Ralph "Duke" Carl

Scholar, Sailor, Father, High School History Teacher, Philosopher, Discussion Master, Poet, Presenter, Performer, etc...

R.I.P. July, 2002

This summer, July, 2002, we lost our friend, Duke. 

Most of Frenchtown knew Duke only as the revered gentleman who monitored Frenchtown from "his" park bench in front of Don Schaible's barber shop. 
Duke was known as "Mr. Carl" to his DelVal High School history classes.
Duke was known as "Ralph" to his Gerard School classmates.

But, to the folks of Frenchtown, Duke was far more than a retired high school history teacher, merchant seaman, graduate of the Gerard School in Philadelphia. Duke was a friend to all who enjoyed a good conversation, and was willing to learn or understand something more about the world or be enterained by a bit of clever poetry.

Duke's death leaves a void in the community. Everyone who has enjoyed Duke's company mourns his loss to us all.

 "Tex" Coulter, minister of the Frenchtown Presbyterian Church, held a touching Memorial Service for Duke on Wednesday, July 10, 2002. As expected, there was a very large and diverse turnout at the tasteful and very touching service...

Duke's daughter, Brenda gave us a heartbreaking and heartwarming - and perfectly executed rendition of a song she used to sing with her father. 

Duke's son, "T.W." gave a far more polished presentation about his father than his modesty led us to expect. 

It was obvious that the loss of Duke was not ours alone. He touched many lives during his years on earth, and, through our memories, will continue to touch lives ever more.

As a quiet observer of this memorial service, your webmaster feels compelled to claim that Duke would have been very proud of his children, and not a little embarrassed in his typical modesty, to hear the fine things said about him by them and others.

One very touching aspect of this memorial service was the attendance of more than half a dozen of his old grammar school buddies, two of whom gave moving talks about Duke as a young man who made friends when he was young - and kept them throughout his life. 

It is our hope to add photos, comments and perhaps even some of Duke's poetry to this webpage, and to maintain it as a lasting tribute to a man who is already very much missed by his community. 

- Alan R. webmaster, Frenchtown.com