It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of renowned surgeon James H. “Red” Duke, Jr., a true Texas legend and educator whose innovative approach to trauma medicine saved countless lives.
Help us honor his memory and celebrate his life by sharing your #DrRedDuke stories and comments below.
Dr. Duke was an inspiration to Medical students, nurses, paramedics or any other health care professional. May he rest in piece
Marshall Miller says
I worked in Houston five different times as a commuting Eastern airline employee and always watched Dr. Duke’s folksy and informative medical reports on Channel 13. Back home, I continued to follow him on Atlanta television – he was great and humble, a funny and very sharp guy – kept it interesting, an American original. Think of the number of people he helped over the years and the lives he saved. Tough to describe; you had to see him to believe it. Rest In Peace Dr. Duke.
Donald & Ronda Ross says
We were so sorry to hear the passing of this wonderful man and doctor. My step-daughter had been in a very serious motor vehicle accident and was rushed to Memorial Hermann. We had no clue who would be patching her up til Dr. Red Duke came out to speak to my husband and our family. He was so warm and kind and I truly believe he was an answer to our prayers. God bless his family in their loss!
Sharon H. Evans says
I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Duke, but watched his TV segments and always felt as though I knew him. He was an ;amazing Physician and genuinely cared for people. He will be missed by everyone and I know he and God are having a good conversation …and laugh right now. Many condolences to the ones left behind.
Debra Wornell says
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and our little family Mark, Chase and I had just finished our meal at Jason’s Deli in West University. As we left the restaurant Chase (18 months old) saw a balloon about 5 ft ahead of us tied to a door and we let him go for it. He fell and was rushed to Hermann Memorial Head Trauma Unit. For 13 hours we prayed and cried and prayed and screamed and prayed and waited and prayed for our precious child to awaken from a coma!
Dr. “Red” Duke sat at the foot of my son’s ICU BED for more than 2 hours while we all waited for A MIRACLE! He was a funny man, he talked a lot, he helped us, he loved our son without ever knowing our son! He assured us the hospital and doctors had done all they could do for our little Chaser.
Our Sunday School leader Max Crisp (we love you Max) came to Mark and I and asked if he could pray over Chase before leaving for home! We all joined hands around the bed, more than 10+ including Dr Duke…At the moment Max said …”IN JESUS CHRIST NAME WE PRAY” Our son quickly arose crying and screaming as he looked at all the tubes and lines stuck in his tiny little body!
Dr. Red Duke was the first to speak….”and who can say there is no God? We did all we could…this IS A MIRACLE”
Thank you Dr Duke!
A BIG MAN!
What a gentleman! What a genius! Thank you from all of Texas and the rest of this world that you so greatly influenced.
Julie Dinkins-Borkowski says
The Texas Medical Center was where I was trained and started out working in my Nursing career. Working the level I Trauma Center at Hermann Hospital was one of the hardest, most stressful, but greatest times in my nursing career. That is where I got the pleasure of working with one of the greatest nurse advocates. Dr. Red Duke. I had the pleasure of working by his side on many occasions, and he was not just a surgeon. He was a ranch owner, TV personality, trauma surgeon, mentor, educator, doctor, and a friend. Yet he always drove an old pickup truck to work, and walked in with his cowboy boots on. Duke was bit of a flirt too, but one thing he would not allow was anyone talking bad about his nurses. So often new residents and new medical students would walk in and try to dominate the nurses which never worked. Red Duke would take down any resident that was treating the nurses badly. They would get a screaming mad Duke that cursed worse than a sailor, and the resident would come crawling back to the nurses begging to accept their apology. He would offer you a ride home if your car broke down, or if you just needed it. He will be missed.
BOBBIE HARRIS says
Thank you Dr. Duke. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to have worked with you in the early years of my career. To watch such a powerful man with integrity, understanding, kindness, and humor as you unselfishly shared your knowledge with us so that we could strive for excellence will forever be memorable.
Your are as BIG as Texas, only bigger and better. Peace be with you, Forever.
Eumeka Frazier says
I am a miracle baby. If it were not for the expertise of Dr. Red Duke , I would not be here today with GOD working through him. I thank you so much for saving my life and my mother’s life . Rest in peace.
Kaye Moore says
We love your Dr.Red Duke. You was a angel on earth now you are returning home.
Agnes Donnelly says
My mom and me watched you in Chattanooga. You have such good helpful health advice like none other. Then I was at the UT Health Science where you were on a team of Docs that saved my husbands leg. You’re in heaven now. We love you!! You WILL GO DOWN AS WELL KNOWN TRADITION IN HOUSTON.
Lori Hammond Malone says
He was a dedicated and remarkable man who made our world a better place. He will be missed and remembered fondly by so many.
Tracey Adams LVN II says
I always enjoyed working Shock Trauma. He was amazing person and kind, compassionate. He was a remarkable surgeon. He was truly remarkable and humble and was great to work with. The fact he didn’t care what initials were behind your name but just the fact that your willing to learn, that’s all he cared about. He knew who paid attention and nothing ever got by him. See you in heaven Dr. Duke…..You are so loved!
Rest in Heaven Dr. Red Duke. You were blessed to see 86 years of this life and you were a blessing to a family member of ours in March 2006.
Vance Riley says
Thank you and God Bless You, Dr. Duke for everything you did for me personally and professionally. Rest in peace.
Patty C. Darden RN says
Dr. Red Duke you will be missed. I can just hear your voice “Howdy”. What a great man and surgeon. I learned a lot just listening to you lecture. Thank you for all your great work here in the Teaxs Medical Center. RIP! Dr. Duke
tj ochoa says
Dr. Duke is one of a kind the” best” doctor I’ve ever meet. He is very nice to everyone you will surely be miss. Thank you for all your work you’ve done. may your soul rest in peace.
charlotte blazek says
he will be missed
Jerry Monroy, MT/MLS (AMT/ASCP) says
Dr. Duke was an amazing role model and personal hero. I remember him asking questions about transfusion medicine and how we managed MTPs (massive transfusion protocols). I answered his questions while he took notes. It hit me that, here is my personal hero asking me questions! That was an eye-opening experience to his professionalism, humility, and his persistence to know of every behind-the-scenes details on how to better care for his patients. He was a true leader, mentor, and role model. He will be truly missed but his legacy will live on through our work in saving lives and making the world a better place.
Lashown W. Jones RT(R)III says
You will be greatly missed sir, May God Bless your soul for all the Lives it saved and touched.
May you be at peace with your beloved dog Jake….
Racheal Lewis says
Dr Duke will truly be miss and his kindness will never be forgotten . I will always miss his hello hun and big hugs and especially his awesome remedies (brown sugar/Honey) Thank u Dr Duke for always be you a real down to earth and caring doctor. I have only known you for 10 years but the way you always acknowledge me when you seen me, it felt like I have known you all my life. Rest in peace Dr Duke and may your light continue to shine through us all ,there will never be a man like u.
Linda Sims- Chevalier says
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Duke. The one thing that I always say about him is that he spoke to everybody in the halls of the O.R. It did not matter who you were, or what your title was, he ALWAYS spoke to everybody! Dr. Duke will truly be missed.
Tara Nicolas says
I watched Dr. Duke on Channel 13 as a young child. Then I had the pleasure to worked in the ER and OR in TMC where I learned by just watching him at saving lives that he was the best at what he did! He was always friendly and would speak by saying Hi Sugar. I will always be grateful for how when I needed my sister in law transferred from a hospital and they were trying to give us a hard time, I went to Dr, Duke and he told me don’t worry. My sister in law was being transferred to TMC under his care in 2 hours!! He is truly a legend! GOD bless his family and Dr. Duke. There will never be a Dr. Red Duke again. You will be truly missed. SIP Dr. Red Duke.
To always practice with integrity, compassion, and to treat others the way we would want to be treated. Dr. Duke commanded excellence, not for himself, but for the patients he always put first. Thank you Dr. Duke. The immeasurable impact you had on the medical field and the hearts of people will continue. I can’t help think that you’d be telling us to all settle down now, there’s nothing to fuss over. Rest easy. We will carry on.
Valeria Harrell says
First God bless Dr. Duke and his family. I did not know him personally, however whenever I had the pleasure of seeing him walking through the corridors he always spoke. Dr. Duke was very personable, he did not discriminate he spoke to everyone whose path he crossed regardless of position or status. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on for generations to come.
Pauline Kish RN says
Dr.Duke…one of my lifelong heroes. A wonderful human being who will for ever be missed. I never worked with him, but had many a long conversation with him. He told me so many stories and I loved them all. He always called me Brit and although I lived in Houston for 43 years he always tried to improve my accent!!
God Bless his soul. I hope I get to see him again!!
Linda Mobley says
I had the honor of knowing as well as caring for our very own legend. He shared multiple stories with me that were so detailed the only a brilliant mind like Reds could remember it all. He was always in control of the situations around him even up to and till he drew his very last breath. I had multiple names babe, sugar, booger, it depended on his mood but I will smile every time I hear these pet names. My first trauma with Dr. Duke I was scared to death the patient was white as snow I made the remark Oh my God. Red turned to me and said let’s see what his decision today. I never really paid attention or understood until years later!! EMS does not save lives. God does It’s our job to keep our patients entertained till he makes up his mind. Red will be missed by many but as I play my Bobby Bare, The Winner I will never forget the evening he sang it too me. Rest in Peace my friend keep on winking till we meet again. Love you!!
Linda Mobley says
I had the honor of knowing as well as caring for our very own legend. He shared multiple stories with me that were so detailed the only a brilliant mind like Reds could remember it all. He was always in control of the situations around him even up to and till he drew his very last breath. I had multiple names babe, sugar, booger, it depended on his mood but I will smile every time I hear these pet names. My first trauma with Dr. Duke I was scared to death the patient was white as snow I made the remark Oh my God. Red turned to me and said let’s see what his decision today. I never really paid attention or understood until years later!! EMS does not save lives. God does It’s our job to keep our patients entertained till he makes up his mind. Red will be missed by many but as I play my Bobby Bare, The Winner I will never forget the evening he sang it too me. Rest in Peace my friend keep on winking till we meet again. Love you!!
Vera Hayes says
Ashanti P. says
Rest peacfully in the Lord’s arms. For those of us left behind to carry on your work, we will do it with great care. Excellence will always be the goal as we follow your lead. You will be missed by so many.
I was a patient at the Trauma ward in the TMC. I was informed that I was accepted under Dr. Dukes care while at another hospitals E.R. I knew that I was going to be receiving the Best Care possible. I even was inspired to become an RN after the surgery and care I received while at the TMC
Thank You Dr. Duke
Cesar Falconi says
Despite being a living legend, he was a very good person, and friendly with everybody.
Debra Nolan says
The stories told will be with us for a very, very long time. We have all felt we knew him through his kindness, his toughness, and most of all dedication which impacted so many lives. He has touched not just the patients directly involved ; but also those families, friends and neighbors who came to know of him from the care his patients received. He was a teacher, an advocate and a force to be reckoned with, he was a hero. Thank you Sir, for all you have done. Rest well.
Michelle Tatu says
Can you imagine stepping foot into the monster of a hospital that Memorial Hermann-TMC is–how scary and unfamiliar it all is? But then to be greeted by Dr. Duke as if he knows just who you are, making it all seem very familiar and not scary at all. That is my experience with him. I’d run into him from time to time and he always made my day brighter than it was before. My condolences to his family and friends. He was a great man, that leaves behind an amazing legacy!
Shelia Pittman says
Dr. “Red” Duke, you will be truly missed. Thank you for all your contributions to the medical field
Kellyann Shamrock RN says
Dr. Duke- To say THANK YOU somehow does not feel adequate, none the less thank you for all of your service, contributions, leadership, significance and humanity. Your spirit will be forever missed yet never forgotten! It was an honor and pleasure to be able to say I met you and worked by your side. Thank you for your compassion. RIP sir. Namaste
Alice Morgan says
The world will truly miss this servant of god and to the health community. Heaven is blessed now. His work, and memories are the gifts he leaves behind. May he now rest in peace, and prayers to the family. His spirit will forever wander the halls of Memorial Hermann.
angela L. says
Dr. Duke was a true legend, a “giant” of a doctor and great medical pioneer.
I am honored to have worked with him for 20 plus years in the trauma ICU.
I can still hear his footsteps coming in the still of the night to check on the patients.
And ever so often you would hear him say ” You know what I am thinking”, as another brilliant thought of how to fix a problem entered his sharp mind. He will forever be remembered.
May his soul rest in peace.
Robert P Casey says
While preforming a student medic rotation in the ER at Hermann in 1991, I went to a employee break room for a little snack and refreshment and in walked Red Duke wearing scrubs and he says to me, HOW YA DOIN HOSS! Not knowing who he was and us being the only two in the room,and me being from New York, I’m thinking who the hell is this guy? Needless to say we both sat down and struck up a rather nice conversation. Ol’ Red left a favorable impression that wasn’t soon forgotten.
John LoMonaco says
I was lucky enough to train under Dr Duke for 5 years, and later join the faculty at UT and work alongside him. He was a tough teacher and expected the best out of his residents. That said, I had some of best and most memorable times with him. More on my dedication to him at http://drlomonaco.blogspot.com/2015/08/remembering-dr-red-duke_29.html
Cynthia A Nelms says
I grew up watching Dr. Duke on T.V. getting ready for school with my moma every morning. Then not only did I have the privilege of working at Hermann with him but he saved my niece’s life four years ago. I know he has worked with hundreds of thousands of people. But when I worked at Hermann he told me everyday “Well hi young lady how are you?” Absolutely the true meaning of a gentleman. He’s a true legend and will be truly missed. I only pray he knew how many lives he impacted not only baby his medical gifts but his genuine love, care and concern for others. Thank you Dr. Red Duke. I know God is telling you Good job my great and faithful servant. You will truly be missed.
Carol Hale says
I was new to Texas when Channel !3 began broadcasting the health segment with Dr. Duke. I fell in love with Texas and fell in love with Dr. Duke. It has been such a blessing to work with him. Although he seemed bigger than life to me, he was always so friendly as he walked the halls of MH-TMC, calling me (and every other woman) “sugar”. His legacy is his work and his family, but I sure will miss the man he was.
Dr Duke you will be truly missed but your spirit will forever be felt at MH-TMC. Thank you for saving my mother’s life after one conversation with you in the hallway. Rest in peace Dr D.
Joanne bednarz-prashad says
God speed. God bless you, Dr. Duke. Thank you so much for your marvelous skills, your kindness to students, your demands for trying for excellence, your fine humor. This “flea” will never forget you. Thank you so much.
It always seemed like I would run into him when I was at work. The elevator door would open and there he would be. Looked me in the eyes and said, “How you doing”? The last time I saw him, we walked out of the hospital together and he was telling me that he was going to speak in front of his granddaughter’s class at Texas A & M, I will miss seeing him and talking to him. He was a wonderful, kind man. It just won’t be the same.
Khanedria Hall says
Dr. Duke you will truly be missed. You have touched so many people lives at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center Campus ! May you rest in heavenly peace !!!!!!!!
Mario Kapusta says
I was blessed with the opportunity to call myself Dr. Duke’s student and later colleague. For almost 40 years Dr. Duke was a part of my life. I will always treasure the memories of our times together and everything he taught me, in and out of the operating room.
