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Dukes Family Papers

Identifier: SC-MS-328

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials pertaining to the lives, education, and military services of several members of the Dukes family, including Judson L. Dukes (1922-2004), Mary Smith Dukes (1926-1990), Dr. Judson L. Dukes, Jr. (1945-2010), and Bennie E. Dukes (1948-2001). Types of materials include correspondence, scrapbooks, photo albums, autograph books, military records, educational records, programs, certificates, photographs, slides, newspaper clippings, artwork, plaques and other types of memorabilia. Major subjects include African American education, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Materials date from 1922 to 2012.


  • Creation: 1922-2012

Conditions Governing Access

Access to portions of this collection have been restricted in accordance with extant statutory restrictions. Contact staff at the Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History ( for information on access to this collection.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 University of North Carolina at Wilmington, all rights reserved (subject to exceptions). Certain items in this collections were conveyed to UNCW without the accompanying copyright. Where the donor did not convey copyright to UNCW, copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

Judson L. Dukes

Judson Leon Dukes was born September 23, 1922 in Millen, Georgia. He attended Jenkins County Training School in Millen, graduating in 1941. Following graduation, he worked for Millen Lumber Company until enlisting in the U.S. Army in April 1943. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, during which he served in the Rhineland Campaign in Europe, then on several South Pacific islands from August 1945 to November 1945. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army following WWII. Dukes married Mary Eliza Smith on May 20, 1944 in Alexandria, Louisiana. They would have three children. Following his service in WWII, Dukes attended Atlanta College of Mortuary Science, graduating in 1948 and beginning his career as a mortician. He would go on to work as a mortician and funeral director at Shaw Funeral Home in Whiteville, North Carolina. Dukes reenlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He served as a military mortician during the Vietnam War from August 1965 to August 1966, during which he served as a member of a U.S. Military Graves Registration Unit, where it was his duty to prepare the bodies of U.S. military personnel for shipment to the U.S. and burial by their families. He received a Certificate of Achievement during the 1968 Tet Offensive and a Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War. Dukes attained the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC) during his 23 years of military service. Following his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1972, Dukes resumed work as a civilian mortician at several funeral homes in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina. He completed an associate degree at Southeastern Community College (Whiteville, N.C.) in 1982. Following Mary Smith Dukes’ death in 1990, he married Zadel Jones. Judson Leon Dukes died December 13, 2004 in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina.

Mary Smith Dukes

Mary Eliza Smith was born June 24, 1926 in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, to Edward and Julia J. Smith, North Carolina. She graduated from Farmers Union Negro High School in the early 1940s. Following graduation, she trained and worked as a cosmetologist. Mary Eliza Smith married Judson L. Dukes on May 20, 1944 in Alexandria, Louisiana. They would have three children. In 1960, she received a certification to work as a hospital attendant from Central State Hospital, an African American psychiatric hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. Dukes completed a nursing course at Southeastern Community College (Whiteville, N.C.) in 1974. She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Whiteville. Mary Smith Dukes died September 17, 1990 in Lake Waccamaw.

Dr. Judson L. Dukes, Jr.

Judson L. Dukes, Jr, was born June 15, 1945 in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, to Judson L. Dukes and Mary Smith Dukes. He graduated from St. Emma Military Academy (Powhatan County, V.A.) in 1963. Following high school graduation, Dukes attended Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College (now Tennessee State University). From March 1996 to November 1971 he served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, during which he attained the rank of Captain. Following his military service, he pursued a career in psychology. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, T.N.) and a doctorate in counseling and educational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. From 1977 to 1988, Dukes was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University. In 1990 he opened Waccamaw Psychological Associates in Whiteville, North Carolina. Dr. Judson L. Dukes, Jr., died March 1, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.

Bennie E. Dukes

Bennie Edward Dukes was born August 11, 1948 in Millen, Georgia, to Judson L. Dukes and Mary Smith Dukes. He graduated from Fort Campbell High School (Fort Campbell, K.Y.) in 1966. Following graduation, Dukes played football at Colorado State University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1980, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG). He married Diane Marie Strobridge Hill in 1982 in Alexandria, Virginia. Bennie E. Dukes died March 22, 2001 in Prince William, Virginia.


7 Containers (Contains 5 document boxes,1 oversize box, and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into the following series: Judson L. Dukes Papers; Mary Smith Dukes Papers; Dr. Judson L. Dukes, Jr., Papers; Bennie E. Dukes Papers; and Photographc Materials and Scrapbooks.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Vickie Gore Dukes on July 2, 2012.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Caroline Waller in the Spring of 2021.

Dukes Family Papers
Caroline Waller
2021 January 22
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository