Harry Rittenhouse ‘Duke’ Williamson, 84

Harry Rittenhouse ‘Duke’ Williamson, 84, passed from this world Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Born Nov. 9, 1932, in Mount Airy, N.J., Duke was a carpenter, U.S. Navy Seabee (Can Do!), builder and avid deer hunter throughout his life.

His dedication to duty led him to Antarctica in the mid-1950’s to serve as part of the Seabee team living in tents while constructing the first permanent structures at the South Pole. Subsequently, duty called Duke to serve two volunteer tours in Vietnam as a Seabee providing critical construction services, the second tour being motivated by the call to provide leadership to younger, inexperienced Seabees.

Duke earned the Bronze Star for bravery under fire (“We fight, we build!”) while completing those construction duties. Despite being a non-commissioned officer (chief warrant), his military career closed with a rare commission to command a Seabee unit at Oceana Air Base in Virginia Beach, where he retired. His post military career was occupied with construction supervision and his passion for deer hunting. He was a greatly respected, quiet man who spoke with his actions, not words, was bound to duty and honor, and ever faithful.




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