Rest in peace, my teacher and my friend. Your “Jewish” son, Mario
Dr. Red Duke, may your soul rest in perfect peace. He always said “how are you” when l walked past him in the hall or across the walkway from the Hermann garage into the hospital. Such humble and a gentle man he was and of course not mentioning his intelligence. We lost a very special gift!
Thank you for your untold contributions to science and for making our lives warmer for having known you. God bless you!
Amber O'Suileabhain says
I had the total honor of working with Dr. Duke off and on for nearly 20 years. I started in EMS and I remember him standing beside me in the trauma bay taking report. He nodded here and there, asked a few questions and then told me “You’ve done a good job. We’ll finish it up.” Nearly four years ago I started working here and he would always greet me – and my husband while I was a patient here – and have a little chat as we walked. I have been inspired by this man to be as good as I can be at whatever I do for those 20 years. Thank you so much, Dr. Duke for the countless lives you’ve saved and changed during your time here. Thank you for teaching me the things you did. Thank you for being the humble pioneer that changed medicine. Your shift is finally over and we will all miss you so very much. Requiescat in pace.
I grew up in Houston and he was always there. Native Houstonians know if something terrible happened that you go to Hermann Hospital..where Dr. Duke is. Now we all realized that if we woke up and Dr. Duke was looking down at you then things were pretty serious. He was the Doctor they called to pull you back to life when your spirit was on its way back to the Maker of all things.
Dr. Duke I just don’t know what we will do without you. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Rest in peace Doc and thank you for saving Elizabeth.
Jenna Saul says
Shadowing Dr. Red Duke as a medical student in 1994-5 was a highlight of my life. Since I was not a medical student in Texas, and instead in Michigan-I doubt most other people would have given me the opportunity he did–and over the holidays, no less!!! I still remember what I learned from him. And I recall that one of the trauma surgeries I shattered with him among the first when he used Staples. I remember that the survivor was in the middle seat of a compact car and had used a lap belt. He talked about The anatomy and physiology of the body and the need for 5 point restraints. He even talked about how to retro fit ones car. The person we cared for sustained a paralyzing spinal injury in addition to bowel and splenic damage. I have protected those I love from the dreaded middle seat lap belts. I have educated families as a pediatrician and as a child psychiatrist ever since about safety issues. When I worked at road america, I thought of him often. He also taught me to read spinal X-Rays, how to assess trauma quickly and systemically, and he taught me to respect all caregivers in a medical team. His model was that it was okay to be angry and sad for a patient–and to be outraged when public health measures failed to reduce tragic accidents to zero. I don’t believe a week goes by when I don’t think about my time with Dr Duke–and his residents. I will cherish my memories, and I will be certain his lessons in compassion and doctoring sustain me when I am burning out, and feeling hopeless about preventing the adversity I aim to prevent for children and families.
Elisabeth Shows says
I actually flew from New Mexico to Houston next to him as a teenager and I just remeber his being extremely kind and talking with me the whole flight. Weridly I ended up working here 10 years later 🙂 He was such an amazing man to this facility! RIP Dr.Duke
Latricia Hawkins says
I grew up watching Dr.Red Duke on TV he will truly missed…….God Bless His Family
sophie batiste says
I don’t know if there is a right choice of words to best describe Dr. Red DUKE, I do know that he has left an incrediable impact on the world of medicine, he was amazing, he cared about people in general regardless to whom you were, whether or not you were white , black, hispanic, jewish rich or poor you were human to him and needed help, thanks be to Dr. RED DUKE you will sadly be missed. Dr. Duke will have an amazing impact on heaven, heaven watch out. We love you Dr. Duke.
Jeanette Wilson says
Another Angel resting In Paradise may our Heavenly Father give his family strength.
Aksana Afedo RN says
Dr. Duke was a true legend. He is very appreciated for his sincere commitment and dedication to the cause of medicine and to his patients. He was such a pleasant and lively person, many times I would encounter him in the hallways on my way home from shift and I was always amazed at how he would always so cheerfully greet me, as though I was his best friend, yet he never actually worked with me. I stand in amazement and pure gratitude to have met such a great man, who has done so much for so many people, and yet was so humble, approachable and friendly. Thank you Dr. Duke! You will be truly missed!
Olivia Odom says
Dr. Duke was one of those “Special Kind Of Doctors”. Had the pleasure to work with him, on the night shift, 1991-1997, b4 Hermann became Memorial. Awesome humorous?witty demeanor & cracking jokes all the time. When it was time to “Rock & Roll”, his amazing work began. I loved to see this man do his magic. I learned things from him that will ALWAYS stay with me. God has a Great man and a Wonderful Human Being. It is time for you to rest and retire. You are so deserving of it. Thank you so very much Dr. Duke, for ALL you’ve done. It is my honor to have met you! May you go with God and Rest In Heaven!
VERDIA BOYCE says
I’ve watched you over the years do marvelous work saving many patients that crossed your path. Thank you for sharing your gift to the world and being instrumental in starting the Life-Flight Air Ambulance. You were and will always be a pillar in the Medical Center Community. May God’s grace and mercy be with your family.
Dong Kim says
Dr. Duke was the best. Always generous, dedicated with a clear sense of mission. Getting to know him when I first came to UT and Memorial Hermann made me feel that I was in the right place. It’s hard to express how much I admired him.
Laura Burns says
Dr. Duke treated my son after he was released from the hospital following a gunshot wound that tore through his lung. It didn’t occur to me until after news of Dr. Duke’s passing that he is also responsible for the fact that we still have our son because he was Life-flighted to the hospital in critical condition. The time saved could have made the difference in whether or not he survived. Dr. Duke, I can never repay that debt but I’m so comforted by thoughts of the treasures you’ve stored up in heaven. My prayers are with your family and friends. Your passing is a great loss.
Kay Sword RN says
Dr. Duke, just look down on the regional trauma program that you envisioned and your committees developed! I have been privileged to know you and learn from your work. Texas will miss you. Rest in peace.
Martha James Potina, BSN, RN says
In 1976, when I worked on the newly opened 3 Jones on the Pediatric unit and ICU, I remember that Dr. Duke would sit all night long at the bedside of a patient just brought in by LifeFlight. Sometimes, he would wonder out to and sit on the desk and we would make him fresh coffee and he’d tell us great stories about LifeFlight, his ranch and other things. As 11-7 charge nurse, he was the ONLY person I allowed to sit on the desk and drink coffee. (Or there would be heck to pay!) He even told the pilots to call us when they needed to go on refueling runs to Hobby Airport. So the nurses got to take turns when we weren’t too busy. I still have my original LifeFlight key chair I received when it all was begun. But the memory I hold most dear is Dr. Duke’s dedication to saving that one child that first night and many lives of countless people thorough the education of so many physicians and nurses that now reach around the globe. Rest now worthy servant. We will miss you!
Thank you, family, for sharing him with the world.
Tina Martinez-Sosland says
We have lost a great man whose heart was made of pure Gold. He was a friend to everyone he came across and was a stranger to no one. I worked at the UT Health Science Center in the Dept. of Neurology and would always run into Dr. Duke. He always had a smile for me and would always stop to ask me how I was doing. One time on a flight from California back to Houston, he sat right next to me and we just chatted all the way back. May he rest in peace in the arms of our Heavenly Father. My condolences to his family and the entire medical community.
Not many people make a truly significant impact on the community they live in much less the world. Dr. Red Duke did and what he did will live on for eternity. Dr. Duke, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your service to Houston, to Texas, to the United States, to the world and to your fellow man. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family. Rest in peace Dr. Duke.
Debbie Lopez, RN says
I was giving a tour of Memorial Hermann – TMC to a group of high school students when Dr. Duke stepped out of an ICU and stopped us in the hall. “I was just in this Intensive Care Unit taking care of a guy about your age and he’s pretty banged up. And let me tell you something— there’s only two ways you get in to a place like that. You either get there by being stupid or by being with stupid. So now, go out and be smart.”
Godspeed Dr. Duke, Rest in Peace.
Heather Hoffmann, M.D. says
I always enjoyed having lunch with Red in the doctors’ dining room at Hermann Hospital. Two memories stand out: the day he introduced me to Willie Nelson and the day he explained the cotton picking term “fair to middlin'” to our beloved Renie.
Joyce Williams says
Dr. Duke will truly be missed around the hospital. When I came to Memorial Hermann 25 years ago (Hermann at the time), I was lost trying to find OR Administration. Wondering around looking lost, I ran into Dr. Duke. To make a long story short, he didn’t tell me how to get to OR Administration, he took me there. The next time I saw him he asked if I was lost again; never would have thought he would remember me. A true legend who have touched and saved so many lives.
Adela Justice says
I’d watched Dr. Duke on TV ever since I was a young girl and when I came to work in the TMC in 2002, it was shortly after that that I saw him in Hermann hospital cafeteria and remember thinking he was so tall! Over the years I would see him walking around the TMC from time to time, outside on the sidewalks, in the hospital hallways, and every time I’d say hi to him he would respond, “Hi, darlin’.”
Later I got to see him speak at the TMC Volunteer Council’s annual volunteer appreciation event (where he told the story of being at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, 1963) and in more recent years when he was a guest of honor with Dr. Cooley at our TMC Library’s fundraising event, where he told jokes that had the audience in stitches.
I loved seeing him on TV in later years too, both on the reality shows “Houston Medical” and the LifeFlight show of 2014. He was a gift to mankind and medicine and I hope to see a permanent marker to honor him outside his Hermann hospital patient room/apartment and perhaps a sandwich named after him in the cafeteria. Rest in peace, good sir.
Remi Otegbola says
I’m sad at the news of your passing Dr Duke, MH TMC hallway is never going to be the same again, your welcoming face and smile always makes my day.
You will be missed dearly by all and sundry.
Rest in peace Dr Duke.
Anthony D. Payton Sr. says
I can say that this MAN truly did save my life and that is a small part of reasons he will truly be missed , he was one of the MOST kind hearted people you could EVER know …Yes I was a “Bud” but in one word he was GENUINE.
Martha Roco says
I felt so privileged to have the opportunity to sit and talk with Dr. Duke several years back. He was a treasure and someone that I will never forget! While I lived in other states, Dr. Duke’s Medical Updates kept me close to Texas.
Dr. Duke, thank you for being you!
Courtney Windham Rn says
I had the honor to work along side such an amazing doctor. His quirky jokes and the food he always brought us were just what you needed when you were having a rough day. STICU will be left with a wound that no amount of brown sugar will heal. He will be forever missed and always in our hearts. Thank you to his family for allowing us to spend so much time with such a dedicated doctor. Rest well Dr. Duke.
Mary Toombs says
I had the pleasure of working with him when I was working with the UT Department of Surgery medical students. He would come to his office in the late hours of the evening and if he saw me in my office he would stop to talk. We would discuss everything under the sun including his concerns for the students. Every two months he would walk into the lecture hall and would say, “I don’t have a PowerPoint presentation but I am going to tell you what I do know about Fluids and Electrolytes.” The students as well as I were just mesmerized by his presence and knowledge. There were two people he liked to talk about when he lectured the students and I know that he is up in heaven enjoying time with them, his mom and grandmother. It seemed that at the end of each rotation, either one or more of the students would come by to let me know how much they enjoyed their Trauma rotation. Sometimes these were students who were just put on that service because the other services were already filled.
I asked him several times to dictate his memoirs and his home remedies and told him it would be my pleasure to transcribe them. He would say, “no one is interested in an old country boy.” I would tell him “that is where you are so wrong, everyone wants to know Dr. Duke.” I am sorry that this never took place.
Dr. Duke, you were one of a kind; there will never be another like you. My condolences to Sara and the rest of the Duke family. I will greatly miss him as he became a father figure to me when my own father passed. I respected his family and religious values. God Bless!!
MacKenzie Hail says
This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to be His hands and feet in the ER at Memorial Hermann TMC. Not a day that I have spent there has someone not stopped to cry for help from or praise a higher being. Adapting to a completely foreign environment and humbling myself in order to assist someone whose incredibly ill or in need has changed my whole perspective as an individual. Working in a hospital teaches you to be patient, kind, and methodical, and even though the hours get tiresome and the weight you carry in your heart for patients continues to grow, God teaches and molds you more than you could ever imagine possible. Yes, being quick to adapt and humble is awesome and it’s something I will probably put on every resume, however working in the ER allowed me to look at the bigger picture, myself aside. Christ is doing so much more in everyone’s lives than I could ever even imagine doing for or in just one person. I am not able to love the way He can, nor am I able to provide the way he can. I can try and try, but His love and compassion endures forever. I had one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had in my entire life this summer all thanks to Memorial Hermann but more importantly God. While working in the ER, I ran into Dr. Duke and his wife, Betty. After assisting Dr. Duke’s nurse wheel him up to his room, Dr. Duke kindly asked me to sit down and listen to some of his records. I take it he noticed my interest in his new record player since the first thing I did when I got there was comment on how “boho” it was. I explained to him that “Boho” was in and I wanted a record player of my own for my new house! He had a laugh at “what the world’s come to”. He wheeled on over and sat down with me and showed me almost every Willie Nelson, Ray Price, and Bobby Bare record you could imagine. In all honesty, I was unfamiliar with just what exactly it was that made Dr. Duke such a well known individual. Dr. Duke filled me in on many, many stories, and after a while, I could certainly tell you what made him such an extraordinary person. It wasn’t the fact that he was there to tend to JFK when he was shot, served in the US Army, named surgeon of the year in 1988, nor the fact that he established life flight in Houston saving many lives. Though those are all incredible achievements, Dr. Duke mainly wanted to talk about his contribution and motives for it. Not only was he a proud member of the fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 1950, but he didn’t ever intend on going to medical school until after he pursued going to seminary school. It was at that point in his life that he wanted to contribute in a different way. I found this to be the most rewarding thing anyone has ever said to me. Dr. Duke didn’t expect or want any of the accolades he received. Though evidently grateful, Dr. Duke merely wanted to sustain, guide, serve, and comfort those in need. He wanted to minister in a completely different aspect then by preaching on Sundays, and he did just that. And that is, in my opinion, what made Dr. Duke such an extraordinary person. I was not able to spend a whole lot of time with Dr. Duke before he passed, but the short hour or two that I did was more than enough for me to open my eyes, set myself back, and truly understand what it means to work in the medical field but also what it means to be a compassionate person that has established a strong foundation in what matters most, Christ. So thank you, Dr. Duke, for the encouraging and kind words you shared with me. It is something I won’t ever forget.
As a child growing up in the Mississippi Delta, our local news station had a health segment that would broadcast daily…. I would watch the news daily with my parents and looked forward to hearing what Dr. Red Duke was going to share. Never did I imagine as a small child growing up in rural Mississippi Delta that I would one day work at the very place he would always reference as he ended his segment……. Rest well Dr. Red Duke you have earned your crown.
a lost we were blessed to have one of GOD,S angels with us.
Dr. Duke it was a pleasure knowing you and having conversations with you. You were always so humble and kind! Thank you for all you have done for the medical community, Your presence will sorely be missed, My condolences to your family, friends and medical community, May you Rest in Peace!
