Obituary: Dudley “Duke” Arkell Warner, Jr.

Great-grandfather, career U.S. Army veteran, gunsmith, traveler

Dudley “Duke” Arkell Warner, Jr. was born on May 20, 1937 in Los Angeles to Dudley Warner Sr. and Dorothy French Kilgore.

He was raised in Hollywood, and attended Black-Foxe Military Institute, then Occidental College, where he met his future bride, Tamara Wenzel of Mexico City. They were married in 1961 and had three children. The family first made their home in Glendale, California, and then for 44 years, Claremont, before a final move to Prescott, Arizona in 2019.

In 1961, Dudley joined the California National Guard. He then had a career in the United States Army, retiring in 1991 at the rank of major, with a combined military career of 23 years. He graduated in 1975 from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. During his military career he also held oversight of Area 5 National Guard Armories in California.

After retirement he completed a master’s degree program at the University of La Verne. Then, pursuing a lifelong passion in shooting sports, he graduated from the gunsmithing program at Lassen Community College and began his home business as Duke Gunsmithing.

He was an avid reader, enjoyed photography and cartography, and after his retirement he and his wife traveled often and visited many countries across the globe, lugging numerous maps and his 40-pound camera bag wherever they went.   

Mr. Warner was a survivor of advanced colon cancer for 24 years. He died on February 17 at The Margaret T. Morris Center in Prescott, Arizona due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease, which was exacerbated by a recent case of COVID-19. He was 83. He will be inurned at Prescott National Cemetery.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Blaine Warner.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years Tamara and their three children: Margarita (Peggy)Warner- Burgess (Craig Burgess) of Mesa, Arizona; Carlos Warner (Nohemi Gonzalez-Warner) of Fontana; and Tonya Shelton (Karl Shelton) of Ramona, California, as well as six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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