We mournfully announce the passing of Alan J Duke, 73.
Alan passed away peacefully on October 19th surrounded by his children after a hard-fought battle with pulmonary fibrosis.
Alan was born May 29th, 1950, in Wellsville, NY being the son of Douglas and Celia Duke (Jordan). Alan grew up in Wellsville and was a graduate of Wellsville High School.
After high school, Alan attended Corning Community College, hitchhiked to Woodstock, worked on a sailboat in the Caribbean, and lived in Florida and Nevada before returning to Wellsville in 1972. Upon returning to Wellsville, he worked at his friend’s bar “Buckwheat’s” before finally getting hired on the railroad in 1974.
He started his career for Erie Lackawanna Railroad which was then purchased by Conrail and then in 1998 went on to work for CSX railroad after a merger. Alan worked across the east coast as an operator and eventually a foreman of a tie gang that traveled from Boston, Massachusetts down to Mobile, Alabama and every small town and big city in between. After 36 years he retired from the railroad in 2010. In 2011, he helped his son purchase Duke’s Main Street Pizza in Alfred, NY. His second career came as a maple syrup producer with his son, growing the operation to over 3,200 trees and making over 1,000 gallons of maple syrup a year.
Alan was a true outdoorsman his entire life. From a young age he enjoyed fishing, hunting and hiking. He also loved dogs and had success with training bird dogs from a young age. Alan’s love of hunting wasn’t just the act of it, but also the fun he had with friends and family. For 30 years his house was a hunting camp where many people gathered for opening morning, where he loved sharing in the excitement from someone’s first doe to a large buck. He also loved building, which included his post and beam house and sugar house, both built with help from friends and family. He also had a large garden and later in life raised Guineafowl.
Alan was predeceased by his father, Douglas Duke and mother, Celia Duke.
Survived by his children, Alana (Mark) Chiarenza of Rochester, NY and Cameron (Megan) Duke of Hornell, NY. As well as the mother of his children, Lyn Muxworthy.
He also loved his grandchildren Miles, Leo and Jagger more than anything.
His brother Oak (Susan) Duke, nephews Oak (Shelley) Duke, Ethan (Dana) Duke and a great niece Ava.
Alan will be dearly missed and always remembered.
A celebration of life gathering will be held in Alan’s honor on October 28th from 1-4 for family and friends at the Wellsville Country Club. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.