Melisa Walker says
You will be remembered for all your great contributions in Texas as a whole. I grew up around Lubbock TX and we watched your report faithfully and took what you said to heart because we trusted you and your knowledge. I now live in Houston, working at UTH Medical School and continue to see the great contributions you made to the people of this area. I hear the helicopters out my office window, and remember you were there at the beginning, and realize that I am safer for it. Thank you and God Bless You.
Liliana F. Rodriguez, DrPH says
I worked in the department of surgery as a research associate from 1988-1993. I saw Dr. Duke on a daily basis. He used to call me “honey” and “little bugger,” which I took as an honor even after I found out what it meat (English is my second language). He was also one of our best teachers during our weekly bible studies during lunch. He was truly a humble man, and had a briefcase repaired with duck tape! Rest in peace in heaven Dr. Duke.
I haven’t personally work with Dr. Duke, but I can relate him very well for his contribution to Houston community. He is the one who launched the first life flight, the region’s first air ambulance, the most successful lifesaving program. I can very well relate him when my husband had car accident and was life flight to TMC. Without that service, he wouldn’t be here today. Dr. Duke you will be missed and remembered for generation to come.
Zenobia Y. Prince says
In much appreciation for all your service and care. You have helped to save many lives and influenced helpcare, professionals and all the people that serve. Your legacy will always be a part of the Houston Medical Center, Texas and the world. I remember you from your segments on television and seeing you in the hallways of UTH. Your purpose in life fulfilled. Thank you.
What a loss. Your wonderful work has changed so many lives. Life Light saved my husband’s life. Thank you and rest knowing we are in a better place because of you.
John Byus says
I remember meeting Dr. Duke (although I didnt know who he was at the time…shame on me!) during my interview with Life Flight in 1986. Decades later our paths crossed again and he still remembered me, such an honor! Truly a great and compassionate man. Rest in Peace Dr. Duke.
Ronda Swafford says
As a “new” nurse I had the greatest honor of being able to work with Dr Duke and for me he was truly larger than life and I always thought of him as being immortal. He taught me how to handle some of the most difficult patients I had and I learned humor in medicine is always a plus and necessary. I will forever be grateful for the lessons taught, learned and still used to this day. RIP Dr “Red” Duke, job well done sir.
MARCUS A. CARTER says
I REMEMBER DR. RED DUKE AS A CHILD GROWING UP. I WOULD SEE HIM ON THE NEWS FROM TIME TO TIME. DR. RED DUKE IS ONE OF THE REASONS I ENTERED THE MEDICAL FIELD, AND TODAY I’AM A REGISTERED NURSE WORKING IN THE OPERATING ROOM AT MEMORIAL HERMANN HOSPITAL SYSTEM- (NORTHEAST CAMPUS).
MARCUS A. CARTER R.N., BSN
cindy walker says
Dr. Duke you have earned your rest. What a fantastic man. About 10 years ago my dog bit me in the face. It was pretty bad. I called Dr. Donald Parks and Tim Hollenbeck M.D. and they met me in the ER. One of my friends Kay Metcalf came to the hospital and met Dr. Duke in the hallway. He asked her who she was looking for and she said Cindy Walker. He then took her to the ER. The doctors were operating on me and Dr. Duke said “Did you fall off the barstool”. He was so funny. He was always sticking his finger in my ear at the nurses station.
I will miss you Dr. Duke!!!!
Norma Estrada says
Thank You For all you did for the medical community.
Esmeralda M. says
You are sorely missed. You have done so much and it was a pleasure knowing you. Thank you for being so kind and humble. The healthcare community will truly miss you and has left a void in our hearts. You are with the LORD now and may the LORD comfort your family, friends, and community during this sorrow time. Your legacy will live for ever in this world and in our hearts.
Michael Freeman says
I only met Dr. Duke once, very briefly, just a few months ago, but he has been an influence on much of my life. He is one of the reasons why I chose a career in EMS. He was a great blessing to many.
Benji Brandow says
I would just like to say Dr. Red Duke, Your a wonder, a legend, a man of many talents, a gentle soul that gently came to earth and placed so many variables to save countless lives, embark on challenges that no normal individual could take on! I will truly miss your smile, laughter, and especially the sarcasm, I think the sarcasm was the best other than your surgical skill …… HA HA ……
Sir, you have given me the strength to take on challenges in the medical community. You have instilled the determination to keep pushing forward. Your service and history has in the medical community is undeniable, and for that I THANK YOU!! I keep with me memories of our working together in the OR, conversing about different techniques, stories of your past that molded other healthcare professionals, laughter while working with you. I have encountered you many times in airports across the country and always with a smile and a “HEY BUD!!” your a true southern gentleman!! You have created so much for our medical community as well advancement of patient care through decades of hard work.
Thank you so much Dr. Duke for your contribution to our society!!! No one will ever do the things you have accomplished!! Your in our hearts and souls forever!!!
Your friend and colleague!
Benji L. Brandow
Dr. Red Duke, you will truly be missed. Rest well job well done.
DE ANDREA MALLETT says
What a lost ,he will be missed around the hospital, I will always cherish the times we would talk when I would see him at night with his dog, DR DUKE would talk to everyone that he came across in the hallways , RIP
Juanita D. says
You have made such an impression on my life for the past 25 years. So sad that you are gone. This is going to be such a void to our system and to the world. Thank you for all of your contributions, for sharing your knowledge and life with us. The Angels got a good one up there. Take your rest now!
I got to meet Dr. Duke twice in my career at UT Medical School, I’m so glad that I did. He was a giant in his field, kind and funny. I really thought we had more time with him. I remember when I first met him I was nervous, I knew I was meeting one of the greats, but of course he put me at ease.
I know tomorrow when I go to work at the Medical School I will be wearing the color “Red” in honor of a wonderful Doctor, that the Texas Medical Center was blessed to have.
“RED is the color of passion and adventure, of fire and blood, of energy and life. RED captures attention. When you see RED, you stop what you’re doing and take notice, which is why it is the perfect nickname for the man who embodied all of these things – Dr. James “RED” Duke.” – I really think this says it best.
You will be missed, but please rest as you have earned your coming reward which I believe will be Great.
Kelly Guerra says
When I heard the news of Dr. Dukes passing all I could do is say no, no, no. Then so many memories flooded my mind. Although my time of employment at Hermann was short, I met so many wonderful people and Dr. Duke was one of those people. Every morning 06:00 no later then 06:15 I would see Dr. Duke in his Life Flight jacket down at the café. He would always greet me the same way “Hello Cupcake, how was your night and how are your parents in Denton?” I always admired Dr. Duke, he treated everyone with such respect. Didn’t matter what your title was, what race you were, if you were rich or poor all that mattered to him was that you were a human being and you deserved the same respect as the next person. He could light up a room with his mustache and smile. I would giggle when patients, family and friends would see him, “That’s Dr. Red Duke, from the TV”, if he heard them he would stop and speak with them as if he had known them all his life. He taught me to take my time and smell the roses and to always know matter the situation show kindness and respect. I will forever miss hearing CUPCAKE at 06:00 in the morning but most of all I will miss the lessons he taught. We have truly lost a superb surgeon (medical royalty as I saw him) but it gives me peace to know Our Lord and Savior needed him more. Until we meet again…thank you Dr. Duke, you will never be forgotten.
David Wright MD says
I first saw Dr Duke as a child on local news when he still had red hair. I’ll always remember “Hi I’m Dr Red Duke of the University of Texas Health Science Center” . Years later I was lucky enough to work with this wonderful man. I got to see him two days after surgery on his back still doing rounds and seeing patients with a walker while recovering from his own surgery and then taking the time out of doing that to give someone directions . He was extremely down to earth and an excellent surgeon , person, and teacher. His beard and his stories always reminded me of Mark Twain. He will be sorely missed.
Amy Wang says
I never worked with Dr Red Duke personally but I have one fond memory of him. I was rotating at memorial Hermann as a 4th year medical student and looking lost since I came from Texas A&M med school. A guy with a large mustache, scrubs and Cowboy boots shouts out to me “hey there, young lady… You look lost!”. He had no name tag or white coat. We talked a little cuz he noticed my Aggie ring and he told me that he had also gone to Texas A&M and that he was sad that he had lost his aggie ring. We also chatted a little bit about what I was doing and where I had planned to take my career as a physician. After that, I still had no idea that it was Dr. red Duke. I thought he may have been a just super friendly tech or staff in the OR. Another student later told me that I had indeed been talking to Dr. red Duke. I remember at that time, I was extremely humbled as this man did not carry himself high and mighty like a lot of physicians do. He just seemed like the most down-to-earth and personable and compassionate person. I then realized that this man did not care to be recognized or held on a pedestal. I then made a resolve that that was the type of doctor I wanted to be. Dr. Duke, you rest in peace up there fellow aggie. Yell loud and proud and I hope you found your lost ring. You will never know how many lives you have touched just with your presence.
Robyn Jackson says
Thank you for your service Dr Red Duke you are and will always be the best and most patient physician. My husband who is a HPD officer was hurt and you took the time to come by and make sure he was okay
Mary T. Johnson, RN says
Like most Houstonian’s, I grew up watching Dr. Red Duke. It wasn’t until I had the wonderful opportunity to work at Memorial Hermann Hospital TMC that I really understood how amazing he was. I had the honor of meeting him when I floated to the trauma unit, and he was so gracious and was truly concern that I was having a good day. I praise God that the world was given this great doctor and how so many have benefited and will benefit from all his life’s work. He was truly loved by many and will be miss dearly.
Ann Thompson says
The world just got a whole lot emptier. Dr. Red Duke…gone to greener pastures.
Rest well, Sir!
Kevin O'Brien says
Houston, Texas, and the U.S.A. have a lost a true patriot and a medical genius. Many people don’t know that the civilian air ambulance industry was founded by the forward thinking Dr. Duke. I attended paramedic school at the U.T. Health Science Center where he was one of our primary instructors/professors. He made the trauma surgery residents attend the school so they could experience what first responders dealt with upon initial contact with trauma patients. He always had stories to share, but I never heard the same story twice. Ten years had passed after graduation when I was sitting in the hallway outside of the recovery room at Hermann with my head buried in the newspaper. I looked up when I heard a voice say, “Howdy Kevin, how’ve you been?” Over the years, I had numerous opportunities to chat with legend. I served as a flight medic and medevac pilot in the Army so I’ve always felt a special bond with this legend. As a police officer for the past 3+ decades, our paths crossed often in the emergency room at all hours of the night and day. When I found myself as a patient in a shock room after a serious motor vehicle accident, he visited me at 3 A.M. and congratulated me for being the only sober patient seen that night. Countless thousands are alive today because of Dr. Duke. Thousands more will live because of the medical knowledge he passed on to so many physicians that have followed his foot steps. R.I.P.
Angie Steen says
I remember watching you on the news as a child growing up in Tennessee. And, then to work with you side by side was a dream come true. You will surely be missed in the hallways but will always be remembered.
Eustacia Polk says
He was one of our patients when I worked in Sports Medicine he injured his knee while horseback riding and it was a joy talking and visiting with him each time he came into the office. He was so dedicated, he would come for therapy in between his busy work schedule. He will truly be missed. He is one of a kind, there will never be another one like him in this life time.
Kelly Oggero MD says
Dr. Duke was a devoted and spirit filled man who found great joy as a surgeon and professor to many. He had a strong and lasting influence on my career. His service to the UTHSC and the Greater Houston community is immeasurable. Our connection was both professional- and personal, as we both graduated Texas A&M University. So , to my professor and friend I say , rest in peace and Gig ’em Ags. I pray his children- and all his extended family and friends will find peace in The Lord during this time of reflection and loss. God bless you all.
Kathleen Atkins says
TRIBUTE TO THE LEGEND
Dr. Duke – can’t believe you’re gone!
How will the UT Medical School and Memorial Hermann go on without their ICON?
Without your wit, warm smile and all that wisdom –
Roaming the halls with that “Howdy, How are ya’ll doin’?”
Seeking out patients to hold their hands and promise them all would be well in the end
You taught so many residents and fellow doctors the meaning of real compassion, caring and respect – and I was lucky enough to see this all at arm’s length.
Your stern words were to mold the medical students and residents into better doctors and people – you didn’t single them out if they erred – spoke to the entire team – everyone learned so the same mistake was not made again – at least not on your watch!
Your worn blue jeans, hat and boots made you the first real, honest-to-goodness, Cowboy Doctor in Houston – now look around – they’ve all followed suit!
You will be missed more than you could have ever imagined – I could go on and on with accolades – but again, I know that’s not your style.
You were the simplest man with the biggest heart and smile –
I want to give tribute to you if only for a little while!
God hold you and keep you as you watch down on us from your Heavenly home –
You were a Legend then as well as now!
And all I can say about knowing you – is WOW –
What a privilege and honor it has been.
Rest in Peace Dr. “Red” – Rest in Peace
Member of Department of Surgery, Admin Staff 1991-2010
Jeff Carico RN says
Like many on here my first times seeing Dr. Duke was on the evening local news at home in West Virginia. Mt thoughts were who is this guy with the big mustache? After relocating to Houston and getting to meet the man I realized how blessed the region and nation were to have this man placed here by the hand of God. His work has saved many lives that we will never know about. The man that had a heart bigger than himself and humble a man as I have ever met.
Dr. Duke will be missed by many and will continue to affect the lives of many long after departing this life.
God be with you til’ we meet again.
ila trivedi says
Dr Duke will be miss very much. I have watched his show.
May God bless his soul.
Gina Huckels says
I grew up in Oklahoma watching Dr. Duke doing his medical segment on the local news. Little did I know at the time, I would ever have the chance to meet such an incredible man. When I started at Memorial Hermann in 2007, I was walking down the hall one day and I heard Dr. Duke’s voice……I was so excited I called my husband and told him I had HEARD Dr. Duke talking!!! I had the opportunity to meet and talk with this great man a few times and he was the most humble man I have ever met. Rest in peace Dr. Duke and just know you will be missed by all.
Cathy "SunShine" Jackson says
I grew up watching Dr. Red Duke on the news in his medical segments. I thought they were local to Houston. While being extremely informative, he looked so nice and kind.
MANY years later, I met him at the Graduation of the HCSO Citizen’s Police Academy Class #26 that my husband attended. Dr. Duke was the Guest Speaker. He spoke about himself, how medicine had changed since he came ‘from the country’ and his time growing up, the major feats he had been involved with, etc. He was absolutely FASCINATING! I found, in person, he WAS nice and kind.
I believe, due to his demeanor and personality, he was an Angel on Earth, so in Heaven, there is no issue with that status.
Rest in Peace, Dr. Red Duke.
Debbie Ryan says
Where do I begin, Dr. Duke gave so much to the Medical field ,research,,technology, medical advances with old school and new meets. He has so much respect for his coworkers, he put the nurses pedestals and he loved to teach .He would see Jenny on sundays they would talk about his life experiences so many stories..He always told Jenny she was weird not weird like his one daughter we would laugh,Jen said what do you mean?? He was referring to her medical .He said to her why do you always wait till fridays to get sick ,everybody’s off on the weekends and truth is she always did get sick weekends.Jenny had so many questions for him.One time he ask her if she had any questions for him at this time she had been on bed rest for 2 months,she said when to I get to shower he said that’s what your asking me?: Yes!! In the early part of Jenny’s recovery when she struggled to walk he see in the halls and say to her,Skeeter want to have a foot race haha ,in her last stay he would say it then say your to fast.Dr Duke was doing a procedure on her they were talking he said I haven’t done a very good job with you she paused then said that’s not true I’m here aren’t I ! then Jen’s says you learned a lot about me and with trying new things taught you to help others so I feel good that you able to .My heart is broken Dr Duke is a true hero he gave his life to help others and his knowledge will pass on for generations to come!!!
