ROTTERDAM - Ralph L. La Duke, 87, of Rotterdam, passed away peacefully at his residence on Sunday, Feb. 2 after a long illness.
Ralph was born in Lake Placid and was the son of the late Orriland Sabra La Duke. He was predeceased last year by his beloved wife of more than 65 years, Hilda M. La Duke, and two brothers and two sisters.
Ralph was a graduate of Lake Placid High School and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army from 1945-46.
As a young man, Ralph worked landscaping in the Lake Placid area and was proud to have handled the property of Kate Smith. He relocated to Schenectady and was employed as a roofer at the Schenectady Army Depot before transferring to Watervliet Arsenal. He retired in 1987 after a 38-year career with the federal government. He later worked for New York State Tax and Finance.
Ralph was a member of the Rotterdam Elks and an active member of the Rotterdam Seniors. He was an avid New York Yankee fan and enjoyed singing, dancing and was always ready to be the life of the party.
Ralph is the devoted father of Ralph (Linda) La Duke, Michael (Debbie) La Duke and Ronna (Lou) Welch. He is the cherished grandfather of Liesha (Bill), April (Tom), Joanna (Nicholas), Courtney (Dan), Jackie (Dan), Ryan, Michael (Kelly), Jenna (Ryan) and Livia. He is the great grandfather of Cara, Anna, Kate, TJ, Julia, Ella, Lucien, Ethan, Myla and Drake.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight at New Comer Cannon Funeral Home, 343 New Karner Road, Colonie. A time for sharing and military honors will be offered beginning at 6:30 p.m. All are welcomed. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at St. Luke's Church, State Street, Schenectady. Interment will in the spring in St. Agnes Cemetery, Lake Placid.
At the request of the family and in keeping with Ralph's wishes, memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern NY, 4 Pine West Plaza, Albany, NY 12205 in Ralph's memory. To leave a special message for the family online, visit Newcomer Albany.com.