Cover photo for Donna Sue Duke's Obituary
Donna Sue Duke Profile Photo

Donna Sue Duke

August 1, 1937 — March 27, 2023

Donna Sue Duke

Donna Sue Duke (Reed) was born on August 1, 1937, in Wichita, KS to Ruth Smith and Kenneth Reed, a date she later came to celebrate by the sharing of her birthday with her little sister, Deanna Lou Budd (Reed). On the morning of March 27, 2023, Donna passed away in the comfort of her home with her husband by her side. 

As a little girl, Donna found great joy in music. She was a life-long lover of the arts in all forms and shapes, later becoming a regular patron at Music Theatre of Wichita performances. Donna was a proud graduate of Wichita North High School, class of 1955. She went on to pursue her education at the University of Wichita, now Wichita State University. While attending the University of Wichita Donna joined the Alpha Tau Sigma Sorority which later became known as her beloved Delta Gamma. Donna shared a strong affinity for her sorority with her sister, Deanna, many lifelong friends who she called sisters, and her great niece.

Donna married her sweetheart, Ford Duke, on July 19, 1958. Donna and Ford shared 64 years of marriage. Their love endured and flourished through the navigation of higher education, Ford’s service to our country, adventures across the US, and business ownership. Donna’s love for ceramics endured her lifetime, running her home business Dee Dee’s Inc. Hundreds of individuals, big and little, learned the art of ceramics from Donna and have personally curated collections because of her.

Though Donna did not have children of her own, she loved her nieces and nephews as such. Donna and Ford celebrated each of her sister’s five children’s 16th birthdays with personally crafted travel plans, in addition to the many other fun excursions they would go on, often times in matching outfits. In later years, Donna and Ford would host great nieces and nephews in their home for as many days as they wanted to stay. They would treat them to trips to the children’s museum, fancy dinners, musical performances and of course, lots of swimming.

Donna was a loving mother to fur babies. Over the years, you would have known her to dote on and spoil Peppy, Dolly and Daisy. 

Donna was the hostess with the mostess known for throwing dinner parties, holiday gatherings and swimming pool soirees. Her parties were captured through photographs which were always on display in albums in her sunroom and on her photo boards in her Spanish style basement. Donna passed her love for gathering friends through themed parties of all sizes on to her nieces and great nieces.

When you think of Donna you are certain to think of her deep-rooted passion for all things WSU. Donna and Ford were Shocker men’s basketball season ticket holders for over 50 years. One would be impressed with Donna’s extensive wardrobe of black and yellow apparel and accessories. She was loud and proud when it came to cheering on her beloved team.

Donna is survived by her loving husband Ford, stepsister Melba (Sherman) Strubble, five nieces, four nephews, 23 great nieces and nephews and 19 great-great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother Ruth, father Kenneth, stepfather Carl, stepmother Maxine, and sister Deanna.

Visitation with family and friends will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Wednesday, April 5 at the Cozine Life Events Center, 11500 E. 21st St. N. Funeral service will take place at 10:30 am, Thursday, April 6, also at the Cozine Life Events Center.


In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to:

Kansas Humane Society

3313 S. Hillside

Wichita, KS 67219

Donna Duke Flower Photos.pdf

Past Services

Visitation with Family and Friends

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)


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Thursday, April 6, 2023

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