I know his looking down wondering what all the fuss is about ,very modest man, my personal HERO you will never be forgotten with Jenny Ryan and Debbie Ryan
Josie Barnes says
I had the privilege of talking with him during the aftermath of hurricane Rita, he was a very passionate, a good mentor and a very knowledgeable individual, I appreciate the time and the patience he showed me in answering the questions I had at that time. He was a very hands on individual, and he respect everyone’s opinion and input, even though to him it doesn’t make since.
You’re such an awesome individual, you will be missed and your wittiness.
Stephen Kwiatkowski says
On December 15 Th, 2005 I was shot four times in the line of duty. I was transported to Memorial Herman Hospital by ambulance. Dr. “Red” Duke preformed surgery on me. He spent a lot of time with me and my family. He is the reason I
made a full recovery and still a Houston Police Officer ten years later. You will be missed but not forgotten.
This man changed trama in an enormous way! He was always there to answer questions or just hang out. His teaching made Texas Medical Center Trama team’s the best! He wil be missed!
LaCynthia Moses says
Dr. Duke it was a honor to know you. I will surely miss you and it was a pleasure to care for you for the last year and a half. I love you with all my heart. You were more than just a patient to me, you were a friend, a mentor and even like a father to me. It broke my heart to watch you take your last breath, but I’m glad you’re in a better place and finally able to rest. I love you, and until we meet again R.I.P. “Babe”
Stephanie Koenig-Vasquez says
Dr. Duke might have not remembered a persons name all the time, but when he saw you he always made you feel like you were the only person in the room. He had the biggest heart and always had an interest in what was going on with anyone needing his assistance. I will miss his smiling face, his greeting of “Hello darling” and huge hugs.
edward pease cst says
Dr. Duke was a genuinely nice guy. My 14 yr old daughter did a research project on Dr. Duke this past school year, and even though we didn’t know each other well, he was happy to help her with her project. I brought her to the hospital on a Saturday and spent a couple of hours with him. He was happy to answer all of her questions. I only got to do about 3 cases with him and feel honored that i got to work with such an outstanding surgeon and person.
Kathy Gallman says
I got to know Dr. Duke while waiting tables at a local restaurant in the Rice Village, Allegro Cafe, back in the late 80’s. He would come in almost every morning for a cappuccino and a bran muffin (named the rock by him). He was always so friendly and easy to talk to. We got to know his family as well. Great people! He will be missed!
Shari Riley says
I am so saddened by the passing of Dr. Duke. What a life he experienced and how selfless of him to share that life with so many. I met him for the first time when Trauma services were temporarily moved to MHSW ED as a result of Tropical Storm Allison and he spoke to me as if we had been friends forever. This was one of his many gifts. I know the heavens opened up in a big way Tuesday to welcome him. He will remain in our hearts forever and we will always remember, “from the University of Texas Health and Science Center, Dr. Red Duke”.
Tiffani Todd, RN says
It’s an honor to have lived, schooled, and worked in a time and place where this man was living and working. Thanks for your enormous contribution to medicine, the city of Houston, the TX Medical Center, and Hermann hospital. Said best by Audrey Barnett, RN…”We all must work a little harder now to try to fill his boots.”
Lowry Mayo says
A pharmacist, I loved watching Red Duke. I would pass along many thinks he told us. Great Doctor
HE WILL BE MISSED BUT WE HAVE GREAT MEMORIES OF HIM ON TV
An amazing person, was so nice to everyone, just a regular guy, with not so regular achievements, he will missed around here.
Jamie Zoellner Ray says
Having known of Dr. Duke from his EMS advancements through media coverage in the mid-80s, I was beyond astonished when I went to work in MHH NTICU in 2002 and met the legend himself. I was blessed to learn from him on many occasions. So approachable, so humble, so smart… and such passion for his work. God bless Dr. Duke and all his works, and may peace and comfort in his memories find themselves filling his family’s hearts.
Maggie Elestwani, RN BSN says
Honoring the life and legacy of service to the trauma service and our country of Dr. James “Red” Duke. Of the many things Dr. Duke taught, standing out to me was the humanity and uniqueness of each of our trauma patients, who fought for survival while as a multidisciplinary trauma team from Life Flight to the ER or straight into the OR Trauma Room, PACU, and the many units of post-op care we strived to support our patient and the family’s recovery. Dr. Duke taught decades of students, residents, and colleagues in one of the most challenging disciplines of acute care medicine. While he also worked tirelessly to get the logistics and the process right, I will never forget his reassuring voice of plain-spoken, cut-through-the-fluff wisdom from his life in the trauma service. We will miss you, Dr. Duke. On wings of eagles.
Stacy Griffin says
I am a native Houstonian and met Dr. Red Duke when I was a little girl; it was in passing through the Texas Medical Center and I remember my father introducing him as the Best Doctor in the state of Texas– my father was right. My father is gone now but he taught me by example– I remember telling my father “He doesn’t look like a doctor”, he replied, “It’s not what you are on the outside but, what your heart is on the inside. His contributions to medicine has saved a lot of lives”. Dr. Red Duke was a simple-dressed man with cowboy boots and a warm smile; a lesser man would be arrogant… Instead, Dr. Red Duke was a exemplary doctor, teacher and all around beautiful person who has inspired many. He will be greatly missed!!!
Shawn Collins says
Never had the pleasure to meet Dr. Duke, but he definitely was a legend that will be greatly missed. RIP and thank you for everything that you have done.
Lisa Anderson says
Dr. Duke, may you R.I.P. You had such an amazing impact on so many people and in the medical field. I’m so grateful to have known you and worked with you. You were an incredible clinician and educator. Thank you for everything!
R.I.P DR. RED DUKE.
Kathryn Graham says
Dr. Duke used to have this spot on the news where he would impart medical information to people across the 38 states that carried the spot. When I was 9 and it came on I looke at my mother and told her ” I am going to work with him one day.”
Fast forward to March 12, 2003, I am working my thrid day on the floor as a certified nurses aide at Memoiral Hermann TMC on the Orthopedic Truama unit. And Here comes Dr. Duke with residents in tow. When I got home that night I was braging to my mom about working on Dr. Dukes unit!!
I got to know him through the years I was working on that unit as I was going through nursing school. (2003-2010) He was always ready with a kind word. He would not let the other doctors or residents treat the nursing staff any diffrent than they treated each other.
WHen I transfered to Northwest Memorial Hermann I missed out chats during my break time as I would go down stairs when he would be on his way to walk Jake (his hound). I missed my time with him and I am sad to know I will never hear his voice again.
cheryl Washington says
To an amazing man. So smart, so caring, so humorous, so down to earth. Great teacher !! What a job you did while you was here on earth. RIP Doctor, you will be missed by many. Prayers for your family. So sad, what a loss to his family and his community and the nation as a whole.
Karen Holland says
I came across Dr Duke several times during my employ as an RN and through volunteer work at Hermann – always did appreciate his no nonsense approach…and his sense of humor! RIP Dr Duke, you will be sorely missed
Sue Emmite says
What a guy. He was so compassionate and amyone could see how much his patients ande crew meant to him. We have truly lost an exceptional person.
Sarah Lott says
Dr. Duke by name and action has been an inspiration to our generation, a hero to so many and his brilliance leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten. Truly, he has given more than we can imagine and is still giving thru medical personnel so touched by him. You will be missed and never forgotten!
Shirley Kennemer says
He was my Mama’s classmate at Hillsboro High School. RIP Dr. Red Duke.
Joel Dunnington MD says
I met Red Duke in the fall of 1976 as a freshman medical student observing in the Hermann Hospital ER. He allowed me to go with him to the OR for my first time with a Life Flight patient. I worked under him many times in the next 4 years and then again in the ER when I was on call as a Radiology Resident. He was a true Texas character. He loved to teach, anybody. He advanced trauma care in Houston, Texas, and the world. I will miss him, as many more who passed through those halls will also.
RIP Red Duke.
Robert Knowles, RN/LP says
My sincerest condolences to Dr Dukes family and his Memorial Hermann / Lifeflight family. He will always be remembered for his tremendous work in Trauma Care. I’ve been in EMS for 38 yrs and got my start in the Houston area with Cypress Creek EMS when it was organized and at the same time was able to witness the beginnings of the Lifeflight program and Hermann Hospital Trauma program rise to the premier programs that they are today. I still recall the first Lifeflight helicopters- those French Alouette III helicopters !!!! For the last 28 yrs, I have worked at the hospital where Dr Duke did his residency- Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He was a great mentor and a great person and his legacy will live on through the thousands who were fortunate enough to have worked with or been taught by him and the thousands of lives he saved or attempted to save over his iconic career. He makes me so proud to be a Texan and proud to be involved in EMS and we are all that much better off as healthcare professionals and people thanks to him. Hats off to you Dr. Duke!!!!!!!!
Kilee Northrup says
I was so fortunate and blessed to work with you, Dr. Duke, at The Herm during the late 90’s – the early 2000’s. I have so many memories I am thankful for. You taught me so much…from staying calm during codes to your tricks of the trade in OR Trauma. Your respectfulness and patience towards residents, nurses, staff, and patients will never be forgotten. You were such an inspiration and example. Thank you for all you taught me…especially the love of OR Trauma. You will be so missed. RIP and God Bless You in Heaven.
Melchoreina Caga-anan says
Rest in peace Dr. James Duke. You are a very dedicated and great Doctor. Thank you for placing this prestigious Hood for a Medical profession on my daughter Glynda in May 2010. Most importantly thank you for initiating a plan of care among your wonderful and brilliant Colleagues at Memorial Herman Hospital that saved the life of my son Zerremi from his near fatal vehicular accident just one week after my daughter’s graduation. Your medical expertise, extra ordinary dedication to continue practicing Medicine as long as you could, and even your humor and personal relationship with the staff will surely be missed, not only by your colleagues and your family but also by the many lives that you have touched. God has prepared a better place for you in Heaven no more scrubs this time.
From A Mother of one of your patients and one of your medical students.
Sandy M says
What a legend and what a blessing he was to Houston and beyond. RIP
Tania Celia says
I was blessed to work with Dr. Duke in the Trauma ICU. He was always approachable and loved to teach anyone who would listen. He was a favorite with patients, families and the staff. He had an awesome sense of humor and often made us smile. You never knew when he would pop into the ICU to check on things which could be any time day or night. He was an original. I doubt I will meet anyone like him again in my career. I feel fortunate to have known him. He will be sorely missed.
May his memory be a blessing.
Eric Lyon says
Here in the Greater Houston area He touched everyone
Lorraine Slaughter,crt says
I started my Respiratory Career downtown and had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Duke. He certainly was an inspiration to my career and I found him to be an awesome teacher. He made huge strides in the Medical center and was highly respected. Rest in Peace, and thank you for all you have done.
Denise Still says
Although we will never meet, you and the creation of the life flight team have had a profound impact on my life. I am currently pursuing nursing with the goal of becoming apart of a life flight team in my local area. You and your team opened my eyes to this particular part of nursing care and helped me combine my love of flying, nurturing and health care. You will be missed.
Denise Still, NJ
Joseph Huebner, EMT-P, I/C says
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Duke in 1992. Throughout my career he has been one of a select few who have been a source of inspiration. Our prayers are with his family and all who knew, worked, and learned from him.
TEOFILO R SANCHEZ, MD says
Dr Duke was an ever present figure in Houston and Texas. I was glad to have met him as a 3rd year medical student and spend time with him as a 4th year. His classic Texas drawl, often non-PC commentary on things and direct honesty are something I truly appreciated at UTHSC HOUSTON. I am currently an EMS Director for 2 frontier counties in Texas – a charge I take proudly. Dr Duke embodied the Lone Star spirit – an icon – a maverick – a Texan. I am better for having met him and thankful he knew my name. He will always be an inspiration to me and a reminder that I can always achieve more. Enjoy the hunting Dr Duke and get some much deserved and earned rest. Thank you for shaping me as a physician and educator – for this I am eternally grateful. Respected by all who knew you – God bless you and yours.
T Sanchez, MD. From the best UT HOUSTON class ever –
Eric Lyon says
This Gentleman saved my life
Oren Ellis, MD says
I knew Red Duke when we were students in med school at UT Southwestern Medical School.
One year, Red wanted to go elk hunting in Colorado in the winter, but he did not have a sweater that was warm enough, so I lent him my ski sweater.
When his Mom fractured her upper femur, she was operated at Wm Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, TX, and then was transferred to my post-op care in that city.
He was a giant among medical giants and his contributions to medicine and patients will last indefinitely.
Oren Ellis, MD
orthopedic surgeon, now retired and living in Santa Fe, NM
Philip L Gildenberg says
Rest in peace, respected friend and colleague.
Professor and Chief,
Division of Neurosurgery
Karl Masilungan says
Dr. “Red” Duke,
You are one of the millions of reasons to have pride in Houston and the Texas Medical Center. Your impact and influence in the medical field and the lives of others is so profound. You sir, made tremendous history. Who knows how far your hard work and dedication will resonate?
Rest in peace.
Mohan Kumar says
Dr. Red Duke was real ‘hands on experience’ passing it on to coming generations of doctors. Doctor’s reputation is made or marred on the basis of handling of emergencies. His reputation is built around the rock solid handling of medical emergencies. May he act as pole star for coming generations of doctors. Duke dies but legend will live on for centuries.
Natoya Frederick-Satcherwhite,RN says
I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Dr. Duke. His contributions to medicine are numerous and vast. Thanks for all you have done and your legacy will live on. You will be truly missed. Rest easy Dr. Red Duke.
Terry Rives DrPH says
it is an honor to have known Dr. Duke and to call him a friend. His passing leaves a great void in many lives and may his family find peace.
Tymitha Barnes says
Thank you for your dedication to Memorial Hermann Trauma Center!
As a Houstonian I would always stop and listen to his health advise on TV and as a volunteer at Hermann I saw him regularly setting in the rotunda chatting with all who had time to stop.
Naomi Brown RN says
RIP DR. Duke. It was a honor to work with you in the Operating Room.
Naomi Brown says
RIP Dr. Duke. It was an honor to work with you in Operating Room.
Lori B. Kauffman, RN says
I have been an employee at MH for almost 25 years and have seen Dr. Duke for many of those. One evening the elevator opened on 5 HP and it was Dr. Duke. I said “Hi Dr. Duke. What are you doing up here?” He said “Darlin, I have a patient to see.” I asked if I could take a selfie with him to show my children and he said “come on darlin” in his wonderful Texas accent . It is a pic I will treasure forever. RIP, sir.
Nyree Nitzsche says
Dr. “Red” Duke, MD, Thank you for being an inspiration, thank you for developing the C-Arm, thank you for always greeting me with a smile, and chatting with me in the halls as I headed in and out of work. There was a sense of pride and calmness that filled my heart knowing you were in the building. Grateful for these moments. Rest in peace.
