Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Heather Duke Vail's memorial

Heather Duke Vail
Oct. 1, 1963-Aug. 6, 2023
Redwood City, California

Heather Denise (Duke) Vail, 1963-2023

Surrounded by loving family and friends Heather passed away on August 6th in Redwood City at age 59 after long battles with multiple serious health ailments. Born in Berkeley in 1963, her family moved around mostly Northern California frequently before settling in Ashland, Oregon where she spent most of her formative years and made many friends and lifelong memories. At Ashland High School she played trumpet in marching band and was first trumpet in the school’s pep band and jazz band “Jazzmania”, which competed in many statewide and regional tournaments. Towns she lived in before Ashland include Santa Clara, San Jose, Sacramento, Crescent City and Roff, Oklahoma.

Heather attended San Francisco State and Southern Oregon University, where she graduated with a degree in newsprint journalism. She moved back to the Bay Area in the late 80’s, where she began her career as corporate secretary at Duke Scientific Corporation in Palo Alto, eventually retiring in 2005 after the successful sale of the company. She lived in Redwood City for almost 30 years, where she raised her two children, who she loved more than anything, and always made sure they knew and felt that.

She was artistic, and made costumes and props for her kids’ school musicals. Heather loved music, playing piano and violin in addition to the trumpet, and even played trumpet in two of her son’s school musicals. A bright and fun person, Heather had a great sense of humor and a passion for telling the stories of her life. She enjoyed cooking, and her food is missed. Despite her poor health condition these last few years, she still always knew how to find joy in the little things she loved; cooking, movies, books, games and animals, including many pets over the years.

She is missed by her two Yorkshire Terriers, Amy and Roly. Most of all she loved her family. Preceded in passing by her parents Stan and Mary (Elliott) Duke, and having no siblings, she is survived by her husband Mike of 29 years, and her two children Alex, 28, and Heather Claire, 22, as well as her cousins in California, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Alaska.

0 entries Submit a remembrance
Make a donation

About this site     Contact us