Remembering the legacy of Houston's Dr. Red Duke

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Remembering the legacy of Houston's Dr. Red Duke

So many of us grew up watching Dr. Red Duke here on Channel 13. You fell in love with his down to earth personality and Texas twang. But what he did for so many people right here in Houston is the remarkable part.

PHOTOS: Dr. James 'Red' Duke through the years

Since Dr. Red Duke's passing, we have been hearing from many of you about your experience or memory of him. Dr. Red Duke saved so many lives, like Elias Diaz.

The young father had an abscess in his colon. He was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Doctors said if he waited any longer he could have died. It was Dr. Red Duke who performed his surgery and essentially saved his life.

Diaz says, after the surgery, Dr. Red Duke spent time with him every day in his hospital room, watching TV with him afterwards and visiting. He was and is more than a doctor to them.

Diaz described his moments with the doctor, "He would sit there and watch a movie with me and say do you need anything else? I'll come back if you need anything. I said, no, I'm fine. I think I was in the hospital for about a week and every night he'll be there watching a movie with me."

Diaz's wife also worked at the hospital and remembers seeing the doctor walking the hallways. She says, he could not get far because he was so popular everyone wanted to say hello to him.

Dr. Red Duke's legacy does not stop there. Of course, he was a major driving force of starting Life Flight here in Houston and he established the trauma service at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Eyewitness News Anchor Dave Ward knew Dr. Duke quite well.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that memorial contributions be directed to the James H. "Red" Duke, Jr. MD Endowed Scholarship Fund, UTHealth Office of Development, P.O. Box 1321, Houston, TX 77251-1321 or to the Memorial Hermann Life Flight Fund c/o Memorial Hermann Foundation, 929 Gessner, Suite 2650, Houston, TX 77024.
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