Chester Allen Duke

Chester Allen Duke


Chester Duke, a long-time resident of the Grand Strand area, died Sunday, July 28, 2019 at his home in Murrells Inlet.

Born on July 26, 1939 in Bainbridge, GA to Wesley Allen Duke and Sarah Margaret (Thompson) Duke, Chester and his family later relocated to Columbia, SC. Chester graduated from Dreher High School and attended the University of South Carolina on a baseball scholarship. Shortly thereafter Mr. Duke also served in the United States Army, having been stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Duke married his high school sweetheart, Salina Ann Dabbs, and had four sons. He grieved the loss of his third son, Thomas Wesley in 1980, but is survived by sons Chester Jr., Scott, and Robb, and grandchildren Wesley, Chester III and Erin. Chester is also survived by his sister, Sarah and brother, Buddy. He is predeceased by his brother Willis.

Mr. Duke enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in banking beginning in 1965 with First National Bank of South Carolina. He served as president of Davis National Bank of Mullins and Chairman, President from 1974 to 1981. He was the Chairman, President and CEO of Marion National Bank/First National South of Marion, SC from 1981 to 1998, when the bank was acquired by Carolina First Bank (now TD Bank). Chester was also an organizing founder and early member of the board of Coastal Carolina National Bank.

Throughout his career, Chester studied banking and finance at the School of Banking of the South at LSU, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University, and others.

Before he retired in 2000, Mr. Duke was recognized as a prominent leader within the industry and throughout the state. Chester served as the chairman of the South Carolina Bankers Association, president of the South Carolina Association of Independent Banks, member of the State Development Board and state director of the S.C. Easter Seal Campaign. He was also elected by member banks of the 5th Federal Reserve District to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In recognition of his outstanding achievements in business and service, Mr. Duke was bestowed the Distinguished Alumni award from the Darla Moore School of Business at The University of South Carolina.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Belin United Methodist Church, 4182 Highway 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. The family will receive friends from 10:00-10:45 AM in the sanctuary. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Belin Methodist, or to the charity organization of one’s choice.

Please send messages and condolences to the family using the Guestbook tab located above.

Leave a Condolence
Condolence Message:
Name Condolence(s)
Mac Cooley
Cayce, SC
Created On: 08/11/2019 23:20:27

Chuck, Hart and I are so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. All our best.

Mac and Hart

Martin Poole
New York
Created On: 08/05/2019 21:49:38

I met Chester the summer after my freshman year of college and he was responsible for my getting a summer job at Davis National in Mullins. That was the start of my career in banking. I spent 5 summers at Davis and learned a lot about banking from him. I owe a lot of gratitude to Chester for that start. My condolences to his family.

Jim Watson
Myrtle Beach/Charlotte
Created On: 08/04/2019 17:02:10

I enjoyed working with Chester at Anchor Bank and its successor, Carolina First Bank in Myrtle Beach. Chester was a fine gentleman, and always had a pleasant word to say to everyone. He was an excellent banker who inspired others to be successful.

Tommy Lawson
Charlotte, NC
Created On: 08/03/2019 20:18:41

I have many wonderful memories of Chester and Anne. What perfect couple! Chester was a long time friend, a mentor and all around warm gentleman. He was also a good banker, leader and molder of people. I have missed seeing over the last years, but I will never forget him. His sons have lots to be proud of as he was proud of them. Peace.

Kathy Blake
Andrews, SC
Created On: 08/03/2019 18:31:50

To the Duke family: I didn't know your loved one, but his stepgrandson, Dylan Leatherwood is my granddaughter, Allie's boyfriend. Dylan spoke often of Mr. Duke and his son Scott who were an influential part of his life as Scott was his stepfather. After reading his obituary, I realize where Dylan got his love of playing baseball. My thoughts are with you all at this most difficult time and may your memories bring you peace.

Jon Anderson
Bennettsville, SC
Created On: 08/02/2019 14:33:33

A kind gentleman. I remember him well from Bennettsville. Peace be with those who are grieving. God Bless! Jon

Ruth Montine Fetner Rosenthal
Columbia, SC
Created On: 08/02/2019 13:24:09

So very sorry for my childhood friend & neighbor's passing. We lived right behind the Duke family across from Valley Park in Cola., SC. So sorry also to hear Willis died. Love & sympathy to Sarah & Buddy & rest of the family. Jesus promised a grand resurrection hope at Jo. 5:28, 29; 11:23, 24 which we are looking forward to.

Buck Daniel
Columbia, SC
Created On: 08/02/2019 11:00:44

Chuck , Scott , and Rob Betsy and I have you and your families in our thoughts and prayers. Your father was a good friend while we lived in Mullins and we know how much you will miss him. Buck Daniel

KIm Leatherwood
Pawleys Island
Created On: 08/01/2019 23:53:51

Dylan, Ethan, Stephan and I are very sorry for your loss. Chester was devoted to his family and loved his sons very much. I will always be grateful to Ann and Chester for treating my boys like members of their family. We had some great times and we will always cherish our memories as we watched Chuckie, Erin, Wesley, Ethan and Dylan grow up.

Elizabeth N. Rogers
Mullins, SC
Created On: 08/01/2019 19:19:20

Prayers for Chuck, Robb, and the family.

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