Friends and family turned out on Friday to honor and say goodbye to Broome County's very own comic strip character from the Wizard of Id.  Louis "Duke" Marinello of Endicott passed away a few days ago at the age of 85.  He was the inspiration for the comic strip character "The Duke of Marinello" from the Wizard of Id created by Johnny Hart and Brant Parker.

"The Duke" was my Father-In-Law and of all the things he was proud of nothing surpassed that title bestowed upon him by his childhood friend Johnny Hart.  He went on to own his own bar and named it "The Duke's Place" which was located on Emma Street in Binghamton for over 25 years.  If you saw him there or anywhere he most likely had on a " Duke's Place" shirt or jacket. He lived and loved the role of  "The Duke". If you wanted to stay on his good side you called him "Duke" not Louis.

While that was who many characterized him as he was a lot more. He was also proud to have served his country as a member of the United States Navy.  He served during the Korean War and was stationed aboard the aircraft carrier Midway where he suffered severe injuries to both knees when a returning plane crashed while attempting to land on the flight deck.

There wasn't much he didn't try and didn't conquer. He raced dirt bikes and stock cars, owned a motorcycle, owned and rode a horse and loved to hunt and fish.  He proudly displayed a huge mounted elk head in his den from a big-game hunting expedition in his younger days.

"The Duke" loved to attend auto races all over the east and enjoyed watching the New York Giants, Rangers and Yankees. He was a past commander of American Legion Post 1700 in Endicott as well as a member of Major Ray H. Humphrey, DSC, VFW Post 1449.

Duke got his money's worth out of every day.  He usually worked two jobs.  One of his closest friends said he " packed 250 years of living into 85 years of life".  "The Duke of Marinello"...R.I.P.

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