Mon March 11, 2024

By Rachel Pendergraft


Judith Lynn Percell Duke

Judith Lynn Percell Duke

Judith Lynn Percell Duke, age 83, died on Friday, March 9th, 2024. She was born in Hope, Arkansas as the only daughter of Daisy Pearl Newth Percell and Edward Preston Percell. She was a life-long Methodist and member of Hope Methodist Church and affiliate of Silver Spring Methodist Church in Silver Spring, MD. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 50 years Harold Bruce Duke, her daughter Lauren Lynn Malone, and her grandson, Garrett Bruce Malone.

Judy wore many hats in her life-time, and one very scary babushka mask with which she gleefully scared family and friends. She was a telephone operator for Southwestern Bell, a medical transcriptionist, and an office administrator. But the best parts of her life were lived outside of the workplace. 

A known practical jokester, Judy left countless people clutching their chests—and then their bellies— as she taught us nothing is so serious that you should ever stop laughing. She had a life-long love of Albert Pike Campground, where she raised two generations of her family to see God, do the backstroke, and avoid climbing on the rocks. In her later life, she returned to an early love of painting, and her award-winning artwork now graces the walls of private (family-owned) galleries on both sides of the Mississippi. 

Even as she struggled with the effects of chronic illness, Judy kept her family on their toes. Whether it was joyrides to the beauty shop in the car she wasn’t supposed to drive or surprise comments on Instagram posts that left Will blushing, we never quite knew what to expect.

Most of all, she was a deeply faithful mother, Nanni, and disciple of Jesus Christ. Her deeply inquisitive faith led her to ask more questions than assume answers, and her forty years teaching at First (United) Methodist Church of Hope instilled that same love of learning in countless students. She will be profoundly missed. 

Left to keep all of her secrets and celebrate her memory are her son, David Bruce Duke (Carol Ann), her grandson Rev. Will Green (Dylan), special friends Amelia Boyd (Dennis), Joyce Martin, and Judy Rae McDowell Morris (Gil), and numerous nieces, nephews, and collaborators in the best kind of trouble. 

A visitation will be held on Friday, May 3rd from 5 to 7 p.m., with a graveside service officiated by Rev. Will Green on Saturday, May 4th at 10 a.m. at Memory Garden Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to the attention of ‘Judy Duke Memorial Gift’ to following organizations: 

Hope Methodist Church 

2300 South Main Street

Hope, AR, 71801

Silver Spring United Methodist Church 

Attn. Building Beloved Community Committee

8900 Georgia Avenue

Silver Spring, MD 20910

Hospice of Texarkana 

2407 Galleria Oaks Drive

Texarkana, TX 75503

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of BRAZZEL Oakcrest The Funeral Home of Hope. Online condolences can be made at