schooling at Crest School, and at the age of only 14, he purchased his first quarter section of land. After finishing school, Kelly went west to Trail, BC working in a smelter, before joining the Canadian Armed Forces in Vancouver in 1948. He was posted to many bases across the country including Kingston and Churchill while also receiving special training in Atlanta, GA. Kelly joined the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) and was trained as a welder. In 1951, he was deployed to Korea, in the midst of the Korean War, and in 1952 was wounded in active service. He was flown to Japan to recover from his injuries before returning to Canada later that year. Kelly remained in the army until 1956, and left as a Sergeant who had bravely served his country. His service did not end there, as he entered the Reserves in the late 1960s and rose to the rank of Captain. For his service to Canada and the Commonwealth, he was awarded 3 Korea service medals and the Canadian Forces Decoration, for long service and good conduct.

In February 1958, he met Rosemarie Rollheiser at a dance in Rosetown, and soon fell in love. They were married on June 7th, 1958 at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church. After a short stay in Bethune, in 1960 Kelly built their home on King Street, where they would raise their five children and remain for the next 51 years. Throughout the years, Kelly worked for the Rosetown Co-op, CCIL, and the Department of Highways before starting his own painting business. After retiring, woodworking and computers became his two main hobbies. Many family and friends still have and cherish Kelly’s handcrafted woodwork, of which he took great time and attention to make sure it was perfect. In later years, computers became his main hobby, acquiring a vast knowledge and able to solve any computer-related problems. In 2004, Kelly joined the Rosetown Reflections centennial project, not only as part of the editorial group, but as a writer and contributor to other aspects of the project. After moving into Lions Manor, he still pursued his hobbies on a smaller scale, and always looked forward to visits at his suite from his kids and grandkids. Kelly also greatly enjoyed travelling, making trips to B.C., Alberta and most recently to Last Mountain Lake in August and to Red Deer. In 2019, at the age of 90, a bucket list item was crossed off the list as Kelly made the journey on a cruise to Alaska with his granddaughter Ashley, which was a highlight of that milestone year. His laughter and presence will be missed by all who knew him and he has left behind a legacy that will forever be remembered by us all.

Kelly is survived by his five children Terry, Maureen (Hans) Berls, Ian (Gwen), Gerald, Delbert (Alanna), grandchildren Ashley and Kenton Dukes, Adam Berls and Logan and Carter Dukes. He is also survived by his sisters Joan Gibbs and Judy (Vern) Teichroeb, sisters-in-law Barbara Rollheiser, Armella Rollheiser, Dorothy Rollheiser, Imelda (Michael) Zenkawich, Betty Ann Rollheiser and Gertie Rollheiser, brothers-in-law Greg (Muriel) Rollheiser and Leo Bertolo as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years Rosemarie, parents William and Edna Dukes, sister Betty Kozak, sisters-in-law Lena Ziegler and Louise Bertolo, brothers-in-law Bill Regner, Nick Kozak, Joe Gibbs, Rudolph Rollheiser, Wendel Rollheiser, Tony Rollheiser, Wilfred Rollheiser and Peter Ziegler and his father-in-law and mother-in-law Jacob and Katherine Rollheiser.

A private internment will be held at the Roselawn Cemetery in Rosetown, SK at a later date. To send online condolences please visit Arrangements entrusted to Shanidar Funeral Services.


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