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Bertram O. Duke 1968-2019

Memorial Service: March 16, 2019


Our Children's Foundation, Inc.

527 W. 125th Street

New York, NY 10027

Bertram Orlandis Duke also known as Abdul Wali Faruq Assad, was born in New York City at St. Luke's Hospital on January 22, 1968 to the late Robert and Alice Duke. Bertram took his last breath on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 surrounded by family and friends. He is joining his parents ( Robert and Alice Duke), his siblings Calvin, Robert, Jr. and Corliss. Bertram was the youngest of eleven children. Birdie as he was affectionately known, was a people person and his love for his family and friends was demonstrated daily. He had an infectious smile that invited you into his space and you did not want to leave, his generosity and compassion was unquestionable. Once he met you, you were apart of his extended family. He loved socializing and everyone was always welcomed. His style changed from preppy to GQ, always with class and style. He was a hat fashionisto. He loved to laugh and was always the life of the party. Even during his illness, his focus was to ensure that you were laughing and enjoying his food. He continued having a sense of humor, smiling and laughing, letting everyone know just how much he loved them until … He was fond of saying “Can’t kill nothing that won’t die, so why try?” Birdie was educated in the NYC school system. After graduating from Manhattan Center of Science and Mathematics High School he entered the workforce. First at Patane Press Printing later moving onto New York Presbyterian Hospital. While at Presbyterian he made lifelong friends quickly. He was a true extrovert with a charming personality. While employed at Presbyterian he met and later married Telisha Young . After he left NY Presbyterian, Birdie had many careers. He enjoyed working as an Emergency Medical Technician and later taught others how to save a life. He also held various positions as a car rental agent, limo/hearse driver for various funeral homes in Harlem. He was also a Boy Scout Leader and CPR instructor just to name a few. Birdie was a proud member of the Iron Lungz Cigar Club, he loved a good cigar. Bertram converted to the Muslim faith and he was a devoted Sunni worshiper. Following Islamic religious law, he was buried as per the sharia, the day after his transition at the Mount Holiness Cemetery in Butler, NJ. Bertram loved Ashley his only daughter and the apple of his eye. He referred to her as “Foofer.” Bertram showered her with the tough love as he sought to prepare her for the world. Birdie leaves behind to cherish and celebrate his memory his wife Telisha, his daughter Ashley, his sister Linda, his brother Lamont (Aleece), sister Felecia (Lenford), brothers Kelvin (Barbara) and Dwayne (Denise). A host of favorite nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and colleagues, He will be missed but not forgotten. YOU CAN SHED TEARS THAT HE IS GONE, OR YOU CAN SMILE BECAUSE HE LIVED. OR YOU CAN DO WHAT HE WOULD WANT SMILE, LOVE AND GO ON!

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