Duke, Tonna N.
Beloved mother, teacher, coach and friend, Tonna Nan Taylor Duke returned to the home of her Lord and Savior on August 26, 2021. She was born in Hope, Arkansas on August 31, 1943. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Audrey Taylor of Hope, Arkansas, and her husband Coach George Winston Duke of Richardson, Texas. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dee Ann and Chuck Hirsch, and grandson Cole Hirsch, all of Arlington, Texas; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Chuck Brown of Springfield, Missouri; niece and her husband, Chonna and Matt Patterson of Ozark, Missouri; and Tonna’s faithful companion, Bella. She also had special relationships with her brothers-in-law, Joe Duke (Hope, Arkansas) and Johnny Duke (Jacksonville, Arkansas) and their wives and families; and sister-in-law, Judy Duke (Hope, Arkansas); and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was active in numerous organizations including: Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) where she served in numerous capacities including the Richardson Retired School Personnel President and Foundation Representative, District President and Legislative Chair, and State Legislative Coordinator; Richardson Women’s Club where she served as 1st Vice President, Women’s Club Charitable Foundation Board, Chair of the Community Affairs Committee, and Co-Chair of the Afternoon Tea Division; Iota Nu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma where she served as President.
Tonna was a member of the First Baptist Church of Richardson and enjoyed participating and teaching in the Living Stones Sunday School Class, The Goldenaires (Senior Adult Choir), Prison Ministry, and Celebration Choir. She is much loved and respected by colleagues for her tireless work with TRTA. She embraced her passion for teaching and leading others by serving as a voice with the Texas Legislature on behalf of her fellow educators. She was a force for change and shining example of compassionate mentorship to others.
As a leader of young women, Tonna served as the Women’s Track and Field Coach at Richardson High School where she was also a health teacher. Her track teams won many championships and provided a training ground for future female leaders. She also coached internationally for International Sports Tours, leading elite-level, amateur athletes on competitive track and field tours throughout Europe. In 2000, she retired from Richardson Independent School District as the Assistant Director of Athletics.
Tonna’s many accomplishments are eclipsed only by her impact on the lives of others; she had a particular talent for recognizing the value of those surrounding her. Tonna enjoyed spending time with her ladies tea group, special friends and family, and with her flowers; she will be remembered as a faithful Christian woman who leaves a legacy of service to thousands of individuals touched throughout her life.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 a.m. in the Worship Center of the First Baptist Church, 1001 N. Central Expressway, Richardson, Texas 75080 on Friday, September 17, 2021.
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