oseph J. Duda Sr., a Parkwood resident and four-term city elections commissioner, died last week. He was 74.
Duda was elected in 1995, replacing John Kane as the only Republican on the three-member commission. He was re-elected three times, but lost in 2011 when Al Schmidt claimed the sole GOP seat.
For many years, Duda was Republican leader of the Far Northeast’s 66th Ward, traditionally one of the best for the GOP. He also served as executive director of the Republican City Committee.
“I have known and worked with Joe for a long time, and he always put our party first. I am saddened by his death and truly appreciate his dedication to our party,” said state Rep. John Taylor, the local party chairman.
Al Taubenberger, a ward leader who ran on the same ticket with Duda as the GOP mayoral candidate in 2007 and as an at-large City Council candidate in 2011, said, “Joe Duda was the kind of man who cared deeply about his neighborhood and his city. He could always be counted on to help other people.”
Duda is survived by his wife Margaret, children Laura and Joseph, grandchildren Timothy, Taylor and Kendra and brother Stephen.
Last week, local Republicans also mourned the death of Jack Boyle, a longtime Tacony resident who served as GOP leader of the 41st Ward and was the party’s candidate in the 173rd Legislative District in 1996.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of John L. Boyle may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. ••