~ Deacon Leon E. Dukes ~
Leon E. Dukes (The Baby) was born on November 14, 1941 Albany, NY to Otto Dukes and Omega M. (Martin-Dukes) and answered his final call on November 30, 2021.
He graduated from Albany High School and attended Hampton University graduating with a degree in Political Science, Government and with honors in History. He was a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Armed Forces and also attended the Mid-Hudson Bible Institute graduating with a Master’s Degree in Theology/Theological Studies with honors.
Leon was a long time member of Bethel Baptist Church. He was Chairman of the Deacon Board, a Trustee, Sunday School Teacher, Black History Chairperson and a member of the Bethel Baptist Church Choir and the Capital District Male Choir.
Leon was employed with the Xerox Corporation in a managerial position, the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission as a Training Specialist and a Program Coordinator for Israel A.M.E. Church Afterschool Youth Academic and Employment Program. Leon was also a community activist and was a Albany County Legislator for a time.
Leon married Linda Marie McGowan on June 15, 1996. Leon was intelligent, talented, faithful, stylish, outgoing and a sophisticated Renaissance Man and also a Barbershop Historian and Story Teller.
In September of 2013, Leon was featured on PBS capturing “Memories of the March on Washington”. This was a true example of his passion for history, story telling and public speaking.
In addition to his parents and wife Linda (Sweetie), he is predeceased in death by his brother Jerome Dukes, and brother Bill Brogden, and sister Dawn Hill.
He leaves to cherish his memory his Sister Opera Tolbert, his daughter Keba Gardner, step-children, Eric, Ronald (Cassandra), Shalon and Sam and a host of grand and great-grand children, cousins and other family and friends too numerous to mention, and the Bethel Baptist Church Family!
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