Ralph "Duke" Carl
Scholar, Sailor, Father, High School
History Teacher, Philosopher, Discussion Master, Poet, Presenter, Performer,
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
"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
- Alan R. webmaster,