In Loving Memory of Mary Beth Duker




Mary Beth Duker passed away April 13, 2022 at home surrounded by family.

Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana on the Ides of March 1943, Mary Elizabeth Furr graduated Crawfordsville High School in 1961 and Indiana University in 1964. As a teen she spent summers waterskiing at Daytona Beach and earned extra money as a model for an Indianapolis department store. She met Doug on a blind date in college. The married and shared a life of adventure and laughter for 58 years.


Mary Beth worked as an x-ray tech until her daughters were born. The family followed Doug’s work through Peoria, Elgin, Findlay, Pittsburg and Cleveland, eventually settling in Akron. As the girls got older, Mary Beth built her love of travel and jewelry into a career, first as a travel agent and then a travel executive with Sterling Jewelry. She traveled extensively and brought Doug and the girls along on many trips, where they skied, swam, shopped and enjoyed the cultures and cuisines of the world, making lifelong memories. In later years, she and Doug followed family and sunshine to Hendersonville, Tennessee where they enjoyed lake life. She enjoyed summertime water aerobics with dear neighbor Glenda Smith. She was “Nannie” to all the kids on her cul-de-sac and had a special place in her heart for Easton.


Weekends were impromptu parties at her lake houses in Ohio and Tennessee. Friends and family were always welcome. She loved to entertain, to cook and to go out for a fine meal, but was most particularly fond of fried catfish. She knew how to tell a good story. She made friends easily. She prevailed in tough times.


Outgoing with a penchant for organization, she volunteered and fundraised for causes about which she was passionate. She Served as President of the PTO for Akron’s Old Trail School and set a record for the most money ever raised at the annual auction. She served on the board for the Humane Society of Sumner County and earned its Volunteer of the Year in 2013. She was named Woman of the Year by the Hendersonville Key to the City Club in 2015.


Mary Beth was predeceased by her parents, Parvin and Edith Furr, an infant brother, and her sister Judy Warren. She leaves behind husband Doug Duker, daughters, Deidre Duker and Dayna Williams of whom she was very proud, grandson Pax Duker-Johnson, daughter-in-law Jennifer Johnson, son-in-law Mike Williams, nephews Mike and Todd Warren, brother-in-law Denis Duker and sister-in-law Dorinda Lee. She was especially happy to be a part of her grandson Pax’s life. She leaves behind beloved pets Cooper and Sammy.


Mary Beth modeled grace, fortitude and intelligence in all things, even cancer. She was easy to love, a good person and an even better friend. She will be missed.


A celebration of Life will be held next month.

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