October 18, 2021

Karen Elizabeth Russell Duke

Karen Elizabeth Russell Duke
News Staff
Thu, 09/30/2021 – 03:18

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Karen Elizabeth Russell Duke of Edmond, OK passed away August 27th, 2021 in Oklahoma City, OK at the age of 59 from heart failure. Karen was born September 21, 1961 in Kansas City, MO to Harold Riddle Russell and Wanda Elizabeth Kelly Russell. Her family lived in Greenwood, MO; Lee’s Summit, MO; and Coffeyville, KS; before eventually settling in Ponca City, OK.

Karen began working at a very young age for her mother, Wanda, who managed Taco Tico in Ponca City, OK. Karen wed Benjamin Lee Duke in 1978, and she graduated high school from Ponca City in 1979. In 1983 Karen came to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus and for the rest of her life she passionately followed Jesus. Her radiant joy was a direct product of the work of God in her life. To know Karen was to love her.

Karen was a wonderful mom who lavished love onto her children, Nichole Elizabeth Duke Phillips and Matthew Lee Duke. She was a young mom who loved to play and have fun with her kids. Karen didn’t just take her kids to the park; she played tag, swung on the swing set, and jumped on the trampoline with them. She sewed elaborate dresses for her daughter Niki, played micro machines with her son Lee, and ensured they both had a fun, loving home, that was centered on Christ.

Karen loved serving. In Ponca City, she was a Sunday school and preschool teacher, and an active member of Christian Women’s Club, where she hosted and attended many bible studies over the years. Karen loved God and His people. If the church doors were open, she was there. Even when the doors were closed, she was sometimes there, like during lock-ins at First Church of God in Ponca City, as a youth leader.

Karen had a heart to help those in need. She worked at Alpha 2, a substance abuse center and Anchors Day treatment facility. Over the years, Karen went on to multiple jobs, which led her to the Kansas City area, St. Joseph, MO, and Tulsa, OK. Karen’s love for others was always evident and endeared her to many coworkers over the years.

She loved to spend time with her six grandkids, Jordon, Hunter, Ryker, Rori, Rhys, and Trinity. She called them her “grands”, and they were her pride and joy.

Survivors include daughter “Niki” Nichole Elizabeth Duke (Jacob) Phillips of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and son Matthew Lee (Melissa) Duke of Edmond, OK; grandchildren, Jordon Tyler Phillips, Hunter Michael Phillips, Ryker Lee Duke, Rori Elizabeth Phillips, Rhys Matthew Duke, and Trinity Diane Duke; brothers Kenneth (Lisa) Russell of Blue Springs, MO, and Kelly (Sheila) Russell of Tulsa, OK, and many, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and friends. Karen was preceded in death by her parents.

A memorial service will be held in her honor October 1st at 3pm at Journey Church in Liberty, MO.

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