In Memory

James T Duke Dulcet - Class Of 1954

James T Duke Dulcet


July 18, 1934 - July 7, 2018

CRUMSTOWN - James T. “Duke” Dulcet, 83, of Crumstown, IN passed away, Saturday, July 7, after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by loving family. Duke was the youngest son of Thomas and Frances (Zakrocki) who preceded him in death. Duke was also preceded in death by his brothers, Sigmund, Alphonse, Edmund, and Raymond; and sisters, Mary Janiczewski, Helen Dulcet, Isabelle Lopez, and Lorraine Szalay.

A devoted husband, father, and Dziadzia, he cherished his family and enjoyed spending special time with them. On April 26, 1958, he married his loving wife of 60 years, Elaine (Jankowski) Dulcet who survives. In addition to his wife, he is survived by son, Stephen (Kim) of Crumstown, IN; daughters, Deborah Dulcet of Crumstown, IN and Denise (Roger) Wolfe of Prescott, AZ; grandchildren, Derek Dulcet and Stephanie (Jacob) Lichnerowicz; step-grandchildren, Jason & Daniel (Ashley) Wolfe; step-great-grandson, Axl; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Duke attended St. Stanislaus B & M Catholic Grade School prior to graduating from South Bend Central High School in 1954, where he excelled in track, swimming, and football. In the glory years of high school football, Duke, alias “the Whip” was one of the greatest quarterbacks - a pure passer and a gifted runner. Duke earned All State first-team honors and was selected by an overwhelming majority vote in 1953 as South Bend Tribune's Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Eastern Division of the Northern Indiana Conference (NIC). Duke was also selected to the South Bend Tribune's 1953 All-Twin City Grid Team. The All-Stater was selected to participate in the East-West All Star Game and was the starting quarterback for the East Team, where he earned the games MVP's honors. He was adept at running the T and Split T-attack.

Duke attended Indiana University before serving in the Unites States Army, and was a veteran of the cold war, stationed in Germany from 1955 to 1956. While in the Army, Duke played quarterback for two years for the U.S. Army 42nd Field Artillery Group Finches in Baumholder, Germany, where he was recognized in an all Army poll as one of the top 20 quarterbacks across the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. Duke was named All League Quarterback in 1955 and to the Rhine League All-Star first team in 1955 and 1956. Duke's most notable accolade was being inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of fame, May 18, 2012.

In addition to Duke's high school football accolades, he was an accomplished varsity swimmer for four years and a member of Central's State Swimming Championship in the 400 yard freestyle relay. Duke also ran varsity track in his senior year, where he broke the school record in the 180 yard low hurdles, and was also on the Conference Championship 880 sprint relay team.

After Duke's accomplished football career, he went on to pitch in the South Bend Fast Pitch softball League, pitching for PNA 83 where he pitched a perfect game in 1961. In 1964 and 1965, Duke pitched in the city championship games, winning the championship while being recognized as MVP for both games. In the last year of the South Bend Fast Pitch All-Stars vs. Mishawaka's Fast Pitch All Stars, Duke hit a late inning grand slam to win the game for the South Bend All Stars. In Mishawaka (Twin Branch/Village Green Sales) the team won the Semi-State Tournament in 1978.

Duke retired from pitching at the age of 55, returning to his boyhood hobby of racing pigeons, where he earned numerous awards and championships. He was a member of PNA 83, South Bend Liberty Pigeon Club, and a lifetime member of Crumstown Conservation Club. Among his numerous hobbies he also enjoyed training bird dogs, field trialing bird dogs, pheasant hunting, Euchre, and was an avid fan of Notre Dame football and classic westerns.

After spending 30 years at AM General as a UAW Local 5 member, he retired and devoted the majority of time to his family and friends. Duke was a stranger to no-one.

A special “thank you” to nephew, Jim Lopez and niece, Charmaine Kronewitter for their unwavering support throughout Duke's battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Visitation will be from 2:00pm to 8:00pm, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in St. Joseph Funeral Home, 824 W. Mayflower Rd. and 1 hour prior to the 11:00am Catholic Service which will be held Thursday, July 12, 2018 in the funeral home chapel. A private family burial will be held at the St. Joseph Cemetery. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.

For those of you that pray the Rosary, please feel free to pray at home for the soul of our beloved husband, father, and dziadzia.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of James T. “Duke” Dulcet to Riley Children's Hospital, 702 Barnhill Dr., Room 5900, Indianapolis, IN 46202; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105; Holy Family Catholic Church, 56405 Mayflower Rd., South Bend, IN 46619; Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545, or to a charity of choice.


07/10/2018 JFC