Gwendolyn C. Dukette, who in 1952 was one of the first African-Americans to build a summer house in Sag Harbor, died on June 7 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan. She was 88.
During World War II she worked for the Customs Service in Washington, D.C. In that city she met her future husband, William Henry Dukette, who was a student at Howard University’s dental school. They were married on Dec. 27, 1945, in New York City.
Once she retired, Mrs. Dukette became a full-time resident of Sag Harbor. She met lifelong friends through her membership in Jack and Jill of America and the Links Incorporated, two organizations for African-American women.
She enjoyed traveling the world and was “the consummate beach lover,” her family said. She was a fan of the Yankees and of crossword puzzles.
Mrs. Dukette’s sense of humor was “a constant gift, lifting the lives of those around her with smiles, joy, and laughter,” her family said.
She was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 24, 1922, to Frances Marie Willis and Andrew Jackson Clower. After her family moved to New York, she attended the Wadleigh High School for Girls in Harlem and went on to graduate from St. John’s University in Queens.
Mrs. Dukette is survived by three daughters, Sharon Dukette Blum, Linda Diane Dukette, and Ann Marie Dukette, and two grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was said on Sunday at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sag Harbor. Burial followed at Calverton National Cemetery.