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When I was very young, I had the opportunity and the privilege to work with Dr. William Duke when he first started practicing in Lancaster. We started the first EKG Department in Marion Sims Hospital. When the new hospital was completed in 1971, we moved the department there.
I was the first EKG technician in Lancaster and I learned my skills from Dr. Duke. I helped him with hundreds of stress tests. At that time, they were called exercise cardiograms. I assisted with hundreds of gastroscopies and even assisted him with the first internal pacemaker that was done in Lancaster. The woman was a prominent business woman from Charlotte. She came to our hospital, Marion Sims, to have the procedure done by Dr. Duke. What a switch this was since most folks back then went to Charlotte to get specialty work done.
In saying all of this, I think it is important for everyone to understand that Dr. William Duke was the start of specialized medical care in Lancaster. Great things began to happen and there has been no slowing down of specialists flooding into Lancaster since he started here.
I would also like to add that he expected perfection from everyone around him and there was no room for error.
Not only was he a great physician and a well known one, who I watched save many, many lives, but he also loved his God and was instrumental in starting the Gideons here in Lancaster. He was completely devoted to his wife, Jan, and their children. He was always so proud of his children’s accomplishments as he should have been. He also loved golf. He always played on Wednesday afternoons and sometimes he could be seen on the golf course in the bitter, bitter cold. He once told me it was never too cold to play golf.
As his twin brother, Charlie, became a famous astronaut who walked on the moon, Dr. William W. Duke was famous for his medical knowledge and the many, many lives he touched and saved. It was truly a great day when Dr. Duke decided to practice medicine in Lancaster as an internist and to raise his family here.
He will be sorely missed by the thousands of folks he treated and his family and friends and also by the young lady who is now a senior citizen who he taught how to do so many things and gave great advice on how to live life.
Thanks, Dr. Duke, for all that you did for me.
Judy S. Hinson