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With the heaviest of hearts, the family of Howard “Duke” Everett Shockley, 77, of Gloucester, Virginia, share that he departed this earthly life on July 26, 2023. He exemplified living a life of purpose, loving fiercely and never backing down from a challenge. He made an indelible impression on all those he encountered and will be deeply missed by many. Duke was preceded in death by his parents, Ray Howard and Ruby Frankie Shockley, and brother, Jackie Lee Shockley. Duke cherished his role as family man and is survived by Ann Shockley, his beloved wife of 44 years, true love and best friend; his children who brought him immeasurable joy and of whom he was incredibly proud—daughter, April and son-in-law Manuel Martinez; son, Matthew Shockley; grandchildren, Trista, Mattie and Ryland Shockley, whom he adored and whose presence always brought a smile to his face; his dear sister, Brenda and brother-in-law, Edgar Arnold; nephews, Brian (Mary) Arnold and Barry (Jodi) Arnold and their children Kemper, Anna, Bryce, and Dylan; brother-in-law, Jeff (JoAnn) Covington, and nephew Jake; and a host of extended family and friends, each of whom occupied a special place in his heart.

Duke loved spending time outdoors fishing, attending to the many garden beds he thoughtfully landscaped and watching the squirrels try to outsmart his many backyard bird feeders. He was ever ready to industriously engineer a solution to any problem that arose and was as pragmatic as he was thoughtful in doing so. Prepared with a story for every occasion—all of them true and each more impressive than the last—Duke reveled in the opportunity to grab your attention and hold you in suspense as he spun a tale and reminisced about his life’s many adventures. More than anything, he relished the love and company of his family and ensured they knew the extent to which he valued them every day and in so many ways. Throughout his life, Duke prioritized service over self. He took great pride and found an immense amount of fulfillment advocating for and serving others. A decorated Vietnam War combat veteran, he served his country with dedication and humility. He worked continuously to enhance the lives of those in the communities he served throughout his 38-year law enforcement career, retiring from Newport News Police Department with the rank of sergeant in 2006. Duke believed in doing what is right, especially when it is difficult, leading with and ensuring all those he encountered were treated with dignity and respect.

A man of honor, Duke’s heart was pure and good. His kindness and generosity knew no bounds. A man of integrity, his standards were high. If you met them, you knew you had really accomplished something. A man of principle, he always emphasized the simplicity of making the right choice if you just remained focused on doing the right thing. A man of action, he was quick to seize opportunities to lift up others and right injustices—and expected others to do the same. In honoring Duke’s wishes, a private celebration of his life will be held. If you wish to honor his memory, hold closely those you love, perform an act of kindness, seize the day and live it to the fullest. Make every day special. Make every day count.

Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home & Crematory.


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