Welcome to the memorial page for

Manuel Rubín Duque

January 9, 1929 ~ February 26, 2016 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Manuel Rubín Duque, 87, of Lewisburg, died on Friday, February 26, 2016 at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. Born in Tampa, Florida on January 9, 1929, Manuel, the youngest of five siblings, was the son of José Rubín Gutierrez and Yolanda Duque Sanchez.

In 1946 he graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, and later that year joined the Army in New York and served in the Army of Occupation of Korea (1946-48). After his discharge, he considered a career in diplomacy and enrolled in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

During a year abroad in Spain, he was reunited with relatives in Asturias and Avila. After doing a bit part in a movie in Spain and taking in as much theatre as possible in Madrid, London, and Paris, Manuel decided that instead of Georgetown and Foreign Service, he would go to New York and enroll in actor training at The Neighborhood Playhouse, where he was a student of Sanford Meisner and Martha Graham. Manuel completed a BA in Drama and Literature at Bennington College and an MA in English from Bucknell University. He did post-graduate work in cross-cultural theatre at the University of Colorado and studied at the C.G. Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland.

Manuel taught at Bennington and Bucknell, and for many years served as Professor of Theatre Arts at the Pennsylvania State University, where he retired in 1996 as Professor Emeritus. He was a Master Teacher of acting and received the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching. He also served as Director of the Acting Program at The FSU/Asolo Theatre Conservatory in Sarasota, Florida from 1981 to 1984.

As an actor and member of Actor’s Equity, Manuel worked professionally at the Phoenix Theatre in New York and toured with the national company of “Oh Dad, Poor Dad.” As a director, Manuel’s commitment to cross-cultural theatre was reflected in many of the productions he directed at Penn State, such as “Blood Wedding” and “Hedda Gabler” and English language premieres of a Spanish and a Brazilian play. In retirement, he provided the concept, book, and stage direction for two flamenco dance dramas performed by the Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana Company at the Joyce Theatre in New York. 

As a volunteer, Manuel served for over ten years with hospice and taught acting classes for the Bucknell Institute for Lifelong Learning. Throughout his life, Manuel continually explored meaning-making, spirituality, and social justice as a member of several discussion groups.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his daughter Lisa, his brother Joe, his sister Gloria, his brothers-in-law Ralph, DeLane, and Tom, and his beloved Bichon therapy dog, Milo.

Surviving him are his wife of forty-five years, Ragnhild Gale Stillman Duque; his sisters Lucia Anderson of Boston and Flora McDaniel of Bossier City, LA; three nephews, Ralph Ruso, DeLane Anderson, Jr., and Thomas J. McDaniel; and two nieces, Margie McDaniel Smith and Mary Anne Ruso. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Anne Brown, niece Heather Brown, nephew Kirk Brown, and Lisa’s mother Anita Huffington. In addition, he leaves many great-nieces and nephews, loving cousins in Tampa, extended family in Spain, and countless friends and devoted former students.

At Manuel’s request there will be no funeral but the School of Theatre at Penn State will host a Celebration of Life at the Pavilion Theatre on campus, Saturday, August 27th at 4 PM.  All are welcome to attend.

If you wish, donations in memory of Manuel may be made to assist young, aspiring actors; gifts should be made payable to The Pennsylvania State University and directed to the Manuel Duque Award, Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, 107 Borland Building, University Park, PA 16802. If preferred, contributions may be made to a charity of your choice or to students studying abroad in Spain through the Lisa Huffington Duque Scholarship Fund with gifts made payable to the University of Arkansas Foundation, 1002 W. Maple Street, Fayetteville, AR 72701.

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