Former State Representative Bill J. Dukes of Decatur died Thursday morning. He served in the Alabama State House for 16 years and prior to that, served as Mayor of Decatur for 18 years. In all, he gave 42 years of his life to public service.
Dukes was surrounded by his family when he died. He was 87 years old. The family says it is very grateful for the many cards, calls, visits and prayers from the community. Dukes had Parkinsons disease but was able to remain at home and receive Hospice care.
Visitation is Friday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Roselawn Funeral Home, 741 Danville Road SW in Decatur.
The funeral will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, located at 701 Oak Street NE in Decatur.
Dukes was preceded in death by his mother and father, George and Virginia Dukes; his brothers Yuel, Buel, Connis, Jackie, Othel, Benny and Lloyd: his sisters Margie Irvin, Dorothy Hawkins and Isabell Taylor.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Juanita, and sons Ronnie (VickI) and Jeff (Ann), and daughters Sandra Barrett (Marty) and Pam Pike (Eddie). He was grandfather to Whitt, Peyton, Matthew (Leah) , Meg Dukes Tanner (Weston), Lillie Pike, Kyle Pike, Jacob Bourland, Jake Barrett and Hannah Barrett. He was a great grandfather to Wilson, George, Helen Jackson and Riley. Bill is also survived by two brothers Robert and Jimmy.
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley in appreciation of their support and loving care, the Morgan County Mental Health Association, or your special charitable interest.
Bill Dukes was elected to the Decatur City Council in 1968. He then ran for mayor in 1976, being elected to five terms, serving as head of the city until 1994. At that point, Dukes decided to run for the Alabama House, where he served as a State Representative until 2010 when he retired.