Quilt Project Panel
CRAIG DWAIN DUKE
Jun. 16, 1961 – Feb. 26, 1997
CRAIG DWAIN DUKE was fierce and also one of the sweetest young men you’d ever meet. He was handsome, raven-haired and had a quiet, playful sense of humor. Like so many, he died too young at the age of 35 on Feb. 26, 1997.
Craig was born on Jun. 16, 1961 to Charles and Viola Belle Duke, one of three Gay brothers along with Dean and David. Craig and David were very active in Ventura County’s LGBT community during the 1990s, with Craig becoming a strong advocate for those with AIDS.
During his life, Craig was a veteran of the US Navy, and like his brother David, settled in Camarillo for what would be the last years of his life.
Both brothers Dean and Craig became infected with the AIDS virus, and for Craig it meant a new calling.
As a client of the nonprofit AIDS Care, Inc., Craig very much held ACI’s feet to the fire when it came to patient services, penning strong letters to the agency on what he viewed as shortcomings in service for AIDS Care’s clients.
But Craig was also a strong supporter of the organization, attending the Easter-themed Sunset Harbor Cruise in 1992 with his parents and donning a wacky pastel crown for the trophied Easter bonnet contest (sadly, he didn’t win).
Craig passed away on Feb. 26, 1997, and is buried at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura. Tragically, his brother Dean also lost his life, and their family worked with NAMES Project Ventura County (NPVC) to create a pair of AIDS Memorial Quilts that are now part of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Both Craig and Dean are remembered in the Gold Coast.