Wilson James Dukes, Jr.
Wilson James Dukes, Jr., 74, died Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington.
He was born October 22, 1942, at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Omaha, to Wilson and Gladys (Rhoades) Dukes. He grew up in Omaha and Central City. He graduated from Central City High School in 1961. During his high school career, Wilson was an exceptional athlete. He played baseball, football, basketball, and track. Wilson was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1959-1960 for Central City baseball. After graduation, Wilson attended Lutheran Junior College in Wahoo, playing college football. Wilson transferred to Waxahachie, TX.
After college, Wilson participated in a semi pro basketball league traveling around Nebraska. Wilson also loved golf. He received the Johnny Walker international hole in one award for a 169-yard hole in one on the Grand Island course in 1988. This love of sports he shared with his grandchildren. He spent many days teaching his granddaughter, Ashley to play golf, a passion they both loved to share together. This passion then was passed to his eldest great-grandson, Mycah. Mycah and ‘papa’ spent many hours driving in the golf cart and picking up golf balls. In his later years, papa enjoyed watching his grandson Gage participate in football and wrestling. Wilson was elated to share with Gage, Wauneta Palisade’s 6-man football championship in 2012.
In 1966, he met Judy L. Anderson after returning to Nebraska from Idaho where he experienced his entrepreneurship skills in his pizza place. After a whirlwind love filled courtship, they were united in marriage on June 6, 1967, in Aurora. They made their home in Central City. To this union, they were blessed with 3 sons: Wilson, III, Michael, and Matthew. In the early years of their life together, they lived in Central City where Wilson was employed by the Army Ammunition plant in Grand Island. From there he went to work for a time with the Omaha World Herald. Wilson then found his life’s ambition – his true calling, Wilson joined the Aurora Police department. Wilson graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island as a member of the 42nd basic training class in 1978. After a career spanning 3 decades and being a part of Hamilton county, Dawson county, and York county sheriff’s departments, Wilson finally retired from law enforcement when he was with the Furnas county sheriff’s department alongside his middle son Michael, whom Wilson helped guide with his wealth of knowledge and experience. Wilson’s career was in-depth and all encompassing. He was more than just an officer, he was a dispatcher, an investigator, a sergeant, a chief deputy and most of all, a mentor to all those he worked with.
Wilson and Judy made their home in each county in which Wilson was employed as an officer. Along with providing safety and security to the public he served, Wilson and his family enjoyed raising farm animals. Wilson enjoyed sharing stories about his favorite pig Mathilda. Wilson enjoyed animals and always had his pets by his side. His four legged friends were by his side until he left to join his place in Heaven.
Wilson and family also enjoyed traveling. The family would travel each summer to Chadron State Park to spend time fishing and hiking. They would then travel to South Dakota and visit family and learn about the rich history of the country. Later in life, with his granddaughter Ashley, Wilson, Judy, and Uncle Matt continued the tradition. They traveled across Nebraska, to Minnesota and spent lots of time golfing and fishing during their summers together.
Wilson is survived by his wife of 49 years, Judy of Lexington, eldest son Wilson, III of Curtis, Michael and wife Cammi of Wauneta; grandchildren, Ashley Holbrook and spouse Preston of Overton, Gennieveve Schrein of Stratton, Garrison Crowell and Michaela Dukes of Wauneta. Wilson was overjoyed to be survived by his great-grandchildren, Mycah, Levi, Camren, and Adien Holbrook of Overton, Avalon Schrein of Wauneta, Alivia Bethke of Stratton, and, youngest sister Debbie Johnston and husband Larry of Chapman.
Wilson was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, sister Kathy in 2015, and youngest son, Matthew in 2013.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, March 16, 2017, at 2 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel in Lexington with Mr. Mike Millican officiating.
There will be no visitation.
Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery at Lexington.
Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.