On July 10, the world lost a magnificent freedom fighter when Betty Dukes died. The following tribute that I wrote on behalf of ACCW was read at her Memorial Service by Commissioner Phyllis Gordon, a longtime and very close friend of Betty’s.
When Betty Dukes walked into a room, everyone immediately noticed her. Not because she craved attention. Not because she made a fuss. But because she dressed magnificently, smiled brilliantly, and shared warmth and grace with all she met.
Yet Betty Dukes was a fighter. She fought not only for her own rights, but for those of other women — more than a million — who were overlooked and undervalued by Walmart and the Supreme Court.
Betty’s fervent dream of fairness was not granted, yet she remained gracious and loving until the end, which came all too early in her life. There is a place for her in heaven, a place she always longed to see.
Betty Dukes will be long remembered by those of us who knew her, and who are members of the Association of California Commissions for Women, because her fight is our fight. Her search for rights for women is our search. Her unfailing journey on the road to justice is our journey too.
As we farewell this wonderful woman, let us all remember Betty Dukes with love and gratitude for her giant step was a step for all of us. We know that by now, Betty, you have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and kissed your God. Rest in Peace, your work is done.