O. Wayne “Duke” Link of Basking Ridge, NJ passed away on May 18, 2019, after a brief illness.
He was 88 years old. Alongside him was his wonderful wife of 63 years, Virginia “Ginger” Clark Link. Duke and Ginger met on a blind date and were married exactly one year later on the same Washington’s Birthday weekend in 1956. He was born in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens, NY, to the late Edward Jerome Link and Ann Schiell Link. He was preceded in death by his sister Eileen Link Boyer. Duke graduated from Garden City High School in 1948 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Lehigh University in 1952. After graduation, he began a successful career in the burgeoning aviation insurance industry; first with Associated Aviation Underwriters, then progressing up the ladder at Parker and Company, USAIG, and ultimately retiring as Vice Chairman of AON Aviation in 1999. Although, he spent way too many hours commuting on old Erie Lackawanna trains, Duke was always happy to come home to Ginger and his three daughters: Nancy Link Roos (Mike Roos) of Fox Point, WI; Lindsay Link Smith (Russ Smith Sr.) of Monmouth Beach, NJ; and Alison Clark Link of Manasquan, NJ. Duke is also survived by nine grandchildren: Caroline, Andrea, and Kimberly Roos; Russ (Teddi), Ben (Leslie), Dan (Kara), and Tucker Smith; and Alex (Kayla) and Melaney Santamaria; and four great-grandchildren: Tyler, Rowan, Hunter, and Tripp. Duke was an avid body surfer; starting in his youth at Jones Beach, to summers with his kids in New England and the Jersey Shore, to the beach at his beloved house in Manasquan with his grandchildren. He and Ginger have been members of Spring Brook Country Club for almost 50 years enjoying golf and an active social life. Some of Duke’s happiest moments over the last 30 years have come from his passion – horse racing. His first taste of success came with Scarlet Invader in 1986. His biggest joy was at Monmouth Park when his horse, Don’t Tell The Kids, won The Sapling in 1999 with every member of his extended family present. We will all remember the fun we had with him cheering for (or against) his beloved Yankees and New York Giants. A Memorial Service will be held to honor Duke’s life on May 23, 2019, at 11:30 am at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in the Chapel, One East Oak Street Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, or via website to www.stjude.org/give in memory of O. Wayne Link. For further information, or to leave an online condolence message please visit www.gcfuneralhome.com