Duke enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and after serving 24 years on active duty, he retired in 1984 as an E8 Master Sergeant and Clarinetist with the President’s own Marine Corps Band.
In 1979 Duke pursued a career in real estate and rapidly became a multi-million dollar top producer, starting his career in a trailer known as St. Charles Realty. He developed a reputation of integrity and for decades became one of the biggest names in Charles County Real Estate.
Duke married his best friend and soulmate, Donna, in December of 1961 and recently celebrated 53 years of marriage.
After Duke’s grandson, Garrett was born, Duke became an avid fan of the LaPlata Blue Knights the the CCYL. He never missed a single game. Shortly thereafter, his granddaughter, Abigail started cheering with the Blue Knights Cheerleaders.
Duke was a diehard Redskins fan and even played as a Clarinetist with the Washington Redskins Band.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; daughter, Kristen Ward; and son, Jason Ward, both of LaPlata, MD; grandchildren, Alexandra, Garrett and Abigail; niece, Sharon Smith and her husband, Bob; two great-nieces and one nephew, all of Independence, KY; niece, Sheila Schmidt of Fayetteville, NC; nephew, Steve Schmidt of Independence, KY; sister, Nancy Faulkner and brother-in-law, Dale Faulkner of Myrtle Beach, SC; nephews, Patrick and Jonathon Faulkner of Northern VA; and brother, Ken Ward of Northern CA. Duke is predeceased by his father and mother, Walter Ward, Sr. and Naomi Ward, both of Washington, DC.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 31, 2015 at Arehart-Echols Funeral Home, 211 St. Mary’s Ave., LaPlata, MD from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon. Interment to follow at Trinity Memorial Gardens, 3165 Mattawoman Beantown Rd., Waldorf, MD.
The family is requesting that any donations be made to the Duke Ward Memorial Fund: All Funds will be donated to Hospice of Charles County.