Sept. 8, 1934 – May 14, 2016
Roland passed away suddenly, joining his son, Terry Duke, his mother, Catherine Beeson, his father, Frederick Duke, and his step-father “Pop” John Beeson.
He leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Jean Duke, with whom he created a bustling legacy: son Gordon Duke (Dorothy), daughters Glynnis Schwan (Stephen) and Megan Duke (Dana Landry), grandchildren Rhianne Duke, Logan Duke-Bodnarchuk, Britney Duke-Bodnarchuk, Connor Duke, Ryland Schwan (Emily), Ferguson Duke, Kellan Duke, and Justin Schwan, daughter-in-law Rhonda Bodnarchuk (Pete), pseudo-son Mike Jeffries (Sue), pseudo-daughter Melody Lang (Russell), sister Anne Lamont, and nephews Richard and David Lamont.
Roly was famous for his love of people. He talked at length to everyone he encountered and made fast friends. The entire page of this newspaper could not hold a list of the people who love him. He is widely known by saw filers, decades of boy scouts, rafts of neighbours, teachers from his children’s schools, patrons of various rec centres, customers from his coffee delivery days, weavers and spinners, gardeners, and those in need of company, philosophy, or a helping hand. He is a beloved Tip Topper, and the thickest file in his filing cabinet contains receipts for his home-made red wine.
The world has lost a special man. Roland conducted his principled life with optimism, loyalty, and respect. He remains the consummate gentlemen. His mother used to tell us that god is in the soil, that all we need to do is get our hands in the dirt. It is in the soil, and the life that springs from it, that we will find him too. In lieu of flowers, be kind to strangers, plant something in your garden, or bring a perennial to plant in a memorial garden at Roly and Jean`s home.
There will be an open house on Saturday, May 21, from 1pm-5pm at 27010 100th Avenue, Maple Ridge. A celebration of life will be held
on Vancouver Island at a later date.