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Earl Duke Wilkins

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Storke Funeral Home

111 Main Street
P.O. Box 920
Bowling Green, VA 22427
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“Our deepest sympathies to the family. From the stories told of him, Duke had a full and meaningful life; liked and respected. A man couldn't ask for...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Michael and Katy Jarman - AL

“Dear family, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Duke. He was my mom's first cousin and they were very close. I'm sure she was there at heaven's...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Barbara Anthony - Colonial Beach, VA

“Another Big part of Colonial Beach has left us. (RIP Duke!) You will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers for friends and family. ”
3 of 5 | Posted by: Sharon Quinn - Colonial Beach, VA

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Norma, Bobby and Beth and families. Uncle Duke was a great man who loved and served his country. Whenever I...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Ricky Wilkins - Montross, VA

“Some memories just never seem to fade. It has been almost 50 years since my father and I were blessed to be able to spend time with Duke and his...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Bob Baird - King George, VA

Earl W. "Duke" Wilkins, son of the deceased Elsie Fenwick and Earl B. Wilkins passed from this world on Saturday November 5th after an extremely productive 92 years. Duke was born on February 18, 1926 at Maple Grove, VA as the middle of 5 brothers along with 2 younger sisters. Kenneth Wilkins and Althea (Charlie) Henson are the only remaining siblings. His early years were spent on the farm he currently worked, attending Oak Grove School and working with his brothers at various Colonial Beach establishments. His earliest recollection of a job was a pin setter at the bowling alley when he was 6 years old.

Duke joined the Army in 1944, serving in the European theatre in the 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment as a light machine gunner. In 1947 he separated from the military and returned to Maple Grove. There he met Mildred Retter. She was visiting her brother, Bob Retter and his bride Edith Frank Retter also living in Maple Grove. Duke and Millie were introduced when they both rode to Washington, DC with Billie Kitts. Millie was catching the train for her home in Ohio and Duke was going to work. As they say, the rest is history.

Duke and Millie raised four children together as they traveled with the US Army. They were proud members of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and the 24th Infantry Division. Their duty stations included paratrooper school in FT. Benning, GA; Ft. Bragg, NC; Ft. Campbell, KY; Germany and Ft. Riley, KS. Duke's last patriotic duty was serving in Vietnam where he earned the Bronze Star for his combined leadership, application of military knowledge and troop safety skills. His retirement occurred in 1971 as a Command Sargeant Major.

His hobbies during these years included umpiring baseball and gardening. In 1979, Duke and Millie's return to the Colonial Beach community began their new life together homemaking and farming the family land named "Company Hill". They built a new home enjoying and bearing sorrows with their grown children and growing grandchildren. Driving along Route 205, you could catch a glimpse of Duke working the fields or driving his beloved tractor. His fruits and vegetables were enjoyed by all whether purchased at Company Hill, Hall's Store or off the menu at the Happy Clam or the Dockside Restaurant. Tomatoes and sweet potatoes remain his favorite crops.

Duke's legacy continues with his son Bobby (Shirley) Wilkins, daughters: Norma (Bud) Walden and Beth (Bob) Trout. Georgia Mcguire, his oldest child predeceased him in 1991. His many grand and great grandchildren loved their "Dukie Boy", visiting he and Grandma Millie at Company Hill and riding with him on his tractor.

A funeral service will be held at Storke Funeral Home, Colonial Beach Chapel (Nash and Slaw)131 3rd Street on Saturday November 18th at 2:00PM. Burial, with full honors will take place at a late date in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the National WW2 Museum 945 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70130 Online condolences may be left for the family at

Upcoming Funeral Services
Arlington National Cemetery at a later date