Posts Tagged ‘Langford’

“Bill Duke, a teacher who never stopped learning.” ~ Doc Meek

Monday, January 10, 2011. I am so grateful I was able to attend the funeral of my friend, Bill Duke, in Langford, B.C. (near Victoria, B.C.) on Vancouver Island just off the west coast of Canada.

William “Bill” Richard Duke

William (“Bill”) Richard Duke

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I miss my friend Bill, who was a man of integrity no matter what the circumstances.

Bill was a teacher who never stopped learning.

Funeral Service: Langford, B.C., CANADA: December 2010, Winter Fountain Photos:

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I am also very grateful that David King, former Minister of Education for the province of Alberta, Canada, recognized me at the funeral reception. David was Minister of Education when Bill and I both worked in the Alberta Department of Education together.

In recent times, David King and I were both hoping to visit with Bill and we were both surprised at his “sudden” death. Others told us at the funeral that he had battled cancer for a long time.

I am also very grateful that I was able to visit for a few moments with Bill Duke’s wife Janice and his son, Bill Duke Jr, who gave a moving presentation at the funeral reception. He “broke down” and wept copiously as he remembered his Dad. I said to him that one of our church leaders once said:

“We worry about you when you don’t cry.” (Spencer W. Kimball)

Bill Duke Jr told me he had quoted my funeral home website tribute to his Dad during his presentation. I was glad he told me that as I did not hear everything he said. I don’t hear perfectly and I miss a lot of content these days. 😮

However, the spirit of what Bill Jr was saying about his Dad was perfectly clear.

Thank you, Bill Duke Jr, for weeping while remembering your Dad!

Doc Meek, Monday, January 10, 2011, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Here is my tribute to Bill Duke, posted at:

My heart goes out to you and the family, Janice. Even those of us who have not had a lot of recent contact with Bill will miss him dearly.

I will always remember my days in the Alberta Dept of Education, where John Myroon, Gerry Hawley, and others, worked with Bill Duke on various projects. Prior to that I enjoyed being on a Master’s program at the University of Alberta at the same time as Bill was completing his Ph.D. in Educational Administration.

Bill’s kindness and thoughtfulness and care for one and all are legendary. It is amazing to me that he could be so respectful to everyone, “high” and “low” alike.

I said to Bill one day, “You are the only person I know who combines many usually separate traits. You are both very intelligent and very practical; you have both organizational skills and people skills; you have both political skills and business acumen; you have both vision and day-to-day reality knowledge; you both lead and follow, whether it be in relation to your organizational superiors or your subordinates; you care for people in both a professional way and a personal way; you are both a scholar and handyman.”

Bill nodded humbly. I think he was pleased.

Bill, I salute you!

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D.
Educator and Health Researcher
Sherwood Park, Alberta


Here is Bill’s Obituary posted at:

Born in Drumheller, Alberta on December 4, 1933 and passed away December 21, 2010 after battling cancer for 6 years. Survived by his loving wife, Janice of 54 years; his 5 children Sherryl Skaalid (Leiv), Jim Duke (Donna), Lori McKinnon (Bing), Bill Duke (Jeanna), Christine Hollins (Clay); 13 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and sister, Anne Beach; and numerous nieces and nephews.

At age 17, Bill left his home town of Rosedale to attend the University of Alberta where he completed a B.Sc. in 1955, B. Ed in 1956 , M. Ed in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1970.

He started his career as Principal in Edgerton then moved to Innisfail for one year as principal- designate. The family then relocated to Delburne where Bill was Principal for 4 years. The next career change was as Superintendent of High Prairie School Division and then as High School Inspector in Lethbridge. Bill, Janice and family moved to Edmonton in 1968 where Bill completed his Ph. D. and held various positions with the Department of Education ending his career as Associate Deputy Minister of Education in 1990.

Bill joined Western Management Consultants soon after retirement and came to Victoria for a one-year contract however they remained for the past 15 years where Bill taught at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads.

As a life-long learner Bill presented many workshops all over North America and was a respected educator. Many of his students hold his “Billisms” with fond regard. He will be most remembered as a man who held a genuine interest in all his colleagues, students and friends as he treated everyone with good will and integrity. His sense of humour, intellect and love for animals will be missed.

The Duke family would like to thank special friends: Chris Burke, the DeSorcy’s and Pasini’s as well as Janice’s sorority sisters and neighbours.
A celebration of Bill’s life [was] held on January 8, 2011, at 2:00 pm at OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, 798 Goldstream Avenue, Langford, B.C., Canada


J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

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