Ramon Brown Duke passed away Thursday morning, April 30, 2020, one day before his 93rd birthday. He was born on May 1, 1927 in Heber City, UT, to Lyman Duke and Jennie Olivene (Brown) Duke.
He was a man of all trades including; tire shop repairman, barber, taxi driver, lumberjack, and teacher (History, Music, Type, Drivers-ed). He also founded his own trucking business, grew his own tree farm and was a real-estate developer. Ramon played in The Elis Clyde Orchestra (standing bass) and was known for his beautiful, harmonizing tenor voice.
Upon graduating from high school, he served in the Navy near the end of World War II. Shortly after his military service, he was called as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern States Mission where he served faithfully, spending nearly half of his mission doing “country work” and traveling without purse or script. After returning from his mission, he studied at Brigham Young University where he majored in Accounting, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1954. While there, Ramon attended a mission prep class (on a dare), where he met the love of his life, Joyce Lynne Manwaring.
Ramon and Joyce were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 25, 1952. It was a whirlwind romance that continued throughout their lives. He loved her at first sight, and fell hard when he heard her sing. He said the only thing he liked about college was the fact he met Joyce.
Upon graduating, they began their life together in the Heber Valley. They started their family and had 4 children together. Ramon especially liked camping and boating with his family. He was a man with an incredible work ethic and he wanted all his children and grandchildren to know that they should give a full day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
After selling his businesses, he enjoyed traveling and seeing the world with Joyce. They served a mission for the church together in Zimbabwe, Africa from 1991 to 93, which was a highlight in their lives.
He was a championship horseshoe pitching competitor. Ramon won many titles and a gold medal at the Huntsman Games. His crowning achievements were two world titles in 2004 and 2017. Another highlight for him was when he and David went on the Honor Flight as a World War II veteran.
Ramon will be remembered as someone who was a friend to all; he had a talent for making you feel welcome. He loved to play games and was fun to be around. He was also a big sports fan and especially loved to cheer for BYU and the Utah Jazz.
Ramon was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served in several bishoprics, was a high councilor and held many other callings. Ramon was a temple worker in the St George temple. He was a man of faith. His favorite scripture is Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth...”.
Ramon is survived by his wife, Joyce; his daughters, Lynnae (Arlen) Christensen and Debbie (Greg) Cornell; sons David Lyman (Susan) Duke and Richard Chris (Beccie) Duke; sister, Merilyn (Fay) McGuire; 24 grandchildren, and 46 great grandchildren, brother-in-law Don Snow. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Lyman, Burt, Richard; and sisters Olivene, Marjorie, Jean; parents-in-law Richard Ariel and Elisabeth Anne Manwaring; sister-in-law Diane Manwaring.
There will be a viewing at McMillan Mortuary, located at 499 East Tabernacle St, on Sunday May 3rd from 5 to 7pm. A graveside service will be held at the Heber City Cemetery on Monday, May 4th at 1pm