Barbara Jeanne Duke
October 5, 1942 ~ April 6, 2014
Barbara Jeanne Duke, 71, went on one last camping trip in the comfort of her home, with her family near her side on Sunday, April 6, 2014. Barb was born October 5, 1942, in Renton, WA to Ivan and Mary Lees. She was a lifelong resident of Okanogan, WA and a proud Bulldog supporter. Barb graduated from Okanogan High School in 1961, and married her high school sweetheart, J. Stanley Duke, on August 17, 1962. They had attended school together from the First Grade on. While growing up and going through school, Barb enjoyed hanging out with her friends, playing in her dad’s orchard, dancing, roller skating, playing tennis, and cheering for the Bulldogs. Barb started working at John’s Flowers in 1959, and was known for having a very talented and creative touch with flowers and bows. Other than a short stint attending college in Cheney and living in Pasco while she and Stan started their family, she was a floral designer at John’s full time, until her kids became busy with high school sports. She worked for John’s (later Nelson’s Flower’s) part-time until 1994, and then was always happy to help out by doing her “doo-dads” for special occasions (holidays, grandchildren’s homecomings, proms, and weddings). Barb was the bookkeeper for the family business, Lees & Duke Excavating, for many years, and continued to be the head “trouble shooter” even after retiring.
Barb enjoyed many hobbies, most revolving around spending time visiting and giggling with family and friends. She loved camping and getting “grubby”. She was a huge sports fan, attending hundreds of her kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events over the years, in addition to their other activities (Music, Drama, Knowledge Bowl, etc.). She also loved watching sports on TV, especially basketball. She enjoyed “chit-chatting” on the phone. Barb also enjoyed volunteering her time with a local quilting group, and running errands for her family and a close friend. She looked forward to her annual winter trips to Reno with Stan, where she stuck to the nickel slots, and more recently, the pennies. When her kids were growing up, she spent many happy hours with them snow skiing and boating. Recently, she and Stan enjoyed a wonderful cruise to Alaska with dear friends. Other memorable trips over the years included family vacations to Disneyland and Hawaii, weekend snow-skiing trips, and house boating on Lake Roosevelt.
Barb leaves behind her husband of almost 52 years, Stan Duke; her mother, Mary Lees; her daughter, Sheri Helmold (John); her son, Mike Duke (Julie); four grandchildren, Daryl Ausbun (Catrina), Lee Ausbun, Amber Duke, and Mason Duke; four step-grandchildren, Kylie Helmold, Wendy Soler (Cody), Lovey Anderson (Cory), and Lacey Garrison (Al); and seven great-grandchildren, Brianna Lee Ausbun, Austin and Colton, Sophie, Charley-Jo, and Ryder and Eric. Barb was preceded in death by her dad, Ivan C. Lees; her special aunt, Betty Jacobs; an uncle, Gil Jacobs; her “Grandma Jake”; and several cousins.
Her family and friends are invited to attend a “Gathering” in her honor at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 4, 2014, during the family’s annual campout at Kerr Camp in Conconully, WA.
“Your presence we miss, your memory we treasure.
Loving you always, forgetting you never.”