Rita M says
I met Dr. Duke only once, and I’m glad I was able to thank him, in person, for saving my mom’s life. Rest in peace, Dr. Duke. You were a man of great compassion, great honor, and we thank you, one more time for all the lives you saved, and for your tireless dedication to your God given talent.
He was as great as this great state. Aren’t we glad he was ours. RIP Red
Amy Dillon RNC OB says
I met Dr . Duke for the 1st time in fall of 2001 in the shock trauma of TMC. I was an HBU nursing student in my ER-ICU rotation. Dr Duke was with 3 “NEW” residents and a patient arrived via life flight S/P fall off some building. I am not sure of exactly what happened. He was standing at the end of the bed with his residents asking them questions…S/S and such…I was just walking by. He stopped me and asked …Can you tell me anything about Neurogenic shock? I was terrified! I knew who he was and I could tell he was using the opportunity to work with his students. But at that moment I didn’t know if I should be offended, answer him or what. So confidently I answered…I simply said Neurogenic shock is caused by severe CNS damage and can be mistaken for hypovolemic shock. S/S Hypotension/Bradycardia. Treat – maintain airway, IV fluids/Dopamine. Very basic nursing student answer. But I knew what I wanted to say!!! He tapped my shoulder and said, “Sugar- You are gonna be alright- Go into Trauma.” Then he turned to the 3 residents and said “see even the nursing student could give me an answer!” and “We give you all the books and you eat the pages.” All I could do is walk away. We have since had many convo’s about our first meeting. He was a great educator! So glad I was able to spent a few moments in his life!
Casandra Johnson says
Dr. Duke…what can I say. He was the most down to earth doctor I ever met in my 24 years with Memorial Hermann. He was a joy to see and hear from the front desk of Medical Records to the permanent files. Everyone he encountered was greeted with a hello or even a “Hi Darling”. The memories we shared in the Medical Records Department will be cherished for a lifetime and still bring a big smile to my face and a warm feeling in my heart. I loved to hear his closing on the 5 o’clock news, “From the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston…………I’m Dr. Red Duke.”
I want to send Dr. Duke’s family my heartfelt condolences and thank you for sharing him with all of us at Memorial Hermann.
Brandi Leal says
What a heart he had! What a legend he was! He knew everyone and cared for all of his patients as if each one was his only one.
You will be very much missed Dr “Red” Duke. Rest in peace.
“from The University of Texas Health and Science, Dr “Red” Duke”
Fred R. Machoka says
Farewell Dr. James “Red” Duke! A LEGEND and healer true to his calling to the very end. A physician so humble within and without the ED. I will cherish memories of interacting with you in casual elevator conversations and in professional consultations at MH-TMC. God bless you Dr. Duke!
I will always value his health segments and will remember his iconic sign-offs! What an amazing man and extraordinary physician and surgeon. What a life well lived. He leaves such a legacy and will be remembered fondly. God bless you Dr. “Red” Duke for all the care and knowledge you provided to so many.
Katherine Koger,RN says
I started here in 2006 the first week Dr. Duke came up to me and stated young lady, how about a pizza today, end result he ordered a pizza for the 5WJP staff. This was one wk after I was employed here, he sat down and took time to tell me the experience he had upon caring for president Kennedy.. How endearing, He spoke of his career here he is a legend!!! He is awesome! When seeing him in the hallway he nods his head to me speaking as we pass what a awesome man/legend.
For me it was a pleasure to have known him in the small amount of time I knew him…. I am proud to be a part of something so great here at Memorial Hermann and to have had known such a legend as Dr. Red Duke
Such a Pleasure! May the peace of the Lord surpass all understanding and my prayers goes out to the Duke family
Cynthia Brooks says
A great Doctor/Person….to have worked with….thanks
Bliss DeBoise says
What a life…what a tribute…what a legacy!!! Certainly, there can be no greater way to honor the Creator of the universe, than with a life well lived!!
We salute you Dr. Duke. You have inspired yet another generation of healthcare professionals.
Audrey Barnett, RN says
I will never forget the first time I saw Dr. Duke in person. It was 3 AM, and I was on shift in the Neonatal ICU on 7 Hermann. The tube system was down, so I offered to walk morning lab samples down to the Lab in Robertson. Pressed the button for the service elevators and when the doors opened, I happened to be looking down, right at a DOG. I paused for a moment, and said out loud, “Well, that’s not what I was expecting to see.” I then looked up and it was Dr. Duke and Jake. He was very funny about it, as you would expect, and claimed that Jake was a ladies’ man. Jake was a gentleman, however, and never made a move.
I am extremely proud to work for Memorial Hermann-TMC and to carry on the legacy of authenticity, kindness, and excellence that Dr. Duke displayed. He was the kind of guy I hoped was immortal and would be with us always. We all must work a little harder now to try to fill his boots.
Shannon Mendoza says
I will always cherish the times I had with Dr. Duke. Every work day around 3 pm he would come into my office and chat. We talked about dogs, babies, work, politics, hunting, food, religion, etc. The one thing that sticks in my mind the most is when he would talk about his “momma”. He spoke so highly of her and the respect he had for her really touched my heart.
Another good memory…my first week at UT I was lost in the hallways of Memorial Hermann trying to find a trauma meeting. Dr. Duke gave me his cell phone # the day before just in case I got lost. I called him that morning and he left a meeting he was in to come and find me and walk me all the way to my meeting. That’s the type of guy he was; he cared about people and he made you feel special!
Dr. Duke ~ skeeter #1,000,002 misses you already. Thank you for being you! I’ll see you again.
Doris Segura says
I worked in the Emergency Room Business Office for 23 years. Dr. Duke was always friendly and would always greet everyone. He would be coming down the hallway and say ” How you doing today ” He will sorely be missed. Rest in Peace. What a Legend.
Mary Anne Shuffler RN says
Things I learned from Dr. Duke:
Show kindness and compassion
Do your work with passion and strive for excellence.
Share what you know
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Steve Sanders says
Dr. Duke is an Icon and bigger than life itself. He was unique and a character that will never be duplicated in our lifetime. He was a fascinating man and a pioneer in medicine, particularly trauma surgery. He was a teacher, mentor, leader. orator and had a personality that was overwhelming. I will never forget him.
Charlotte Barnhart says
I worked around the corner from his sleep room at Hermann right below the flight deck. This man was amazing. I had the privilege of seeing him almost every day for two years. I would sit at the table in our break room and watch him open his mail. He would tell me about the pictures hanging on the wall and where they had come from. I would pet his dog he brought to work. He told me what it was like to patch people up on the battlefield and about the original need for Life Flight. He gave me strange & meaningful life advice. He tried to give me Brooks & Dunn tickets once but it was last minute so I couldn’t go…. I think he just liked my red hair to be honest. He called me everything under the stars from “honey, sugar, beautiful, etc..” everything except for my actual name. Probably because he didn’t know it (even though I wore a name tag lol). But he didn’t really need to know it. He treated everyone as his friend..with respect and dignity. He taught as he went, whether it was medical instruction or about life in general. He was an original class act. One of a kind.
And now he’s gone
Robert A MacLean, MD says
In addition to his work to establish Life Flight, Dr. Duke chaired the EMS Committee of the Harris County Medical Society that provided critical guidance during the development of the Houston ambulance system. Later, when I was Deputy Commissioner of the Texas Department of Health, he chaired our state EMS advisory committee that helped develop quality EMS services throughout Texas.
My condolences to his family. Enjoyed his short medical news clips n loved his sign off, ” I am Dr. Red Duke”. My he rest in peace. Thank You Lord for giving us a Loving Brother!
Carolyn C. Hopmann says
My husband was sent by life flight to Herman after a life threatening farm accident. 71 years old. Fortunately Dr. Red was the trauma surgeon on duty. He saved his life after hours of surgery. The following month in the “Shock Trauma Ward” were so much easier with the good doctor guiding the recovery. This man is like no other. Houston and Herman Hospital are so fortunate to have had him. RIP Dr. Duke! You deserve a rest!
Rochelle Mays says
Very Kind man I got to meet him once, I came up to him and said that you look Dr. Red Duke he said I am . Thought that was pretty funny.Rest in Paradise DR. RED DUKE
Nelley Astorga says
He was a celebrity to me… better than any rock star!!!!!!!!!!!! What a legend. What a loss.
Donald an Judy Guernsey says
I lived in Texas 40 years an I knew of him but never got to meet him prayers to his family you will be missed Dr Duke Rip Dr Duke
Brenda Green says
I have fond memories of Dr. Duke from when he first came to Hermann Hospital, with the inception of Life Flight, and his many innovative ideas to make us all better caregivers. He was a kind person who always had a big smile, a hello, and a pat on the back. I will miss him.
Judy Walker says
Dr. Duke was a wonderful friend to nursing. I worked with him at Hermann Hospital and have such respect for him. He was a kind and generous man.
Denise Owens says
I remember Dr. Red Duke and his wonderful care. I had a car wreck in a GEO Storm, had to be cut out by the jaws of life. Life flight to Hermann Hospital, he took care of me and that reassuring voice was eternal. Truly one of God’s Angel’s on Earth.
He will be truly missed by this country girl..
Lisa Chaput says
Dr. Duke married my husband and I in 1980 at the (no longer there) chapel behind Hermann Hospital. At the time, my husband was a medical photographer and I was an administrative assistant at UT Health Science Center, and we both worked with Dr. Duke. When he asked me if there was anything special I would like him to do during the ceremony, I told him, “Just don’t bring your cigar!” He was truly a one-of-a-kind man, an exemplary doctor and someone we could all look up to. God bless you, Dr. Duke, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
brian carr says
I had a brain surgery at Hermann in 95 an d w wanted to meet Dr red. Duke unfortunately I didn’t get to meet him however for my birthday he mailed me some info about him and a autographed pic of him which was special nobody got autographed pics of him but he did it for me he’s a great guy my dad knew him personally he will me missed by lots I use to get excited to see him on tv
Jayne Lambert says
As an R.N. in the OR I worked with Dr. Duke closely for almost 20 years. My favorite saying of his was when he would get upset at the residents he would say “You give them the books and give them the books, but what do they do but eat the pages.”
Dr. Duke also touched my life personally. I got very sick one year while we were on vacation out in West Texas. I was in ICU in Midland and was having trouble getting home. My daughter called his office and the next thing I knew I was on a fixed winged medical flight back to Houston.
He will be greatly missed in the halls of Hermann Hospital.
Glenda Sims says
I’m certain Dr. Duke had some chaotic demanding days at TMC, but there was never a time that he was too busy, too tired or too distracted to speak to any and everyone that passed him in the hallway. Despite, his titles and accolades he was “down-to-earth”. Now, I truly know what sayings like: ” you can take a boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy” and “to gain a friend, show yourself friendly”.
R.I.P. Dr. Duke and thank you for your selfLESS commitment to individuals, families and communities regardless of socioeconomic status. I’m proud to be a MHHS employee for 24 years because of healthcare professionals like you.
Jonathan Almeida says
I would always run into him on the Hermann Pavilion elevators, such a nice genuine guy! This man was greatly known and respected. RIP Red Duke.
Lisa Johnson says
I am truly blessed to have worked with this amazing man and to be able to ca him my friend. He will be so greatly missed.
Leila Kinsey, RN, BSN says
My birthday will have a touch of bitter-sweentness to it from now on, as Dr. Duke, passed away on my birthday. Have admired him since I was a teenager.
I had the honor and privilege of hearing him speak and getting his autograph back in the late 1980’s when he spoke at Dallas/Fort Worth Medical Center. He was quite something. They certainly broke the mold after Dr. Duke. There will never be another. But he will live on for years to come in every nurse and physician that he taught in his daily life – just being his down to earth self, saving the lives of trauma patients day in and day out. He was a gift. Thank you Dr. Duke for all of the lives you touched, and changed.
Thinking of your children, grandchildren and numerous colleagues and patients. Go rest high on that mountain, Dr. Duke. “From the University of Houston, Health Science Center, I’m Dr. Red Duke.” <3
D.P. "doggy" McClure says
Went to AM with Red Duke.we were in same class.he was a special Aggie for us all.He came to Corpus Christi to do a program for me for the American Cancer Society, he didn’t know anything about Cancer and admitted it but sure did a great program for us! Never forgot his old friends and we’ll never forget Red. He will stir things up …up there God bless him.
Sandra Gee says
He was the real thing! 25 years ago, when I was a medical student and resident at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, if he was getting a quick cup of coffee and saw you sitting alone in the surgery lounge, he’d say “hi”.
Tyler Smith says
Only ran into this man once in an elevator at Memorial Hermann. I remember thinking, “Wow, what an extraordinarily kind and friendly man,.”
RIP Dr. “Red” Duke
leanna hayes says
I grew up watching dr duke on the news and always loved him. When I was 12 my uncle was in critical condition from a fall and our whole family was at the hospital, I saw Dr duke walk by and was so excited it took me a few hrs but finally when I sar him again I built up the courage to tell him how much I loved him and was a big fan. He took me to his office, which was the craziest mess I’ve ever seen and autographed a picture for me which still sits on my desk today. Prayers for his family he will be missed!
Joan Sanger says
He was one of my real life heroes. But it is the vignettes of being with him that I will remember most. For example, two years ago, Dr. Duke and I were eating in the doctor’s lounge and he was saying loudly of course, “These medical students think the answer to a trauma patient is on a g-d multiple choice exam.” Several students were around listening to us, which of course he knew. It was the same message Dr. Herb Fred had in his many books about treating the person, not a symptom or a test result. After lunch, we were given ‘his’ cart to load up all of the leftover food to take to the staff lounge. He packed it all up by hand. On the way, he said’ hi darlin’, ‘hi guy’ and ‘hi sweetheart’ to everyone we passed. When we got there, there was no one in the lounge and he said ‘it’s just like hogs to the troth, they’ll show up’ and instantly they did! Hermann could not have been more gracious to him, letting him LIVE there in his last years and still teach. Thank you for not following lawyers’ advice, etc and having a heart. I could tell so many stories of being with him, like his completely duct taped carry-on bag when I helped him through the Austin airport. He and I met during the crisis in Cambodia; some of us started a campaign to bring refugees back to the US. Hermann then AGAIN graciously let me do this out of the hospital. Late one night, I heard Willie Nelson music blasting out of an office and this man said, “Hey darlin’, come on in.” That led to Red indenturing his med students to help me for a month or more. His last wish to me two years ago was to help him figure out how to paint the image of the blood splattered roses Jackie Kennedy had thrown on the floor of the emergency room in Parkland. I did not know how to do that but maybe someone can do that for him now—he always crystalized these traumas into their most basic emotion and image. He was known to sleep on the floor of critical patient’s rooms to care for them. It was because he truly deeply cared. Doctors need to take note of this honestly motivated, passion, true unadulterated healer. It is the essence of medicine; not our new world of money, liability, and factory based work. He was the best and he changed the world.
Tiana Rogers says
My heart aches to know Our Memorial Hermann, UT family member passed. I am praying for all.
