James Raymond “Duke” Dewey, age 87 of Osceola, passed away with his family by his side on August 8, 2021, following a brief illness. Duke was born June 13, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois. His father and stepmother, Raymond Sinclair and Genevieve Dewey and his mother, Margaret Kennedy Dewey preceded him in death. Duke was a gradate of St. Rita’s High School in Chicago and later obtained his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, South Bend. He also spent time studying at DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, Il. In 1961, Duke was drafted into the US Army twice serving at Ft. Monmouth NJ, and again at Ft Carson Co, until his honorable discharge in 1963. On September 11, 1965, he married Marlene Costa. She preceded him in death on March 20, 2013.
Surviving are his step sister, MaryAnn (Ray) Wickersham of Idaho, step brother, Sal (Sharon) Costa of Virginia, his children Lisa (Dave) Ball of the Colony, Texas, Michael (Jean) Dewey of Mishawaka, Susan Dewey of Plant City, Florida, Daniel Dewey, and James A. (Jessie) Dewey, both of Mishawaka; 11 grandchildren Marilyn (Nathan) Stump, Marcus (Alexis) Wekenmann, Ryan Grabner, Sierra Bickel, Bridgette (Rob) Buck, Austin (Lindsey) Dewey, Adam Dewey, Caleb Dewey, Ian Dewey, Emily and Logan Jones, and one great grandchild, Duncan Bickel. Duke was preceded in death by two siblings Sr. MaryPat Dewey and Robert Dewey.
Duke was employed for over 30 years as a Journeyman electrician with the Bayer Corporation before retiring in 2002. During his tenure at Bayer, he served as a Union Steward for the United Steel Workers of America. His nickname “Duke” was given to him as a child for his fascination with the racecar driver Duke Nalon. In his younger years, Duke enjoyed working on his father’s race car. As a boy, he could be found somewhere on the track counting laps for his father’s race team or helping with the car. He also enjoyed fishing with his father, and bowling in numerous leagues throughout the area. An excellent photographer, he and his wife enjoyed traveling and taking photographs of places they visited. His love for racing continued throughout his life and he loved spending time at the track, especially the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he combined his love of photography and racing by taking photos of the cars and the people in attendance.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at Cruz Family Funeral Home in Osceola with a rosary service beginning at 6:30pm. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 am Thursday, August 19, 2021, at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka. Duke will be laid to rest with his wife Marlene in Houston Cemetery, Calhoun County, Michigan at 11:00 am Friday, August 20 where military rites will be rendered in honor of Duke’s time in service to our country.
In his memory, donations may be given to Queen of Peace Catholic Church where Duke was a longtime member. To leave a message of condolence for his family, share a story of his life, or light a virtual candle in his memory, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.
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