Duke Millard went home to be with the Lord on June 11th, 2012.
Memorial services will be held Wednesday , June 13, 2012, at First Christian Church in Dumas at 2:00 PM, with Rev. Darrell Wait, minister of First Christian Church of Dumas officiating, assisted by son-in-law Rev. Robert Fortney. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Dumas, 500 N. Maddox.
Duke was the oldest of four sons by Dale and Marcella Millard. Born Sept. 3, 1939 in Sioux City, Iowa, he lived in Dunlap, IA and later graduated in 1957 from Denison High School in Denison, Iowa. He achieved 1956 All-State honors at guard in football and gave up a full ride football scholarship to Iowa State University in order to marry the love of his life and childhood sweetheart, Judy Millard or his “Dolly.” They were married on June 27, 1958 in Zion Lutheran church in Denison, Iowa.
Duke started in the beef packing house industry at age 18 with the lowest position and worked his way up in the beef packing industry as a Vice President. Duke moved with his family to Dumas, TX in 1972 and was in charge of building and managing the American Beef plant in Cactus, now known as JBS Swift. Though he and his family moved for his career 28 times, he considered Dumas most as his home. He retired as a cattleman in Sept. 1999.
Duke served as a cook in the Army reserves from 1957-1959. He was an active member in the community and left it a better place for the rest of us. He and his wife were named “Citizens of the Year” by the Dumas and Moore County Chamber of Commerce in 1995. He served as United Way chairman in 1988-89. He served on the boards of CASA , YMCA and Make A Wish Foundation. He was a Demon booster and helped lead the Demon Dome planning committee. While he was still able, he volunteered to read books to Mrs. Shonda Nelson’s kindergarten class at Morningside Elementary.
Duke loved golfing and fishing in the Gulf of Mexico while staying in their travel trailer in Rockport , TX, during the winter months with the company of wife, Judy and dear high school friends. He was an avid Texas Longhorn fan as well as a Texas Rangers baseball fan. And he loved listening to the Blues.
He is survived by his wife, Judy; daughter Kelly and husband Robert Fortney of Lubbock, TX; son Bryan Millard and Tammy Muckle of Austin, TX; daughter Kaye and husband Tory Moore of Dumas, TX; and daughter Trina Ransonette of Amarillo, TX; 7 grandchildren: Kristina Dean and husband Tim, David Moore and wife Kathryn, Drake Ransonette, LeShea Millard, Danielle Ransonette, Laura Moore, and Lexi Millard; and one precious great-granddaughter, Alana Dean. He is also survived by one brother, Short and wife Fred Millard of Augusta, Georgia. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Justin Reeves.
Duke will always be remembered as being a loving and caring husband. He never said no to his “Dolly.” He will always be known as “Superman” to his grandkids, whom he was so proud of and cherished dearly. Playing cards with the family, cooking on the grill and football games will never be the same without him. He was considered by some, including himself, to be the luckiest guy alive.
Duke wanted more than all, when you remember him, that he was an honest man.
Memorials are asked to be sent to Memorial Hospice of Dumas or the First Christian Church of Dumas building fund.
The family will receive friends from 6-8pm, Tuesday at the funeral home.