2 weeks ago was my 25th year anniversary with this great company, Memorial Hermann, and I wrote Dr. Red Duke as my inspiration in my memory book. I met him while working as a unit secretary on Observation floor at Hermann Hospital – now TMC.
It made my day every time he came do rounds and sat next to me. Dr. Red Duke spent time listening to my childhood stories growing up in the Amazon Jungle and I remember he would tell me that my grandmother’s strong herb teas were actually medicine ! We talked about things from the Amazon I did not even know existed! One time, I brought him an embalmed PIRANHA from the Amazon and he was so happy for the gift. Years later, he told me he still had it in his bedroom.
Dr. Duke will be missed and can never be replaced. He will be in my heart forever.
With much admiration.
Sebastiana Rogers (Tiana Rogers)
2B/2C Unit Clerk
Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital
R.I.P. Duke. I had the opportunity to served him coffee once in the 90´s @the Quilted Toque Restaurant on Montrose & Richmond.
Jo Seymour says
He was an incredible man who was a very passionate about caring for his patients. He was a great mentor to me and was instrumental in introducing me to the healthcare industry. I was honored to meet and befriend him. He will be truly missed.
Thank you Dr. Duke.
I will remember his always acknowledging the “little people” with a cool greet; (unknown Patients and employees.) His simple greet was motivating; when you knew what a cool guy it was coming from.
This morning on the radio I heard of his passing. I know Dr. Red will be in our prayers at high noon.
Ron MacCormick says
Dr. Red Duke was a classic. He will be missed by all whose path he has crossed. None of the generation to come will ever produce another Red Duke. He was just that kind of guy.
Ron MacCormick class 1978.
Edna Thompson RN says
I was visiting my sister in law, who was under the care of Dr. Duke, and he walked in the room, to speak with her, about her continued refusals of care/treatment. She had her Bible with her, and would read passages to him, to explain her stance. To my surprise, he would just sit there, NO BOOK, and he would quote statements/passages, to rebuke her interpretation of one passage, with another. From memory!! I was in total AWE! About a decade later, I went to work at TMC, and would run into him now and then. While taking part in a pain management film, there was a break in the filming, and I started to speak to him about that first encounter. He remembered her!!! Again, amazing memory!!! The man was tremendously impressive!!
Regina Essex says
Dr. Red Duke changed the face of medicine in Houston. He will always be remembered and spoken of highly. Dr. Red, may you rest in peace, knowing you did what was required of you as a servant in medicine and fulfilled your purpose.
D. Rustin RN, BSN says
I’ll never forget attending a lecture in nursing school with the keynote speaker being Dr. Red Duke. I was so excited to listen to this man that was a true legend. I will also never forget his statement of “no such thing as an accident”. It has remained with me through the years of my practice and life and has guided my actions with the goal of prevention rather then dealing with the aftermath. Loved this man and the values he stood for. You are sorely missed…..
We will miss you Doc
Marie Bauer says
We lost a Giant! Condolence to his family and the Medical Center of Houston.
Maggie Grimes "Suggs" says
I worked with Dr Duke in the Hermann Hospital ER in the 80’s and then Life Flight 86-92. He influenced my life in so many ways professionally and personally. He picked me up after my first patient passed on Life Flight, and was quick to point out what I could have improved on in another case so I could learn from the experience. When I got divorced he would have my daughter and me come to his home for holidays and always had a wrapped Barbie doll for my daughter at Christmas. Many times he would tell us about his past at Parkland with the LBJ & Connley experience before he ever went public to tell the story. He would also sit in the Life Flight dept writing his own stories for his TV program and run them by us before they were recorded. Red was a one of a kind person, doctor and friend loved by many and will be missed. I’m sure the first to greet him at Heavens gates will be Rosie, Mac, Lynn & John. RIP
Tina Wusterhausen, RN, NICU says
I’ll never forget Dr. Duke and Jake, his dog, riding the elevator. “Come on in, he won’t hurt ya!”, Dr. Duke told me as I hesitated to step inside the door. This great man, great surgeon, and great co-worker will be missed. Thanks Duke for all you gave us!
Ellen Byrd. R.N. says
In 1964, as an R. N. I worked beside Dr. Red Duke at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I was assigned to one dialysis patient in a single room for the day and Dr. “Duke” would come in at intervals throughout the day to do prothrombin levels and evaluate the patient. He always had an encouraging word and funny story to relay as his worked. Isn’t it amazing of the advances of dialysis—-now, multiple treatment chairs in a large room compared to the single room with one R.N and one M.D. for the entire day giving care to one patient! At Parkland, he was “King” in every facet of care, trauma or chronic. I wish that he could have toured our new Dallas Parkland hospital that opened on August 20th. I cherish those Parkland days with him.
Sylvia Simms says
On to bigger and better things. May love and peace go with u. Sending healing thoughts to your family. Sorry for your loss.
Jerry Mark Thomas says
His death is proof that we all must die; I thought that he would live forever. He will be sorely missed by this world. I thank God for giving him to us for 86 years and for the countless number of lives which he saved. Rest in peace Dr. Duke.
Quelonda Gray says
My prayers go out to his family and also to us the family here at Memorial Herman he will truly be missed. He was such a kind and sweet man always. I will miss his smile and hey babe (smile). He truly ern his wings here at Memorial Herman. Now rest our angel Dr. RED Duke
Chris Kirkham says
1972 Dr Duke was head of the green surgical team and many of his patients were on 6 West. As a nurse on the unit I had many interactions with him. He made everyone comfortable, was never critical, always used opportunities to teach. We often shared our love for Willie Nelson’s music. He will be missed. Greatest teacher ever.
Margie Aronowitz says
Dr. Duke was a kind man who stopped and said hi to everyone he passed in the halls of TMC. I recall often patients and families would see him and want a picture with him. He would always agree to the photo. The always put the patients care first and made huge breakthroughs in trauma medicine. We are all better nurses and doctors for having known and worked with him. May God Bless him and his family. He will live on in the physicians and staff he trained.
Jacqueline Sewell says
I was saddened to read of the passing of Dr. Duke. I was deeply inspired by him as I attended The High School for Health Professions in Dallas back in the early 80s. One of the highlights of my typical weekday was watching for Texas Medical Reports; I might have even had a little bitty crush on Dr. Duke at the time. I ended up becoming an LVN at 18. Although I never made it to trauma surgeon status, I’m so glad with Dr. Duke’s help, others did.
I send my prayers and sincerest condolences to everyone whose lives were touched by this human being. He was able to live a well-rounded life by serving others.
Thank you, Dr. Duke and Godspeed.
Barbara Roop says
As I began my Memorial Hermann career at the Tx Medical Center in 1996, I remember hearing Dr. Duke’s voice throughout the trauma area in the emergency center. Students looked up to him but also feared his relentless determination to make them learn as he shared his vast knowledge. My most memorable moments were when he would stop by for me to say hello to his dog as he was taking him out for a walk and when he took his time to come and meet my grandson for an interview and picture to complete a school project. His comment, as the picture was being taken, “don’t stand too close to the wall because it will cause a shadow”. He was such a character and great story teller. He will be missed by many!
Prayers to the family…
Sam Thaker says
A kind man with a big heart. He truly is a role model for many. Having worked with him in the Emergency Center at TMC was a great honor for me in the early part of my career. He will be missed immensely and his legacy will live on!
Jennifer Bonnin says
What a wonderful sight, being able to see Duke in his days of commanding a trauma room. He could make you laugh, or make you cry if you didn’t know what you were doing, but he treated every moment as a teaching moment. Every one he worked with was better because he was able to give each person he came into contact with a little piece of knowledge or a good joke. He
will be missed.
Jeremy Green says
I grew up outside of amarillo and, as a kid, i remember watching his segments on the news every week. he got me interested, from a very young age, in health and science. I will always cherish the memory of being so excited to watch his segments on tv as a kid. RIP, Duke.
Erika Blackmon says
I had the pleasure of working 9 1/2 yrs with Dr Duke he was truly a amazing Dr and person. Always humble and pleasant watching you perform surgeries and save lives was one of the best experiences of my life!!! Rest in Internal Peace you will be missed!!!
Marty Douglas says
My personal hero…it was such a pleasure to know him and see him work…it is sad to know he is no longer on this earth
Rita Sweet says
Dr Duke, was a humble, caring man. He will truly be missed. His legacy will live on..
Betty Harris says
Dr. Duke’s passing marks the end of an era in trauma medicine. So many lives were saved due to his skill as a trauma surgeon. He was a genuinely compassionate human being & not just a cold clinician with extraordinary surgical skill. His family should take comfort that his was a life well lived & he will not be forgotten. He touched the lives of so many in many ways.
Joe Walker says
I wish I’d met Dr. Duke but I admired him from afar. He was an incredible man, doctor, humanitarian and citizen. His work ethic and good nature were unmatched. I wish I could be a tenth as good of a man as him. I’ll remember his numerous TV appearances as I was growing up, on BodyWatch PBS, and other news/documentaries I’ve seen him in. I’ve followed his long career in awe. He lived a long, full and rich life during which he gave of himself selflessly. My thoughts and prayers are with his colleagues and loved ones this morning.
Beth Burris Bell says
I will miss you my friend. Thanks you for always taking the time to me and tell me a funny story before the work day started. You helped some many people during your life time. I will miss all your great stories. My thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.
Rita Brumbelow says
I remember Dr. Red being on TV and thinking about how he was so down to earth and kind he was. Would liked to have met him and talked to him but never got to do that. So sad to read about his passing. Prayers for his family.
Thanking GOD for Dr. Duke and the life he lived, he was able to touch and change so many countless lives. He will be greatly missed!
Weston Davis, FF/EMT-P says
A legend has passed on. Dr. Duke was an amazing advocate for EMS. I remember meeting him 14 years ago as a paramedic student. I was so nervous when I sat down at his little wooden desk to tell him about my patient.
Carol & Charles Thompson says
My husband, Charles, and I remember Houston being a ‘shining city by the coast’ because Dr. Red was there always helping someone. Our Lord gave him special gifts to share among others. May the strong arms of God embrace Dr. Red and give his family strength and comfort during this time and forever more. Thanks, Doc.
As a native Houstonian, Dr. Red Duke has been a major influence in my life. While growing up. I remember his medical segment on the news that I simple would never miss. It was his influence that lead me into a career in the medical field. As a child, I stood in awe of his down-to-earth, Texan mannerism while delivering complicated topics in a simple, understandable way. As an adult, I was blessed to have met and interacted with Dr. Duke on many occasions while working at Memorial Hermann in the medical center. He was always approachable, friendly, and direct with his communication. Though we know no one physically lives forever, Dr. Duke’s accomplishments will be passed on for many generations. I am sad that a piece of my childhood is laid to rest, but encouraged that his spirit will live on. My prayers go out to his family and close friends during this difficult time. Rest in peace, Dr. Red Duke.
Holly Frels Raymond says
Well he was a living legend and now he can finally sign off and get some rest!
I had the priveledge of working briefly in the same units as this bigger than life, loud, outspoken, kind medical hero.
I recall how he treated department heads and housekeeping w the same level of straightforward candor he was famous for. I recall him wearing the same tattered holy jeans over and over. I recall hearing his LOUD voice from the other side of the unit calling us HONEY, BUDDY or BABE. I recall watching him breeze in to an observation unit I was covering that was doubling as an ER overflow and readily diagnosing a patient that the other physicians had been stumped by. I recall him being humble – when it was called for.
And razzing slightly prude doctors w his off color humor. We as a city, as a nation, as a people – owe a debt of gratitude for his contributions to the world of trauma care.
Somehow I think his presence will forever be felt in the wee hours of night down the halls of Hermann Hospital.
Now he can rejoin the lost crew of LIFE FLIGHT 1.
Good night Dr. Duke.
Clay Young says
I had the honor of working with Dr Duke when I was a director of television for The University of Texas Health Science Center Houston in the 1990’s. We enjoyed the special friendship of being fellow Eagle Scouts. He cared deeply about making the world a better place and I will miss him.
Cheryl Smith says
Dr. Duke was so down to earth. I worked at the Medical Center for years as a parking manager. He would park on the first floor of Garage-4 and always stop and speak to the parking folks manning the pay-on-foot station at the end of the facility. He was funny, kind and generous with his time. God Bless, Dr. Duke.
Liz Hoffman says
So sorry to hear of Dr. Duke’s passing. I had the honor of meeting him years ago. I also had the honor of helping him come back after a shoulder injury he had after one of his hunting trips. He was a pleasure to work with and I loved his wit and wisdom about life. He is surely looking down on everyone. He was one in a million and will never be forgotten.
RIP Dr. Red Duke!
Karan Lindsey says
Because of you, Sir and your tireless and ingenious work, my mother was life flighted to your hospital and lived. I didn’t realize how new Care Flight was at that time. That was 1980.
While the world has lost a great man Heaven has gained another precious Angel! God blessed you on this earth and every one you touched.
Janet Collins Hope says
I remember Dr. (Red) Duke when I started working at what was called Hermann Hospital in TMC the month of August 1977.
Dr. Duke always said things that made you smile and had words of encouragement. Any time you ran into him in the hall way of throughout the hospital he would always say hello to you. He was a great Doctor and more. He will truly be missed by many people all over.
RIP Dr. (RED) Duke!!!
We Love You!
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Duke. I know he was not only a great doctor but an extraordinary man. Thank you for all your years of dedication and loving care to our community. You will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of their loss. I send prayers of peace and comfort to you all.
R.I.P. Dr. Red Duke…
Mona D. says
I remember growing up watching Dr. “Red” Duke on TV. I remember thinking how “interesting” he was. He has done so many amazing things for the medical industry and has really made TMC outstanding. Thank you for everything Dr. Duke! They should give you your own day! RIP
Christina Reily says
I remember watching Dr. Duke on the news as a child. Then,being in awe when I came to work, here at TMC, and actually got to meet the icon himself. It wasn’t until Sept. 2011 that I actually felt true appreciation for this wonderful man and his contributions. On Sept. 24,2011 my husband was mugged and shot in the abdomen. He had to be life flighted to MHHS TMC and was the first person to receive blood in transit on our life flight helicopters. Once, he was here at Hermann he saw multiple trauma doctors who were all wonderful, and saved my husbands life. But, I am sad to say that I can not remember their names or faces. Not, only because there were so many but also because of my own state of shock and grief. Once, my husband was stable he developed and abscess. We were then told because of the location of the abscess that Dr. Duke would be performing a surgery that was not common and only he was familiar. When, he walked in to shake our hands he made us feel that for the first time everything was going to be all right. He would come in every evening with his coffee and take a seat to talk about how my husband was feeling and always ended up staying and telling us all these incredible stories. He did that every day until we went home. Once, we were home he would call and check on us initially and made sure that we were to call him directly should anything go a rye. We did end up having to call him late one night and he told us to meet him in the ER. When, we arrived he was not satisfied with the way the staff was performing so he took us to his own office and cared for my husbands wound himself with “Jake” sitting right next him. When I returned to work regularly I would see Dr. Duke in the halls and he would always make it a point to stop and ask how my husband was no matter who he was with or who he was talking to when he saw me. He never stopped caring about us and made sure we knew it. When we would try to thank him he was always so humble and would always wave us off and say that he was “merely a tool for the good lord”. We feel truly blessed and oh so grateful to have been graced by the care of this great man. My family came to love him very much and we are praying for him and his family. God, bless.
