Burton V. Duke, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

Burton V. Duke
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army (Retired)
July 17, 1921- May 16, 2017

Burton Voss Duke passed away peacefully on May 16, 2017, at the age of 95. “Duke”, as he was known by most, will repose next to his love, “Maddie”, in the College Station Cemetery after burial on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 10:30 am with military honors in the sure and certain knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life everlasting. Reverend Kyle McNeely of Christ United Methodist Church will officiate at the graveside celebration of his life. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers Bryan-College Station.

Burton was born in Sheridan, Wyoming to Bertha Voss and Joseph E. Duke, a World War I Expeditionary Force veteran. He was raised with his older brother, Ottis, in Pasadena and Twenty-nine Palms California. He graduated high school from Pasadena City College in June 1939 and was a member of the 185th Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division, California National Guard from July 1940 to October 1942.

Duke entered active duty when his guard unit was activated for federal service in March 1941. He was selected for Officer Candidate School in 1942. After commissioning at Fort Knox, Kentucky in Armor Branch in October, he was assigned to the 742nd Tank Battalion at the Desert Training Center in California.

In April 1943 he volunteered for the parachute infantry and after qualifying training at Fort Benning, Georgia joined the 541st Parachute Regiment. He subsequently shipped to England to join the 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division shortly after D-Day, June 1944. He remained a member of the Screaming Eagles through the end of World War II, fighting in numerous engagements including Eindhoven and Bastogne. Duke received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge with Combat Jump Device among a number of decorations.

Following the war, he was a commercial artist for the Southern California Edison Company, but soon re-entered active Army service with the 82nd Airborne Division. He joined the Counter Intelligence Corps and served in Germany until 1953. He reverted to reserve status and was ultimately promoted to lieutenant colonel. Duke served for the remainder of his working life as a Department of Defense civil servant in intelligence and industrial security. His final position was Chief of Security, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

While still on active duty and serving as an advisor to the Maryland National Guard in 1947, he met and married the love of his life, Alma Madeleine Insley, “Maddie”. They were united for 62 years until Maddie passed away in 2008. They resided in Baltimore; Duarte, Pasadena, and Bradbury, California; El Paso, Texas and settled finally in College Station in 1994. He was a decorated combat officer, a gifted painter and wood carver, a student of history and archeology, animal lover, marksman, naturalist, hunter and patriot who passed down to his family his passions, honor, and patriotism.

Duke is survived by his three children, Michael (and his wife Debby), Kathleen Reichlyn of Austin, and Douglas of Simpsonville, South Carolina. He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Thomas (and his wife Brenda), Ilissa Reichlyn and Steven (and his wife Amie) and Duke’s four great-grandchildren, Colby, Caleb, Carlie and Connor. Michael, Thomas, Brenda, Steven, and Amie are all Texas Aggies.

Duke’s family wishes to acknowledge and convey our deepest thanks for the loving care he received from the staff at Carriage Inn-Bryan and Hospice Brazos Valley during the closing months of his earthly life. The family asks that any gifts in remembrance or honor of Duke be sent as a monetary donation to American Legion Post 159, P. O. Box 326, Bryan, TX 77806 to assist their Honor Guard operations and other services to veterans and their families.

Express condolences at CallawayJones.com


  1. Mike & Debby,

    Mary Ellen and I send our best and condolence in regard to the passing of your Dad. Regret that we could not attend his service but had a previous out of town committment on Saturday. Know that you have been in our thoughts.

    I’m thankful for the privilege of knowing your Dad and really enjoyed speaking with him on a couple of occassions. The demise of the Greatest Generation is sobering.

    God Bless,

    Dennis & Mary Ellen Davenport

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