His career with the city was interrupted by World War II. Duke enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, serving in the Philippines. He left the Air Force in 1946, and returned to Burbank and his job with the city.
He joined the Burbank Fire Department in April 1953. In 1971, he was promoted to engineer, and three years later to the rank of captain. During his career with the fire department, he was instrumental in setting up their dispatch system. He also worked as an arson investigator.
Duke was probably best known for his work in the Fire Prevention Bureau, in which he taught hundreds of children in Burbank schools about fire safety. He retired from the Burbank Fire Department in 1977.
Duke served on the Burbank Civil Service Commission from 1985 to 1993 and was a member of the Veterans’ Commemorative Committee since its inception in 1994.
Active in his retirement, Duke bought a motor home and toured the nation. He also traveled extensively throughout the world.
Duke is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary, and sister Eileen. He is also survived by his first wife, Marma Lee Brehm; son, David Duke, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.