During that period, Mr. Smith was president of the Lehigh Avenue Business Association, a merchants group.
Mr. Dukes was widely known for his efforts to stop violence and his leadership in Men United.
When Faheem Thomas- Childs, a 10-year-old boy, was fatally wounded in cross fire outside Peirce Elementary School at 23d and Cambria Streets in February 2004, Mr. Dukes rallied with other community leaders.
He joined then-State Rep. Jewell Williams and local NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire to organize a massive antiviolence march.
The Saturday afternoon march, which drew tens of thousands of people, was one of the largest rallies ever in North Philadelphia.
Williams, now the Philadelphia sheriff, said Mr. Dukes worked to improve the safety of children in North Philadelphia.
Himself a product of the Philadelphia schools, Mr. Dukes organized a "safe corridor" effort in which adults from the community would stand watch as children walked to and from Peirce and other schools.
"Dukes was a guy in the neighborhood who always believed in making sure that kids were OK," said Williams. "So the safe corridors sprang from his business, making sure that kids crossed the street safely."
In 2001, Mr. Dukes joined activist Bilal Qayyum and others to form Men United for a Better Philadelphia. The group visited sites where young people had been killed or wounded, speaking to teens and young adults, especially young men, about the dangers of violence.
Mr. Dukes would drive a van bearing the group's name and equipped with roof-mounted speakers he and others used to play the group's theme song and to shout out to antiviolence messages.
"Any time we were out there on the street, Dukes was out front," said Qayyum. "He was out there, very vocal about violence in the neighborhood. He was always there when you needed him."
Friends said Mr. Dukes was preparing clothing to be shipped to people affected by Hurricane Sandy when he became ill.
In addition to his work with Men United, Mr. Dukes worked with the Bikers Association of Philadelphia and other groups.
His sister Florence Smith said Mr. Dukes held a variety of jobs over the years, including with the Philadelphia School District and at a knitting factory in North Philadelphia.
She said he was an avid pool player, winning trophies in local tournaments, and that he liked to play Pokeno.
Smith described him as a "debonair dresser." Relatives noted that he liked Stetson hats, Stacy Adams suits, and Giorgio Brutini shoes.
In addition to his sister, he is survived by daughters, Florence Rivers and Elsie Woodson; sons Arnold Rivers and Sir-Jaz Carr-Watson; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and a brother and another sister.
A viewing will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at Mitchum Wilson Funeral Home, 1412 S. 20th St. A second viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Kingdom Worship Center, 3500 Spring Garden St., followed by a funeral at 11.
Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or email@example.com.