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Phyllis Ann (Kerley) Duke

April 7, 1943 ~ August 17, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Phyllis Kerley Duke, 80, passed away on Thursday, August 17, 2023. She was born in Alexander County, North Carolina, daughter of the late Edward Howard Kerley and Edith Elder Kerley. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Nester Michael Duke; her still born son; her sister, Louella Kerley; her brother, Edward Kerley; and two brothers-in-law, Charlie King, and Danny Davis.
Mrs. Duke is survived by her children, Todd Duke (Kelly McAlister), Brandon Duke, and Belinda Eller (Zeke); her grandsons, Hunter Duke, and Cody Duke; her sisters, Bennye King, and Brenda Davis; and numerous nieces and nephews - Debbie Hicks, Theresa Pilkenton, Cindy Jowers, Barbara Wise, Beth McPhatter;  Scott & Chris Kerley; Danny Davis & Tina Snipes.
Phyllis by trade was an accountant – most of her career was spent at Ivey’s downtown as an accountant.  She retired from Dillard’s once they purchased Ivey’s. Phyllis was always busy during tax season helping friends and family prepare their tax returns.  Her children remember their kitchen table often sorted by stacks of papers which would soon be filed and cleared for breakfast.   After retiring, Phyllis and Mickey purchased a grill on Atando Avenue.  During that time, they developed a loyal customer base that later led them to a new endeavor on Camp Green which they owned and operated together for many years.  Later in her retirement, she started working at The Cooling Center and as always, it wasn’t long before she was “mothering” a different family.   

Phyllis’ love for her family and friends was unmatched.  Her favorite memory was traveling to the Arches in Utah, with her sisters.  The loved planning and traveling together sharing specials memories.  A beautiful thought she shared in her last day was thanking her sisters for taking her to beautiful places.  She was also competitive, but in the best way. SHE LOVED THE TARHEELS and nearly every cotton shirt she owned had a Tarheel on the front.  She enjoyed softball, bowling, pool, reading, and playing cards.  You could find Phyllis teaching Sunday School and helping in the Nursey at church.  Outside of church, her nurturing continuing.  While her husband, Mickey, was at end stages of Parkinson, she was his caregiver until the end of his days, in their home.

Her children and grandchildren, and frankly, all who knew her, describe her first, as a devoted Christian and Mother, putting her family and God above all else. She was loving and selfless in all her actions.   
The family will greet guests from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm with a Memorial Service immediately following on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at Woodlawn Funeral Home at 375 Woodlawn Avenue, Mount Holly, NC 28120.  Woodlawn Funeral Home is caring for the Duke Family. Condolence messages may be sent to the family by visiting

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August 19, 2023

12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Woodlawn Funeral Home
375 Woodlawn Avenue | P.O. Box 445
Mount Holly, NC 28120

Memorial Service
August 19, 2023

2:00 PM
Woodlawn Funeral Home
375 Woodlawn Avenue | P.O. Box 445
Mount Holly, NC 28120


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