Andrew “Duke” Murray was born on September 11, 1945, in Birmingham, Alabama. He was the oldest of thirteen children born to Willie L. Greene and John H. Greene both of whom have proceeded him in death.
What can we say about Duke that most people did not instantly feel when they met him for the first time… full of life, genuine and true, sweet, engaging, talkative, curious, and humorous.
Although not your traditional educational and employment history, there were companies that benefited from Duke’s loving qualities and eagerness to learn. While living in Detroit, he worked at The Tireman & Prairie Market, Hughley Barber Shop, Mers Goodwill and Kroger’s. He also attended classes at Adult Welling Being. He relocated to Missouri in 2007, where he attended regular sessions at Seniors and Company and worked for a brief period at Boone Center. In 2018, Andrew eagerly moved to Colorado where he attended Alpine Adult Care Center where he enjoyed volunteering, arts and crafts, cooking, and teaching his peers the true art of dance.
Duke did not have the typical life path or stressor that many of us have experienced. He was able to pause, meet and enjoy the company of people with an open heart without judgement. Duke was a defender of what was right. He always felt the need to rescue the defenseless.
He enjoyed some of the simple things of life like, a classic matchbox car, (he owned thousands of them), going for a walk, chewing the fat with his community fire fighters or police officers, attending church, dancing, a good juicy burger, and being with and among his family. Duke’s favorite past time was watching old episodes of the Three Stooges, Lone Ranger, and old westerns featuring John “Duke” Wayne, his name sake… episode after episode, repeatedly, day end and day out. Duke also enjoyed playing with his cars and building “garages’ out of old shoe boxes. But the thing that would get him out of his seat dancing and singing, was hearing an old Motown tune like, My Girl, and Cloud Nine by the Temptations. He absolutely LOVED to dance and sing.
Duke NEVER complained about anything, even during his last days. If you loved him and fed him, he was happy. He enjoyed traveling, vacationing, and visiting his family and friends. Unlike most of us, he was fortunate to have lived in 4 different states, Alabama, Michigan, Missouri and his final resting place, Colorado.
Duke was a resilient man. Through limitations, changes, uncertainty, and dependence on others, he always bounced back and encourage others. He would hug and kiss you and tell you that everything would be alright.
Duke transitioned home to be with the Lord in the comfort of his home some time during the middle of the night. We are grateful to God for allowing Duke to be a part of our life, and we are happy that he touched your heart too. We could all look to him as an example of perseverance and inner strength, as he continued to fight battles in health and limitations that would crush many of us.
Those that personally knew Duke understood that the quality of his existence far exceeded the developmentally disabilities of his life. He did not know or accept limitations. To know him was to love him.
Andrew “Duke’ Murray was proceeded in death by his parents, three brothers, Christopher Greene, Joseph Greene, and George Greene, and two sisters, Patricia Ward and Phyllis Burdette.
He leaves to cherish his memory, three brothers: John H. Greene Jr. (Sharon); Nathaniel Greene Sr. (Jackie) both of Michigan; and Phillip Greene of Alabama, four sisters, Rose Marie Davis, and Beverly D. Mann (Marquis) both of Missouri; Shirley A. Greene and Barbara Ann Pierce (James) both of Colorado, 24 nieces and nephews, 27 great nieces and nephews, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
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