Leetonia - Lawrence "Larry" Joseph Duko, age 92, of Leetonia, died on Monday, June 7, 2021, at his home surrounded by his family.
He was born on August 10, 1928, in Salem, a son of the late Andrew and Nellie Eskay Duko.
Larry was a graduate of Leetonia High School, played on the 1946 State Champion football team, and was a member of the Leetonia High School Athletic Hall of Fame. After high school, and despite Larry’s battle with seasickness, he served his country in the United States Navy during WWII. He would often joke that he must have made someone mad because he was stationed in Alaska. Larry came back home and settled down in his hometown of Leetonia where he made a career working for Stearns & Foster for 36 years. He was a member of the Joe Williams Post # 131, American Legion, an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Leetonia, as well as the Knights of Columbus. Larry served his community by serving on the village council that was instrumental in the installation of the basketball courts at Wick Park. He was a past member of the Leetonia Ruritans Club. As a member, he was in charge of the club’s annual planting of the petunias in the downtown area. Larry had a green thumb and loved planting both vegetable and flower gardens. It came as no surprise when he was appointed to serve on Tree City USA. He also spent many summers trying to grow the largest tomato in Leetonia. He enjoyed spending time working in his yard, hunting, fishing, and woodworking. He was a “Jack of All Trades”. His wife loved to brag how Larry even built their beautiful home. He enjoyed spending the winters with his wife in Florida. He adored being with his family, and proudly attended all his grandchildren’s sporting events. Perhaps this is how Larry may best be remembered.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Renee Beltempo Duko, whom he married on June 28, 1952; his son, Lawrence "Larry" (Marcia) Duko of Leetonia; two daughters, Debbie (Steve Howell) Hiscox of Columbiana, and Melanie (Gary) Dolak of Leetonia; two sisters, Helen Gallo of Leetonia, and Mary Catherine Tortora of Northville, MI; two sisters-in-law, Sandra Duko of Canfield, and Mary Duko of Leetonia, two grandsons, Eric and Ryan Hiscox, and four granddaughters, Haley Shaffer, Brianna Rust, LeeAnne Warner, and Jaclyn Ryan. Also surviving are fourteen great grandchildren, and a 15th due in September.
Larry was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Bell, and two brothers, Edward Duko, and George Duko.
A private family Memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Father Robert Edwards officiating.
The family would like to thank Salem Community Hospice and the Veteran’s Administration Health Care Team. The family wants to express sincere gratitude to his personal caretakers: Carol Dickson, Lorrie Mead, Annette Utt, Diane Seely, Betty Ann Koziel, Dot Harris, and Trisha Rogers. Also, thanks to his many nieces, nephews and friends that helped in his time of need.
A private committal service will take place at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Leetonia where military honors will be rendered by the Benjamin Firestone Post #290, American Legion Honor Guard.
Memorial donations may be made in Larry’s memory to Community Hospice, 2341 East State St., Salem, OH 44460.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Woods-Rettig Funeral Home, Leetonia.
Family and friends may view this obituary and send condolences at www.familycareservices.com
Community Hospice - Salem
2341 East State Street, Salem OH 44460