October 30, 1929 - September 28, 2017
Funeral Services Date: October 1st, 2017
Mr. Thomas Murray Dukes, Sr., age 87, of Washington County, died on Thursday, September 28, 2017. Funeral services will be held at 3:00 PM Sunday, October 1, at Bartow Baptist Church in Bartow with burial in the Bartow City Cemetery. Reverend Ron Dixon and Reverend Paul Harris will officiate. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
Pallbearers will be Robert Harrell, Olen Price, Jr., Sandy Mercer, Randy Helton, Sonny Gilreath, Barry Thomas, Ed Shiver, and Jimmy Kallam. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Farm Bureau Board of Directors, and the members and wives of the Dukes Hunting Club.
A lifetime resident of Washington County, Mr. Dukes was a retired farmer and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served on the U.S. Tingey for four years during the Korean War. He was a graduate of Sandersville High School and attended GA-AL Business School. He was a popular community leader, having served as President of Riddleville Farm Bureau and Washington County Farm Bureau. He was an FHA Board member for many years; served in every office in the Davisboro Masonic Lodge; was a Director and President of Georgia Foundation Seeds; and was a Director of Georgia Crop Improvement Association.
Mr. Dukes served eight years as a County Commissioner and served on state and national committees. He was chairman of the Oconee Area PCD while Commissioner. He was also a manager of the local stock barn and part owner/manager of Murphy & Palmer Seeds, Inc.
Mr. Dukes was a member of the Sandersville Lions Club, Washington County Farm Bureau, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Lodge of Sandersville, Shriner’s Club, Historical Society, Veterans of Foreign War, AARP, and the Bartow Baptist Church, where he was a deacon. He attended Pleasant Grove Baptist Church for several years.
He was the son of the late Levie Thomas Dukes and Lena Sessions Dukes, who lived in the Pleasant Springs Community near Riddleville. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sara Taylor Dukes, brother, J.H. Dukes, sister, Hazel Dukes Roberts of Gray, and a niece, Lucille Dukes Salter of Bartow.
“Once a farmer, always a farmer” He always enjoyed working with his tractors and growing a garden. He sponsored the “Dukes Hunting Club” and enjoyed the camaraderie of its members. Watching sports activities was his favorite pastime. He loved his family and cared deeply for his many friends.
Survivors include his son, Thomas M. Dukes, Jr. and his wife Gena; daughters, Sandra D. Avant and her husband David of Deepstep and Myra L. Dukes of Denver, Co.; granddaughters, Erica D. Hopkins and her husband Clint, Ashley Dukes, Chelsea A. Dasinger and her husband Jason, April A. Cook and her husband David, and Cassie Avant; six great grandchildren; nephews, J.E. Dukes and his wife Myrtle, Wayne Roberts and his wife Janice, and Jack Roberts and his wife Rose.
Donations may be made to Bartow Baptist Church, P.O. Box 118, Bartow, GA. 30413; Brentwood School, P.O. Box 955, Sandersville, GA. 31082; Bartow City Cemetery, 7420 Church Street, Bartow, Ga. 30413; Washington County Historical Society, P.O. Box 6088, Sandersville, GA. 31082; or the charity of your choice.