Beatrice Duke

Nurse, Flight Attendant

Beatrice Alma Esther Miller Duke, 90, a retired registered nurse and former Trans World Airlines flight attendant, died of congestive heart failure July 2 at her home in Chevy Chase.

Mrs. Duke, who had lived in the Washington area for the past 45 years, was born in Negaunee, Mich.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse for portions of her secondary education and went on to receive a nursing degree from the University of Minnesota in 1934.

The following year, she graduated from Trans World Airlines' flight attendant school in Kansas City, Mo. At the time, TWA required flight attendants to be certified in nursing.

She married Henry Diltz, a TWA co-pilot, in 1937, and they had two sons. Her husband joined the Army Air Forces during World War II and was killed in a plane crash in 1944.

In 1947, she met and married Donald William Duke, a Foreign Service officer with the State Department. While accompanying her husband on his postings in Japan, Thailand, Germany, New York, Nigeria and Washington, she hosted embassy social events and diplomatic gatherings.

In the 1960s and '70s, she resumed her nursing career, working at Washington Hospital Center.

Mrs. Duke was an active member of the Washington chapter of the TWA Clipped Wings International Corp., an organization of former flight attendants. In recent years, she was a member of the National Presbyterian Church in Washington.

In her spare time, she enjoyed dining, knitting, mah-jongg, piano playing and reading.

Her husband Donald Duke died in 1990.

Survivors include two sons from her first marriage, Henry Diltz of Los Angeles and Harry Diltz of Chester, N.Y.; three children from her second marriage, Don Duke of Sugar Loaf, N.Y., Carol Duke McGrath of Tulsa and Susan Duke Flanigan of Vienna; a sister; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.