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Liberty University remembers longtime supporter and Board Member Emeritus Duke Westover


William Eugene “Duke” Westover, a longtime Liberty University supporter and business associate, died Sunday, May 19, at age 88.

Westover faithfully served many of the ministries started by his close friend and Liberty’s founder, Jerry Falwell, Sr. Through his construction business, he built two iconic structures, the Vines Center and the sanctuary of the original Thomas Road Baptist Church on Thomas Road.

“On behalf of Liberty University, please join me in praying for Carlene, Kim, and the entire Westover family. Duke was a remarkable man whose life and ministry made an impact all around the world. He was one of my dad’s best friends for nearly 40 years. In the early days of Thomas Road and Liberty Baptist College, wherever my dad went Duke was there also,” said Liberty Chancellor Jonathan Falwell. “Duke will be missed but never forgotten, his legacy lives on. I am grateful to know that he is now in the presence of our Lord and that he has been reunited with so many friends.”

“Liberty would not be the university that it is today, without the faithful friendship of Duke Westover. For so many of us, Duke was a servant and an encourager whose footprints closely followed Dr. Falwell,” said Liberty Board of Trustees Chairman Tim Lee. “Duke devoted his life to following Christ and for many of us, he was our personal guide to Israel and the holy land. He was even recognized by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in 2016 for his lifetime achievement. I will always be grateful for Duke Westover.”

Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell Sr. (left) with Duke Westover in 1977

Westover spent several years as an executive assistant and personal advisor to Falwell. In 2010, he published the book “WOW! What a Ride,” detailing his personal relationship with Falwell.

Westover had served as a member of the Liberty University Board of Trustees since 2016, where he oversaw enormous growth for the university. The board recently voted him Board Member Emeritus.

Westover is well known for the touring business he founded, DuCar International Tours, which has been responsible for taking thousands of individuals on guided tours in Israel, including many Liberty students, faculty, and staff, as well as multiple major political figures and media personalities.

Prior to his work in construction, Westover served in the Naval Reserves and worked in the mechanical engineering and sheet metal industries.

He is survived by Carlene, his wife of 70 years, and daughter, Kim.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at Thomas Road Baptist Church, 1 Mountain View Road.

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