Dukes family honored at reception on SundayPublished 3:57pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Patients, friends and fellow church members of Dr. Andy Dukes and his family filled the fellowship hall of Hartselle Church of Christ on Sunday to say thank you and goodbye as the family prepares to leave Hartselle for Fairhope near Mobile.
Dukes will close his family medical practice at 310 Pine St. on Fri., Feb. 22, after nearly 23 years. He will continue the practice in Fairhope next to Thomas Hospital.
He and his wife Sandra and their two adult children, Hilary and Scott, greeted an estimated 250 guests and exchanged conversation with them as they moved through a long receiving line.
Mayor Don Hall presented Dukes with a Mayor’s Proclamation as an expression of appreciation for his many contributions to the community.
“I appreciate this community for all it has meant to me and my family,” said Dukes after receiving the proclamation. “We have gotten a lot more out of it than what we have given.”
He later stated, “I’ve been blessed more than I deserve. My patients have been very supportive. They trusted a young doctor and made it possible for him to build a successful practice.”
Dukes said his decision to relocate his practice happened rather quickly.
“Sandra’s parents are taking care of her 100-year-old grandmother and her mentally challenged sister,” he said. “And her parents, who live in Mobile, have reached the point where they need some help.
“I recently lost my mother and I wanted Sandra to be close to her family,” he added. .
Many of Dukes’ patients were shocked and saddened when they learned of his plans to relocate.
“I was overwhelmed with sadness,” said Melissa Pettey. “I have been a patient of his for 21 years and my two sons, Myles and Mason, have been his patients since they were two weeks old. “We trusted him completely with our health and we’re really going to miss him.”
“He is a super doctor as well as a good friend,” said Jesse Owens, a U.S. Army retiree.
He has also taken care of my wife, Barbara, as well as our son, Jesse Jr. and granddaughter, Jessica.”