John (“Duke”) Dukeminier, Santa Fe’s Balloon Man - April 20, 1964 - May 12, 2018 - passed away at home after struggling with several health issues. John was born and raised in Santa Fe. After high school he spent time in California and learned to cook and became sous chef at various restaurants in Austin, TX, before he returned to his hometown. As a child he always enjoyed entertaining including putting on magic shows and riding a unicycle. He later learned to juggle any and everything, and balance ridiculously large items on his chin. He did a lot of street performing and had many comedy gigs in and around Santa Fe and Austin. More than all of these, he was best known as Balloon Man - making balloon creations for one and all on the Plaza in Santa Fe. The children brought John much joy and he loved to tell stories about their funny balloon requests and how they would spar with him using their balloon swords. John had an amazing dog, Alvin, whom he loved dearly. Alvin accompanied John everywhere he went. (Alvin is back with his original owner.) John especially enjoyed cooking and sharing the food he prepared with friends and neighbors. He also loved to garden. He created a beautiful oasis in front of his home where he enjoyed listening to the birds and hanging out and chatting with anyone who passed by. He was known for reviving plants for friends and taking care of the gardens where he lived. John also loved to talk. Consider yourself lucky if you ever got a word in edgewise. He always had a joke or two to tell and was always willing to lend a hand.
John is survived by his mom and five siblings.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to St. Elizabeth Shelter 804 Alarid Street Santa Fe, NM 87505, or simply be kind to a child or a local busker.
Memorial Service will be:
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
Christ Church of Santa Fe
Corner of Don Gaspar and Cordova Rd.
Reception immediately following.