Fallen Hero: CPT(Ret) James Kelly Dukes


Funeral Home

Moore Funeral Services

805 Hardy St, Hattiesburg, MS
(601) 544-2141


Saturday, June 18. 2022, 1:30-3:30 PM, Main Street Baptist Church (11 Main St Blvd, Hattiesburg, MS


Saturday, June 18. 2022, 3:30 PM, Main Street Baptist Church (11 Main St Blvd, Hattiesburg, MS


Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.

Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on June 15, 2022, and moved on to his heavenly home. CPT(Ret) James Kelly Dukes , age 87, a retired member of the MS Army National Guard who had served within the 3656th Maintenance Company, 298th Maintenance Battalion, 114th ASG, has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country. A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Soldier. We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, this country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.
You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.

Obituary, visitation, and service details:

JAMES KELLY DUKES, of Petal, Mississippi was born on March 2, 1935, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Jim was predeceased by his loving wife of sixty-five years, Janeil Stewart Dukes. Jim and Janeil are survived by three children, James K. Dukes, Jr., Jan Elizabeth Dukes, William W. “Bill” Dukes, daughter-in-law, Kimberly Batson Dukes, two grandchildren, Ashton Dukes and Kelly Dukes (Natalee), and one great-grandchild, Karlee Batson Dukes. Mr. Dukes is survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, W. W. and Lorena Dukes, his brother, William Francis “Bill” Dukes, his sister, Betty Dukes Craft, brother-in-law, George Craft and his niece, Laurie Symmes. He is also survived by his care givers, Judy and Nathan Franklin, who were devoted to the wonderful care of Jim as well as Trondelette Stokes “Mrs. Bookie”, who kept him well fed and cared for. The family would also like to extend their appreciation for Harold “Tuffy” Davis, who carted him around the country side on the weekends to see his “Padna’s” at the Country Club. Jim is also survived by his canine companion, Dos. Jim was a Hattiesburg High School graduate of 1953, the University of Southern Mississippi and in 1959 a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law with a Juris Doctorate Degree with Distinction and Graduated First in Overall Class Ranking. He also served on the Mississippi Law Journal Staff as Business Manager, the Mississippi Law Journal Moot Court Board, was selected as Chairman of the Moot Court Board and Phi Alpha Delta Honorary Society. While attending the University of Mississippi he was elected to the Student Government Senate, served as Attorney General, and served in Student Government. Jim served his country with distinction and honor in the United States Army in 1959. He was Commissioned Second Lieutenant, United States Army Reserve, through the ROTC program in 1959, as a Distinguished Military Student. He was also the Instructor on staff of the Law Committee, Provost Marshal, and General School Officers Club. Jim completed his service in the Mississippi National Guard with an honorable discharge with rank of Captain in 1976. Jim had many honors and achievements while attending college and law school. As a University of Southern Mississippi Alumni, he was bestowed many honors and awards; U.S.M. Athletic Department Distinguished Service Award 1985, U.S.M. Alumni Association Outstanding Service Award 1992, U.S.M. Alumni Hall of Fame – Inducted 1995, U.S.M. Foundation Presidents Circle Honor Club 2002. Jim married Janeil on June 5, 1955 and had three children. Thereafter, he entered the practice of law in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1959 and practiced as Holmes and Dukes with Paul H. “Bud” Holmes as his law partner. He continued to practice law as Dukes, Dukes and Hunter until his demise. Mr. Dukes was appointed City Prosecutor in 1962 and was appointed Forrest County Prosecuting Attorney in 1970. Mr. Dukes was the lead prosecutor in the State of Mississippi case that was the first case to successfully prosecute the KKK in the death of a Black man, Vernon Dahmer. Mr. Dukes was rated in Martindale-Hubbell as A.V., admitted to practice in all Mississippi State Courts, United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, Mississippi State Supreme Court, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Dukes was a member of Main Street Baptist Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The family would like to thank Dr. Joey Brent for all his visits and time. Mr. Dukes represented many clients over the span of sixty years. He also represented Forrest General Hospital and Forrest County Sheriff’s Department for many years. Mr. Dukes served in many civic and charitable organizations in addition to his thriving law practice. Jim was a donor of the fully endowed Betty Dukes Craft Scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi. He served as a member of the Masonic Order, Shriners, Southern Mississippi Eagle Club, University of Southern Mississippi M Club, University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Petal Education Foundation. A Member of the Area Development Partnership and a commissioner of the Hattiesburg Industrial Park Commission. Mr. Dukes also enjoyed hosting fishing tournaments during the Deposit Guaranty Bank’s Magnolia Classic for all visiting golfers. For a number of years Mr. Dukes served as Chairman of the James Lynn Cartlidge Community Center. In addition to his law practice, his business interests include Dukes, Dukes and Hunter Law Firm, formerly Dukes, Dukes and Wood, Vardaman Buick, Inc., Partnership, MW&D Investment Company Partnership, HD&R Ranch and multiple real estate ventures. Visitation will be Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at Main Street Baptist Church with services immediately following at 3:30 p.m. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family request contributions be made to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Department or Homes of Hope for Children.