Neil Leon Duke

November 20, 1925 ~ December 16, 2019 (age 94)


Visitation and Funeral Services will take place at:

Baird-Freeman Funeral Home, 221 North Meridian, Portland, Indiana 47371....260-726-7171   Online condolences at

Neil Leon Duke, age 94, passed away on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 2:10 a.m. at his home in the loving care of his family. He was a resident of Robin Hood at Grace Village Retirement Community in Winona Lake, Indiana. 

Neil was born November 30, 1925 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Neil moved to Portland, Indiana at the age of 15. His move to Indiana was prompted by his desire to support his siblings. At the age of 18, he joined the US Navy. He served from 1944 until 1946. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and was assigned to the USS Mayrant.  He was at Marcus Island when the Japanese surrendered. After returning home from the Navy he took a job at Sheller Globe Corp. in Portland, Indiana.  Neil met Frances (Swank) Duke and their romance blossomed, and they married in 1948. They were married 71 years this past October. Neil retired from Sheller-Globe after 30 years. He later took a job with the Jay County Highway Dept.

Neil bought a farm just outside Pennville, Indiana and farmed on the side. He loved hunting, fishing, trapping, growing a large garden, flowers, bird watching along with his property and pond, and was a nature lover. Most of all he loved his family.

He was a member of the Pennville United Methodist Church, a 40 year member of Gideon's International, an 11 year member of Jay County REMC Board, a 50 year member of Pennville Masonic Lodge #212, and a 50 year member of the Scottish Rite.

He is survived by his wife Frances (Swank) Duke; daughter, Nancy Jo (Steve) Sausaman  (Warsaw, Indiana); and son Gregory Duke (Pennville, Indiana).  Also surviving are his four grandchildren:  Kelli (Christopher) Poulimenos (Ft. Wayne, Indiana);  Kerri (Joseph) Dlugokinski (Plymouth, Indiana); Steven Kyle Evans (Hollywood, Florida); and Lynsey Nicol Duke (Wellston, Oklahoma); and four great-grandchildren

Funeral services will be Friday, December 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Baird-Freeman Funeral Home, 221 N. Meridian Street, Portland, Indiana with Pastor Gary Phillips presiding. A masonic service will be held as part of the services. Burial will follow in the IOOF Cemetery in Pennville, Indiana with military graveside rites by American Legion Post #211.

Visitation will be from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 20, 2019 prior to the service. 

A memorial service will be held at Grace Village Chapel, 337 Grace Village Drive, Winona Lake, Indiana on January 5, 2019.  Local arrangements were entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana. 

Memorials can be made to Gideon's International or Grace Village at Winona Lake.


To send flowers to Neil's family, please visit our floral store.


Services are to be announced

Grace Village Chapel
337 Grace Village Drive
Winona Lake, Indiana 46590

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