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Dave Dukelow, Face of Pope Transport, Dies

April 1, 2015 – Joe Ruggiero SSUSA staff

By Joseph Ruggiero

Softball News Reports

Lloyd David Malcolm “Duke” Dukelow, 62, of Madison, WI, a highly skilled softball player and talented manager of several softball teams including Twin City Brewers, Lums/Berghoff, Lucky’s Bar & Grille, and Pope Transport died suddenly on Jan. 5.

Playing softball for over 30 years, Duke, described by friends and family as “a great listener with a contagious smile who loved to share stories and jokes,” brought great joy and fun to the field.

“A true icon of Senior Softball, Duke was the ideal manager, player and gentleman. Making any day spent with him better than it would have been without,” said Fran Dowell, Executive Director of SSUSA.

“Duke was a great guy. Not only was he a great softball player, he was a fun person to be around before and after the game. He was always nice to his teammates, opponents and umpires. A real leader who never took the game too seriously. He knew that the most important thing about softball was not winning, but the friendships built,” said Steve Adams, teammate, manager and friend.

Ken Van Bogaert, of Pope Transport, like many of the managers and players who played with and against Duke, spoke highly of Duke as a man and a player, saying “Duke formed Robert Construction, now Pope Transport, about 12 years ago and was one of the most well-known senior players. He was a great player, manager and even better person.”

Players fondly remember Duke’s tailgates, with Van Bogaert explaining, “He made it mandatory to tailgate at the end of each game in the parking lot and opposing players often stopped by and tipped one as Duke’s invitation. It made for a very special atmosphere and created friendship and good will with all the teams, umpires and fans.”

Outside of softball, Duke also coached Fitchburg soccer and baseballs teams while his sons were growing up. A mentor to younger athletes, Duke enjoyed helping athletes reach their full potential. It was not uncommon to see him cheering on many of his former players as they grew older.

An avid fisherman, Duke loved to share this passion with his family and friends. A 30-year tradition, he and a group of friends would travel to Canada to fish. Duke also played competitive ping pong and recently won the championship at Nakoma Golf Club where he was a member.

Duke’s “true happiness came from spending time with his wife, Peggy; his sons, Brian and Adam; and his friends either at a ball diamond, cheering on the Badgers, enjoying a great steak dinner, or sipping a Korbel & Pepsi at a tailgate.”

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