Lara Ramirez, RN says
I can vividly recall getting ready for school in the mornings and hearing Dr. Duke sign off on his health segment on the news “…from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, I’m Dr. Red Duke.” I was in awe the first time I met him in the elevator, at Memorial Hermann Hospital, and he greeted me with that oh so familiar voice, actually wishing ME a good morning! It was so surreal to have somebody I looked up to and considered a celebrity humbly greet me, as if he had known me for years. The medical world, as well as the entire human race has lost a great man, who contributed so much to us all. Rest in peace Dr. Duke, you will truly be missed!
Dr Red Duke will truly be missed. His legacy will forever live on in the lives of people he saved. I will miss seeing you walk your dog, your warming smile and of course your “Hello Darling”.
RIP Dr Red Duke.
Many times did I interpret for him and his team at the Emergency Center. Many times did I run into him in the hospital elevators and hallways… Always inspiring me with his humor, charisma, and passion for medicine. Rest in peace, Dr. Duke!!
Rafaela Laran says
I see Dr. Duke as a humble, caring person. I met him a mostly on hallways of Memorial Hermann (TMC) either coming to work or at times in garage 4. He greeted me first before I can say anything to him. I remembered when my niece came from London for a visit, I saw Dr. Duke by the escalator in Hermann Pavilion and I got excited and approached him, introduced myself and my niece to him. I asked if I can take a picture of him with my niece and without any hesitancy, he said “Sure”. He really made our day at that moment. It made my niece tour of Memorial Hermann complete. What a blessing to meet and know you Dr. “Red” Duke. You will be missed and will always be remembered. May our Good Lord let your soul rest in piece.
Clara Andrews says
An amazing man, who spent his life here on earth helping others. Proud to call him a neighbor & fellow Texan. I wish him “Bon Voyage” in his next endeavor
Ellie Neberman RN says
Been nursing for thirty two years, and I respected him most of all the docs I met or worked with. Dr. Duke did so much and helped so many. Anytime I passed him in the hall he always greeted me Hi how you doin. In past few years I ran into him leaning against wall with back pain, I asked if he needed help, “no darling it just takes awhile”. Way before becoming a nurse we all had to watch his tv spots, and to think I would end up working in the same hospital. He was a legend that deserved his legendary status. May he rest now in heavenly peace. What a full life.
Elena Uresti says
My deepest condolences to his family. Almost every other morning, I would run in to him in the hall way! he was always so nice he’ll stop to say hi. You made history not only in our city, but in our nation. Memorial Hermann halls will miss you! Dr Duke. R.I.P
Linda Carper says
Dr. Duke operated on my sister from a gunshot many years ago when she was a teenager. She is a mother and grandmother. Praise the Lord. We will always remember the miracle performed through him for our family. We are grateful to God for having him take care of us. Thanks to his family for sharing him with us.
Dena Powell, RN LP CPEN says
I will always remember Dr. Duke. I used to work for Life Flight in Communications and then into the ER when I received my nursing license. Every time I would pass him in the hallway he would always say “well hi there Sugarfoot” I will never forget this man as long as I live. I remember even dog-sitting his then beautiful puppy. It is such a great loss to the Memorial Hermann family, especially the Life Flight family. I always said it would be such a tragedy to lose this genius of a man. God Speed Dr. Duke! And while you are there please hug the crew from Life Flight One. You will never be forgotten for all you did at Memorial Hermann – TMC and Life Flight. Prayer and love sent to your family.
Dr. Red Duke,
Thank you for pioneering the science and study of traumatology. I unfortunately did not have the privilege to work with you or to have met you, however, your work certainly influenced my studies as a paramedic. Your research and education influenced me in such a manner that I was able to make a difference in the patients that I cared for, treated, and transported. For that, I am eternally grateful. May you rest in peace and shine among the stars, for heaven is brighter with you there.
Requiescat in Pace, Red.
You will always live in our hearts in many different ways. Rest in peace.
Dr. Duke, thank you for your many contributions to the delivery of health care, heart surgery, clinical research, and Life Flight! As you collect your angelic wings for continued flight, I salute you!!! May you body rest and your spirit soar and guide throughout eternity. God Bless you!!! DCC
Tina Cross says
I was heart broken when I heard the news. I moved to this area from a small town and I remember watching Dr. Duke on TV and hearing him say those famous words. I felt so at home and in awe of such a country boy doing such great things. Twenty years later I had the privilege of being in the same room as he gave us a welcome speech at a seminar. I live in the Lifeflight flight path and every time I see the helicopter I know MHHS is doing great things to help people and I also know it all start with Dr. Red Duke. What a lost for this nation. However he left such a legacy that will continue to save many lives. My condolences to the family.
Kim Huckabee says
Dr. Duke, you were an amazing Dr. and all around Great guy!!! It was an honor to know you!! May you Rest in Peace!! Fly High Doc!!
An interesting character to say the least! I was a newer clinician when I met him and I learned quickly that saying what you think and being able to back that up was important to him. I smile when I think of his over the top personality that quickly put many patients and caregivers at ease.
Hattie Ewart says
Thank you Dr. Duke for just being you and thank you for your service to Texas.I wish there were many more like you out there.
R.I.P. to a mighty fine Texan. Well done.
shannon ready, RN says
Rest in Peace Dr Duke…You are truely an amazing man and pioneer. SO sorry for your loss to everyone who knew him and was touched by him.
Freda Lyon says
I remember working on several Southeast Texas committees with Red. He was a great man who loved to teach and share his knowledge. I also remember hi spots on the news. Medicine lost a great man
Christopher Vincent says
Rest In Peace Dr. Red Duke Jr.
Was sad to hear of your passing. I never met or worked with you, but your legend and all the contributions you made to medicine will live on. You were a great innovator and the medical community has lost a great man. Thanks for all you did!
Eliria Mireles says
I loved seeing him on TV, never missed it. Saw him him a couple of times when came to Taxas A&M Intutute of Bioscience and Technology
Tena Koves RRT,RCP says
Prayers go out for Dr. Duke’s family and a big Thank You for allowing him to be a part of our lives. Dr. Duke was an inspiration who lived what he loved. Thank You for sharing.
“Hi how ya doin or how things goin?” is his greeting I will always remember & now miss when Dr. Duke would see me in the halls at MHH TMC. He was one who knew no stranger. He cared about you as an individual not because you work in medicine or were one of his patients. When he found out I was a hunter he would occasionally share a hunting story or two with me. My highlights of our encounters.
He has been a great mentor, teacher, & counselor to all who have had the privilege of knowing & working with him. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat, never stop learning” he’d say. He inspired you to love whatever you do, give it your best & never give up. He taught me a lot, not just medical but in life to live your dream.
The way he treated his patients was impeccable. He’d get to their level & talk to them so they understood what to expect. Dr. Duke seen my mom in the trauma clinic in 2014 for a follow up on her broken ribs & sternum after her auto accident. When he walked into her room she was speechless (not easy for my mom) & ecstatic to finally meet & be cared for by “Dr. Red Duke” & especially when he just sat & visited with us then told her not to return to the clinic since she was going to be in a wheelchair for a couple more months with her other broken bones. He told her to have me find him at the hospital & he would take care of whatever she needed. Fortunately that did not have to happen. He was the most caring doctor to all his patients, their families, & my family, that I have ever had the privilege to personally know & work with. He will be sorely missed by me & my family & all whose lives he has touched. RIP my Friend
For all those who will follow in Dr. James H. “Red” Duke’s footsteps …you’ve got some enormous boots to fill!
a terrible sense of loss overcomes me as I sit here and think that this icon is gone fromus forever…but then my spirti is lifted to know that he left a legacy that lives on..tha will live on forever.
Suzanne Coffelt says
A common name at the dinner table! At 45, I think of the legend starting life flight and that awesome handlebar mustache!
Thinking of you, Sean Duke!
Anne Miner says
Dr. Duke will be missed so much and loved by all. I feel honoured to have worked with him at Memorial Hermann. Being a Canadian nurse, I was fortunate to work in NTICU where some trauma patients were assigned.
One day in the unit, we needed to have a patient intubated but our attending was tied up, The charge nurse asked Dr Duke if he could help since he was there. He said yes but our attending showed up. At this point, Dr. Duke turned to his resident and said “I love coming here for the festivities!”
He aslo told his students “treat the nurses well because they can make you or break up!” He was a strong supporter of nurses.
Thank you Dr. Duke for everything. You were one in a zillion. After tropical storm, I remember being on the helicopter pad for the ceremony to reopen Memorial Hermann with everyone chanting your name. You waved and smiled at everyone.
Thank you for your contributions to healthcare profession. The lives you saved and lives you touched will be forever blessed. I know I am.
May you rest in peace.
Doctor redd u will truely b missed by the people u know and the people u did not known just my your kind smile and wave my sympathy go out to the family god bless u all miss c
Cathy H. says
I had Dr. Duke as a passenger on many of my flights in and out of Houston. His earthy humor, quick wit and generous smile always made my day. Always gracious, polite and friendly. I will never forget Dr. Duke. Fly with the angels, Doc. Thank you for everything you have done to improve emergency medicine and the lives of patients. Well done, sir. Well done.
In the 25 years I have worked as a Paramedic for the Houston Fire Department, I have brought many patients into the ER at Hermann and had many occasions to work with Dr Duke. He was a true Texas hero, a mentor, and I am grateful for all of his knowledge that he shared. The amount of lives he has saved, and the tremendous amount of people’s lives he has touched is incredible. God Bless Dr Duke, thank you!
Houston Fire Department
Jessica Davenport says
I grew up watching his health reports on the local news. While reading a book on the Kennedy assassination, I learned he was a resident on duty at Parkland Hospital when Kennedy & Connally were brought in.
Ritchie L Booe EMT - Paramedic says
Dr. Duke was a world class man. He always took time to help students learn. He always had a special place in his heart for those of us in EMS.
After the memorial service for the crew of Life Flight 1, he made it a point to thank every single member of Fresno VFD that responded that day.
RIP, Dr. Duke, we’ll take the watch from here.
I used to work at the Signature Suites at Memorial Hermann TMC before I transferred to Sugarland. I had the opportunity to take care of him as a patient there . He was such a down to earth individual. Nothing can stop him because even as a patient he will go to his office with the IV pole in tow and his briefcase on the other hand. I sure will miss you sir, you are the best .
Jessica Altamirano says
RIP Lifeflight saved my dads life in 1/2013 when they flew him from Brownsville to Memoial Hermann where he spent 2 months in ICU and watched over by amazing doctors. You saved the life of millions and will never be forgotten.
One of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The lives of all he touched will forever be grateful.
Carol Kuykendall says
He was a great man and well respected, on July 3/4/5 1999 he was at my husbands bedside, I knew it was bad when I had the top dog looking and working on my husband, He will be missed
Norma Lahart says
Dr. Red Duke was an awesome physician yet down to earth. He loved students and teaching. I will miss seeing him at Hermann where he always had a smile and a howdy.
Virginia Haag says
i use to watch him on tv , and he was always so down to earth in his way of treating his patients ..loved his work and was a true gentleman in all his doings ..will miss him
Agnes. Cruise says
Dr. Cowboy Red Duke,
Such a real Human. We would see him I. Our little Town following the Salt Grass Trail Riders..that old Floppy hat and Jeans..
I Cracked my Spine and was having trouble. Watching channel 8, Dr. Duke and Dr. Guy Clifton were explaining a case like mine..
Dr. Clifton took my case Fixed me up and put me in a room by Dr. Dukes Suite. When he moved into the Hospital..
Happy Trails to Heaven Cowboy Duke !!!!
Linda Dalton says
What a Great Man to have touched the lives of so many! He never walked by without saying Hello or Hi How are you? Such a kind hearted man. May he He will be greatly missed.Rest In Peace Dr. Duke.
Timothy Paslay, BSN RN says
Growing up in Texas, I always looked forward to Dr Duke’s weekly talks on our local news, never knowing that he was actually a trauma surgeon. When I was little, I knew I wanted a medical career, today, I’m an ER nurse at the only level 1 trauma center in Arkansas. Many times its me on the helipad, taking report on the trauma patient with the broken and ravaged body. I love what I do. I actually work with a trauma resident now named Dr Duke, she isn’t from Texas, but she and I have spoken about Dr Red Duke. The breadth of his influence and legacy for trauma patients with critical injuries in a life crisis can not be overstated. RIP Dr Duke!
Angelina Vaux says
I will always feel honored to witness the work of Dr. Duke and the impact he had on everyone he crossed paths with. It was a privilege to work with him in the Operating Room. Working on weekends was always a joy to see him and Jake come by for a visit. But I will forever be grateful for the fact that he helpede in a time of need when my son got ill and we were in the ER every other day for 2 weeks. My son was admitted for 2 days and had yet to have a diagnosis. We were given a Neurology appointment nearly 8 months from the day he collapsed. I came to Dr. Duke in despair and he got my son seen THAT DAY. My son most likely might not be here today if it hadn’t been for his kindness and intervention. There are not enough thank you’s in this world for that. He will be forever missed.
Thank you Dr. Duke for all you have done for healthcare. It will never be the same without you.
Rest in Heavenly Peace Dr. Red Duke. Though our conversations were few and brief I remember your smile and friendly demeanor as we spoke as I waited in the ER trauma hall for a room. My condolences and prayers go out to your family, friends, your hospital family, patients and anyone who has had the pleasure of encountering you. Thank you for all you have contributed to the medical industry especially with Hermann Memorial TMC.
Elle C Kunisch, RN says
Dr. Duke, you defined Memorial Hermann and so many of our professions. Not only did you save thousands and thousands of lives, but you helped mold so many minds leaving a legacy. Rest in Peace, gentle soul
Heather Peto says
The world has lost a truly great man. He will be every day remembered. MRNs by two digits. Lidocaine soaks in the wound. Comfort your patients. Live your work. Love your people. Humble yourself. Thank you, Dr. Duke, from many thousands and thank you to his family for sharing him with us. -MedPeds Resident
Jackie Sanchez says
He will be missed specially walking the halls of the hospital and in the elevators. Even if he didn’t know you he would always speak and make conversation. Truly a great doctor and human being
Jaime Perez says
My deepest condolences to the Duke family. Dr. Duke will be deeply missed, as he was friends with everyone that walked on this campus. My claim to fame is the fact that he knew me by my first name and would even stop in the middle of his walks through the hospital with new residents, to introduce me to them, telling them I had been working here forever, jokingly saying I was already here when he came to work here. I will miss seeing him walking Jake outside, early mornings, greeting them both, which would make the start of my day that much more pleasant. RIP Dr. James “RED” Duke, my friend.
Chad Ramroop says
RIP Dr Red Duke. Innovator behind Life Flight. Dedication to medicine unrivaled. And for that time I was lost in TMC, a person whom helped lead the way. Thanks for all that you’ve done to improve trauma care and thanks for the directions.
George and Karen James says
We both had the privilege of knowing Dr Duke over the past 40 years – from seeing him carrying buckets of vegetables into the hospital one evening and meeting with him the day he asked that Lifeflight carry blood products to continue to help more people. He was an amazing soul – our prayers are with you and your families.
