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.
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