Joseph M. Duke Sr.

Published 1:45 pm Monday, February 3, 2014

PLYMOUTH, N.C.—Joseph Matthew “Matt” Duke Sr., 83, of 123 Hazel Street, passed away peacefully at Vidant Beaufort Hospital in Washington, N.C., on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, after a brief illness.



Matthew was born in Isle of Wight County on Oct. 18, 1930. He was the son of the late Joseph Lee Duke and Bedie Carr Duke.

He worked 18 years for Union Camp Paper Mill in Virginia. In 1965, he moved his family to Plymouth and worked at Weyerhaeuser Company until his retirement.

Mr. Duke was a member and past deacon of the First Baptist Church in Plymouth. He was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 38, the Shriners and Scottish Rite Bodies. He was active in the Meals on Wheels program as long as his health permitted. In his spare time, he enjoyed camping, fishing, following his grandchildren, woodworking and working on lawn mowers and old cars.

Matthew was the beloved husband of Elsie Virginia Carr Duke, marrying on Nov. 22, 1953. Matthew and Elsie celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past year.

Matthew also leaves behind two sons, Joseph Matthew Duke Jr. and wife, Lisa of Bath, N.C.; Thomas Lee Duke and wife, Kim of Holly Springs, N.C.; and five grandchildren, Meredith Duke Mobley and husband, Aaron of Washington; Jacob Lee Duke of Raleigh, N.C.; Cameron Lee Duke, Brandon Thomas Duke, and Joshua Lane Duke of Holly Springs.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Roger Duke and Roy Duke Sr., and two sisters, Bernice Lilley and Doris Clark.

The following will serve as pallbearers: grandsons Jacob, Cameron, Brandon and Joshua Duke and Aaron Mobley; brother-in-law, John Carr; nephews Roy Duke Jr. and Ray Duke, George Boyd, Edison Knowles and Harry Ward.

The funeral will be on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Plymouth, conducted by the Rev. Jimmy Hagwood. Burial with Masonic rites will follow in Hillside Memorial Gardens, Plymouth.

The family will receive friends from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the First Baptist Church, and at other times at the home, 123 Hazel Street.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, 309 Washington Street, Plymouth, N.C. 27962.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Paul Funeral Home and Crematory in Washington is honored to serve the Duke family.