Ingrid K Schneider says
He taught so many so much, from radiology residents to medical students. What a terrible loss to the community.
Deb Lollar says
I worked in the Memorial Hermann Hospital System for 18 years with the last 5 of those years at MHTMC. Dr. Duke would often come to the Medical Records department & was always in a hurry, but never, ever too rushed to be kind and friendly. I was always in awe of him. He will be missed, but most of all… he will be remembered!
Stacey Glaze says
If it were not for him I would not be alive today. I can never express my gratitude. May he rest in peace. He will never be forgotten.
Beverly Deweese says
RIP DR RED DUKE…
He has helped millions of people.
One of the Finest!! God Bless !!
Go Rest High on That Mountain
Your Work On Earth is Done!!
Yvette Rodriguez says
You will be deeply missed….RIP Dr. Red Duke….
Dr Red Duke saved my nana’s life and operated on her when every other doctor had given her weeks or months to live. She lived three more years to the age of 94 which meant that I got to know her and can still remember her today despite being young. Words can’t even come close to expressing how much that means to me.
My family and I are forever indebted to him – godspeed Dr Duke. I wish I had gotten to meet you and thank you in person. Rest in peace.
Drew Terry says
While I had a short stint down at the medical center, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Duke in line at the cafeteria! He always had a smile and always said hello! He even bought a lady her lunch who looked like she had quite a bad afternoon! It’s those little things that make a man great like he was!
Dr Red Duke may God bless you and your famly.
My dad had the pleasure of meeting him long time ago, he said Dr Red Duke was a good man. My dad has passed away also. My God comfort his family in Jesus Name.
William Garrison, Jr. EMT says
I was fortunate to know about Dr. Dukes work and then
meeting and listening to his lecture at an EMS conference
In New York was just amazing. Prayers to his famly
and he certainly has left a legacy and saved many
Mimi Woodgate says
Dr Red Duke … a legend of our time. When I was a kid and after I grew up, I didn’t go to bed at night until I listened to his health message; just after the news on the local (Shreveport, La) TV station. His info was always informative and helpful … also made you think. RIP Dr Red Duke … you (and your signature mustache) will be missed.
Connie Hudson says
He & his team saved my husband’s life in Dec 1977. Without the dedicated ER team & a multitude of amazing residents he (Steve Hudson) would not be alive today. Red was my mentor & encouraged me to go back to get another degree in nursing at UT. Steve had 3rd degree burns over 75 % of his body & was never stable enough to get to Brooks Army Hospital so Red made sure Hermann Hospital became the Houston Burn Facility. That was a crazy insane 18 mo of reworking ICU & a surgical floor into a place where my husband could survive against all odds. R.I.P. You amazing man, Dr. Red Duke!
Kevin Hunt says
What a big loss for the pre-hospital and emergency service communities. His contributions to the advancement n emergency medicine will benefit others for a long time. prayers for the family.
Tami Spencer Meyer says
All of my memories when I first moved to Houston in 1979 invloved Dr. Red Duke! God Bless Dr. Duke and his family. Another angel in Heaven!!!!!!
Debbie Hamor says
I have never met Dr. Red Duke, but I have watched him and seen him on TV and he was a Remarkable Person!! I know his family will miss him!! So sorry for your loss! The world will miss a fantastic doctor and person! God Bless his family!!
Sheryl Smith says
My condolences to Dr. Red Duke’s family. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 1989. My husband was in a serious motorcycle accident and life flighted to Memorial Herman hospital. Red Duke was the first doctor to see him. RIP.
Diane Parker says
I remember growing up in Houston and seeing Dr. Red Duke on TV and thinking what an intelligent man who has the unique ability to make medical information understandable to the everyday person. I am so very sorry for your loss and my prayers go out to his family and friends because I know he will be missed greatly. Thank you dear Lord for giving him to us as long as you did.
Sherri Fulks says
I did not have the pleasure of officially meeting Dr.Duke. However, many years ago while working at MH TMC, I would pass him in the halls. For such a busy person with so many responsibilities, he would do his best to speak to almost every person that he possibly could. He was such a gift to our city. God Bless Dr.Red Duke.
PATRICIA KHAN says
My experience with Dr Duke was both as a patient in the ER @ Hermann Hospital and as a nurse at the same hospital. I have been in nursing for 40 years and have never met a more compassionate and kind person. Everyone knows what a brilliant physician he was but he was much more than that . To this day (and it has been many years since I left Hermann) , I have never met a physician I have so much respect and admiration for, he will be missed . I know he will rest in peace, no one deserves it more !
Beverly Erben says
What an amazing man and teacher. I worked with Dr. Duke in SICU at Hermann in the early ’80s when I had just graduated. He wanted the best for his patients, his residents and his staff. He taught us well. My favorite memory is when Dr. Duke and his wife would bring the SICU night shift Thanksgiving Dinner! I will always remember his cowboy boots with booties over them. He will be missed and always loved! Rest in Peace, Dr. Duke.
Stephanie Gordy says
Dr. Duke loved his students, residents, patients and fellow man. I stand on his fortified shoulders every day. The world has lost a legendary sojourner….
What a huge impact Dr. Duke made in the field of emergency/trauma medicine. This is a loss that will be felt for many years to come. You leave incredibly big boots to fill, and I shall think of you each and every time I see that red Life Flight helicopter in the skies over Houston. Rest well and peacefully, good sir. You have more than earned it.
James Day says
I watched him as a child. It made me want to be a RN. RIP Dr Duke.
Ed Wilson says
The world has lost a true hero, a real Texan and a fine human being. Praying for those he left behind.
susan hubby says
I truly admired Dr.Duke. He was a great teacher and down home great individual. I say a special prayer for his family.
Amanda Barajas says
Hello, my name is Amanda Barajas. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Red Duke he happened to be one of my Drs. in 2012 @ Memorial Herman when i was in a terrible accident. . I have to say he was one of the most amazing person I have ever got the pleasure of meeting. His jokes I will miss. But most of all his detication to his hard work that he put in every day for people like me. I will always remember you Dr. “Red” Duke. Take it easy in paradise.
Lisa Spivey says
May you rest in peace, your legacy will live on. God Bless
Charles W Paschal LP says
Dr Duke was always kind and generous to his EMS.
I was looking for an ACLS class and had dropped by the old flight office near the old Trauma looking for the instructor so I could drop odd my check for the class. They told me he was upstairs in the Robertson building so I went there. Knocking on the door I was told to find I heard an obviously tired and sleepy voice of Dr Duke. He opened the door with blood shot eyes and tussled hair and invited me in. I told him who I was looking for and he replied, while making himself a cup of coffee, that he wasn’t there but he was headed to a meeting and the instructor would be there. That I should follow him, and I did. As we walked down the hall we talked and joked and we came upon a door, … Dr Duke opened it and motioned for me to enter… Inside was a long table with a whole lot of suits sitting there. Dr Duke pointed his thumb over his back towards me announcing to the whole room that I had a check for my ACLS class and tid ld the instructor to come get It. I swear Dr Duke took me to a Hermann board meeting. I will miss that man. He always had time to talk to us, to teach us, and let us know he loves us. Fair well my friend. I will see you on the other side.
Michael G Burgos says
May the Good Lord recieve you. You will be missed. Thanks for your dedication to your vocation. You have left a legacy to us all, and your spirit reins.
Katherine Thatcher says
Dr. Duke’s office was next door to mine 1980-82. Will never forget what a kind, true gentleman he was, caring to all he met. And I loved his Willy Nelson music! My daughter Alice was secretary for the trauma service many years ago…she often said he would always step up to take call when no other would. Rest in Peace, Dr. Duke. We all loved and respected you!
Kimberly Willett says
I have met Dr. Duke on many occasions. I was always so star struck and have never been able to tell him just how much I admired him. Not only for being an amazing doctor and surgeon but also for all he has done in emergency medicine. I never missed the news as a child, learning so much on tv. I later became an EMT with the hopes of some day flying with the best. Memorial Hermann Life flight. Rest in peace sir.
Kat Wick says
I remember being at my grandparents house from the age of 5 to 10 and watching Dr. Red Duke every time he was on TV. My grandparents knew he was a great man and I learned so much from watching him. Rest in peace and help guide our physicians from heaven as you did on earth.
Janice Taylor says
I would often see Dr. Duke at the Memorial Hermann Café. He would always encourage us to eat right. He truly was a man who knew his purpose for this world.
I never had the chance to meet Dr Duke, at least, not that I recall. I do fully believe that, had it not been for life flight, I would not be here today. I’ve heard many stories about him, and would have enjoyed meeting him. Without his innovations in trauma, many people would not be here.
Dawn Loving-Coupe says
I watched Dr. Duke on the evening news as a child and as an adult I had the pleasure of seeing him and visit with him in the halls of MH TMC. It was usually on Mondays just before lunch we would both be entering the doctors dining room. He would always stop and say hello and ask how my day was… He had no idea who I was, but I certainly knew who he was. He was the trauma legend , a mentor and teacher … A true legend and gentleman whom will greatly be missed .
So very sorry. Prayers for family and friends. He was good for Texas
Esther Rodriguez says
Met DR DUKE WHEN I WORKED AT SMITH TOWER
FOR DR RAIZER HEAD OF CATH LAB AT METHODIST
HOSPITAL. HE WAS KNOWN AS A HARD WORKING
24/7 DR LOVED TRAUMA A GENTLEMAN AND A
SCHOLAR WILL BE MISSED BY ALL
Sharon Clausing says
I was lucky enough to have worked with him at Hermann Hospital in the early ’80’s. He always had a witty comment to make…the one I’ll never forget was “Why you’re cuter than a speckled puppy under a red wagon on a rainy day!”
RIP Dr. Duke
Mindy Dlouhy says
I had the “scary”, wonderful experience of meeting Dr Duke in nursing school 25 years ago. I was in my medical/surgical rotation. We were in the operating room. Dr Duke yelled over his loud music that was playing and said “Hey you in the back. Are you a student?” I very quietly said “Yes”. Dr Duke replied. “Then get up here. You can’t see from back there “. He had me stand on a step stool to watch his amazing work. Prayers to all the family, friends, and co workers.
Christy Graves says
I met Duke as a student paramedic. I had just gotten a job doing hyperbaric medicine at Hermann. He was the kindest man but very funny too! After I graduated I got to spend 4 years working with him in the old Trauma Room in the Robinson Building. He took to calling me “Georgia” because I was fresh from a small town in Georgia. I thought at first it was because he forgot my name but in time I knew it was because he liked me. Day after day I was lucky enough to be present to watch him save countless lives. They will never make another one like him. This is a sad day indeed…I pray you are on the biggest ranch that heaven could hold.
Elizabeth Ellis says
I remember my first conversation with Dr Duke upon my arrival to UTHealth and To TMC, I had to thank him for assisting me and sending lifeflight to Ochsner Hospital as I was on the team orchestrating patient evacution! He then continued to mentor and support me during my time at TMC. He was first a surgeon and always a teacher, mentor and supporter of all health professions. A true patient advocate and man of many firsts! We will always hear the sound of your boots in the hallways! Godspeed and happy hunting Dr Duke!
Karen Hill, UTSN Class of '83 says
I met Dr. Duke during my ED rotation as a student nurse, he said, “Girl, don’t glue yourself to the wall, at least look in through the window.” (of the trauma room doors) I stood there terrified, but I knew I was watching a miracle happen, and that God had an angel on earth.
Teresa Rosales says
I grew up hearing Dr Red Duke on the news. I looked forward to the tidbits of info he provided. When I finally met him, he was genuine with his greeting while I stammered back a hello. To all the lives he’s saved & all the knowledge he’s passed on….thank you. R.I.P.
MICHELE COLLINS PA-C says
I trained with Dr Duke and his trauma team when I was in PA school back in 1995-1996. I learned so much from this no nonsense man. 24 hours on and 24 hours off but not unusual to find this amazing attending checking on patients at all hours of the night and morning. I am truly blessed to have known him and to have benefitted from his teaching
Amy Eason says
We have all gained an angel today. Fly high Dr Duke, you were loved and will truly be missed.
Michelle Abel says
I’m so sad to hear of the passing of Dr Red Duke, I lived in Houston for 17 years and enjoyed watching his interviews so much. What a great man that did so much for the medical field and medical community.
Brett Dodwell says
It was a cherished honor to work with you sir…Godspeed.
Rochann Bell says
I’ll never forget I was a medical assistant my 1st day at Hermann Hospital a plant had blown up and we had burn victims coming in left and right but when Life Flight Landed ” He says Life Flight Here You Better move your bottom ” that has always stuck with me you move when he say move he didn’t play when it comes to life flight Rest Easy Dr RED DuKe
Tony Riggs says
I had the honor of meeting Dr. Duke in 1983 as a wet behind the ears EMT student. I remember being in awe that the ledgend was actually taking the time to talk to me. Over the years I have had countless conversations Dr. Duke. There wasn’t a time when we “bumped” into each other in the OR or the EC (or Anywhere else) that we didn’t take the time to share some good conversation. The less ones learned from Red over the years have been priceless. Dr. Duke was a mentor, a charismatic leader, a visionary. Most important, I had the honor of calling him “friend”. Rest in peace, Doc.
Prayers to the family of one Amazing and giving Dr. May he rest in peace .
Maree Vann says
I met him a long time ago. The world had truly lost an angel on earth.
sue crump says
Oh my my my… What a loss. What a great man. We will certainly miss you Dr Red Duke. RIP
Todd Waldron says
I met Dr.Duke when I 9 years old. He was at a function that my father was attending. I thought and still think Herman LifeFlight is a cut above all others. He talked to me as if I was not 9 years old but as a young boy. He had much respect for all that I saw him come I contact with.
Even to this day I enjoy swig the big red birds in the air over Houston saving lives. Because of LifrFlight my Mom is here today. You will be missed Dr Duke God Speed….
Carrie Staab says
The Chaumet Family is forever indebted to Dr. Duke
1975 – Dr. Duke saved my brother Francis Chaumet, (ruptured spleen) when he fell from 50 foot tree!
1982 – Dr. Duke / Dr. Bloss detected internal bleeding with my liver due to falling from a horse.
Mary Furgeson R Ph says
While doing my residency at Herman Hospital, Dr after Dr passed me by without a word, until one day on my way in, this tall redheaded Dr lumbered past me in a hurry but shot me a genuine smile and said “Good morning! ” I didn’t know who he was at the time, but it made my day. But that is just how he was, I later found out. Genuine. He will be missed.
Jeff Geyer says
A true pioneer. His compassion for life and the lives of others is what this great man leaves behind. God blessed this man with the skills he perfected, and allowed him to share those same skills with others so that the world of medicine would be a continuing educational tool.
I close this with four words: God Bless, and Thank you
Dianna Little says
It was truly an honor to work with Dr Duke at Memorial Hermann TMC. He was a sweet man who always had a smile on his face and would always tell me hi whenever he saw me. I remember him telling me that I should go to Phatmacy School. He will be missed by all of us as he truly touch so many lives. Rest In Peace Dr. Duke
Ryan Cook says
I remember seeing DR Red Duke in the hallways at Hermann for the past 9 years. I will miss him very much because he would always say hey bud how are you doing. R.I.P DR Red Duke