Bonnie “Gram” Ruth Duke House of Rotan, Texas was united with her Savior on December 10, 2020 with her loved ones by her side at Abilene Hendrick Hospice Care. Her family and friends will gather on December 15th at 2:00 p.m. at the Loraine Cemetery to celebrate her life. Viewing will be from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Weathersbee Ray Funeral Chapel in Rotan, Texas.
Those that knew and loved Gram best remember her as bold, compassionate, faithful, and a steadfast servant of the Lord. She was born on July 22, 1927 in Ennis Creek. She attended and graduated from Loraine High School in 1944 and McMurry College in 1946. Upon graduation, she moved to Big Spring, Texas to work at Webb Air Force Base until 1946. On March 15th, 1947, she married her love, Leon Duke. They moved to Rotan in 1948 where she and Leon operated a Phillips 66 Gas Station and farmed until his death in 1978. In the late 1960’s, Gram gained experience working at a cotton mill in Lubbock, Texas which later earned her the title of becoming the first woman in the United States to become a Farmers Gin manager in Fisher County. Gram’s work ethic and leadership set her apart earning her the national Ginner of the Year award in 1977. At the age of 63, Gram was by no means ready to slow down, thus deciding to open her antique and custom framing shop from 1990 to 2007 in Roby, Texas. Here she used her passion of antiquing, flea marketing, and love for others to connect with visitors who stumbled across her gem of a shop off Highway 180 over a good cup of coffee and conversation. Her secret to near wrinkle-free skin at the age of 93 was laughter and selling Luzier cosmetics for over 30 years. She loved all kinds of dogs and collected figurines throughout her life. She was a member of the First Methodist Church of Rotan where she taught Sunday school classes to children. Bonnie loved spending time with her family, especially her nine grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Serving and loving came naturally to her as she was intentional in her relationships and always remembered to make the phone call or send a card to celebrate life events of those she loved. If you were to open her Bible, you would find the pages to be tattered, well-loved, the margins covered in notes of what the Lord was teaching her, and prayers for her loved ones. She not only reminded her family, “keep Jesus close,” but lived it out daily.
She is preceded in death by her parents W.J. and Trixie West, husband Leon Milton Duke, second husband O.L. House, and sister LaRue Jarrett Riley. Bonnie is survived by her two sons and one daughter: James Duke and wife Cheryl of Lubbock, William Duke and wife Gayle of Rule, and Ginger Norton and husband Dwayne of Albany. She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Deon and husband Cris Turner of Rule, Guy and wife Kara Duke of Burkburnett, Rebecca and husband Jeff Stanley of Rotan, Lauren Duke of Lubbock, Nathan Duke of Lubbock, Amanda Duke of Kentucky, Laci and husband Kirk Canada of Abilene, Kayli and husband Tyler Smith of Abilene, and Kami and husband Tanner Richey of Lubbock.
The family would like to thank the staff of Stamford Residence and Rehab and Hendrick Hospice Care for serving and loving our Gram so well for over 6 and a half years. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider donating to Hendrick Hospice Care at 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, Texas (325)-670-2273 in memory of our Gram.
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