Fallen Hero SPC Felicia E. LaDuke, US Army

SPC Felicia E. LaDuke

August 27, 1983 - October 8, 2005
US Army

Felicia Elaine LaDuke grew up in Warroad, Minnesota, a small town near the Canadian border, where she graduated from Warroad High School in 2002. Her mother describes her as a precocious child with a huge smile. She loved to read and she also loved to sing, but states Mom; “She couldn’t carry a tune in a suitcase!” In May of 2002 before she graduated Felicia enlisted in the Army, which totally surprised her family. She felt the urge following 9/11, and wanted to defend her country. At the time of her death Felicia was stationed in Hawaii. Prior to that she had done a tour in Iraq. In February of 2004 she became a mother to a beautiful son Elijah.

Felicia had just re-enlisted for an additional three years when sadly and shockingly she was killed in an act of domestic violence. Felicia’s son, whom she absolutely adored, was adopted by her parents. Elijah has been a joy to Felicia’s family. Soon to be sixteen, this young man is a fine student, very athletic, plays in the band, and sings in the choir. Says his grandmother; “He was blessed to be able to carry a tune….lol!” Several weeks ago when his mother’s portrait arrived Elijah was ecstatic to see a likeness of his mother created on canvas.

It was a privilege to paint Felicia’s portrait, and it has deeply affected me as an artist to think that this wonderful woman, whom I was studying so closely, had to succumb to violence. Our prayers go out to her family; and we give thanks to God for giving her son Elijah the warmth and care of a loving family and community.

Portrait sponsored by:
CPL Curtis M. Swenson Memorial Fund. Rochester, Minnesota