Clifton “Cliff” Hardy Duke III ’69

Clifton Hardy Duke III “Cliff” , age 77, went to be with Jesus on May 16, 2024.

He was born on April 11, 1947 in Kinston NC and was the son of the late Marvin and Margaret Taylor Duke. 

Cliff graduated from Grainger High School, where he was a marshal, played football and on the ’64-’65 state basketball championships teams; Davidson College where he received the Van Hecke Scholarship to play football and was in ROTC; and UNC School of Law.

Some of Cliff’s favorite pre career experiences were working for Senator Sam Ervin one Summer in Washington DC, working on Bob Clark’s campaign, and driving Governor Jim Hunt all over NC during his campaigns. 

He began his legal career as the Police Attorney for the City of Wilmington. He was an Assistant Attorney General in the early days of the Child Support Enforcement Program, serving as a founding board member and president of the NC Child Support Council. Cliff loved law and knew government ” like the back of his hand.” He began Duke Communications later in life and was able to use his love of sports and human interest stories on cable tv. Cliff was an avid reader, enjoyed all sports but especially UNC football and basketball and playing golf.

Cliff served in the NC Army Reserves as a captain.

Preceding him in death are his parents and his brother, David Rodney “Rod” Duke.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Kathryn (Kathy) Davis Duke of their home, nephews Adam (Kate)Duke and son Wells of Winston Salem, Matthew (Michelle) Kinney and children Elliott, Ivy, and Ada of Raleigh, nieces Meredith Duke of Lenoir, and Sara (Aaron)Watson and children Gavin, Simon, and Jillian of Washington,Bobbi ( Leo)Hageman and daughter Josephine of Apex, Angie Payne and children Mason and Miles of Key West, sisters in law Addie “AJ” Duke, Jane Wells Harrison, sister and brother in law Melissa and Phillip Kinney who became his family, and special “adopted” daughter and friend , Wanda Conley and sweet family.

Cliff was a member of Westminster UMC where he held fond memories of MYF as a youth and serving the Lord as an adult. He loved the Lord and was a man with a generous heart and lived a life full of God’s bounty! Kathy would like to extend a special blessing to Cliff’s caregivers, Tasha Aytch and Renarda Gant, who so lovingly took care of him during the last year. There will be a graveside service to celebrate his life at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at Westview Cemetery in Kinston with visitation after the service and other times at their home on 1603 Eastwood Drive. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse PO Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607.