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James W. Duffy Jr. 96, of West Chester, PA passed away peacefully on Monday, February 28, 2022. In his final weeks he was visited daily by his 8 children and many of his 25 grandchildren at his final home at Barclay Friends in West Chester.
Jim was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia December 8, 1925 to Helen (Jennis) and James W. Duffy Sr. In 1931 they moved across the river and raised their three children including Mary Helen and younger brother Louis in the South Jersey suburb of Westmont, NJ.
Jim attended Holy Saviour grade school in Westmont and won a scholarship to Saint Joseph’s PREP in Philadelphia where he excelled in the classroom. This transformational opportunity resulted in a serious and deeply felt commitment to his Catholic faith through Jesuit teaching and learning which served him throughout his life.
As the D Day campaign in Europe began in early June of 1944, Jim graduated from St. Joe’s Prep and then reported to the US Army basic training program. He then was chosen as a candidate for OCS (Officer Candidate Training School). After some fortunate twists and turns in his military training, Jim ended up serving in Rome, Italy after VE Day was declared.
Returning from Europe after the war, Jim attended St. Joseph’s College graduating in 1951 as President of the Senior Class and President of the distinguished Honor Society Alpha Sigma Nu.
Upon returning to South Jersey, Jim developed quite a fondness for a Rosemont College graduate, Mary Lou Law from neighboring Collingswood. They were married in November of 1950 and soon got down to the business of raising quite a large family.
Jim began his successful professional career as a salesman for the pharmaceutical company Wyeth Laboratories. Jim and Mary Lou moved to Delaware County, PA and raised their quickly growing family in Drexel Hill. Jim continued to work with Wyeth and was promoted to district manager overseeing territories from Chestertown, MD to Bucks County, PA spending his entire career with Wyeth.
Jim dedicated many hours to the Catholic groups that were important to him. He volunteered countless hours to raising funds for THE Prep (SJP), THE College (SJU), and many of St. Andrew’s Parish's Catholic Charities Campaigns over a 43 year period. He loved singing on Sundays and holydays in the parish choir.
Jim and Mary Lou were lucky enough to have traveled in their later years. Special trips included Hawaii, British Columbia and a few trips to Europe with the Vatican in Rome as a special destination. He enjoyed weekends on the Edgemont golf course. He was an original member of “Arnie’s Army” and followed golf on his ever-blaring TV up until the very last weekend rooting for his favorite players. He was an avid fan of Notre Dame football all of his life and was thrilled when his oldest granddaughter became a music professor there.
Dad’s love of music was always evident. He would break into song at the drop of a hat. He could ‘carry a tune’ and sing in a high tenor voice ‘til the end of his days. Leading the entire family in song around the piano at frequent Sunday dinners was one of his favorite activities. He loved show tunes and Turner Classic Movies, relishing the good old days as he vividly remembered them.
Jim was a serious man with a burning faith in his God, his Church and his loving family. The love of his life, Mary Lou Law Duffy passed away in 2008 after 56 years of marriage. Jim and Mary Lou are survived by eight children and their spouses: Miriam Clare Bach (John), Frank Law Duffy (Susan Robison), Deborah Brown (John), Denise Duffy, Dennis Duffy (Armando Llanes), Siobhan Barrett (Michael), Kathleen Keating (Pierce) and Diane Hankee (James), 25 grandchildren, and 23 great grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by most relatives of his generation, including: his sister, Sister Miriam Clare Duffy, his brother Louis F. Duffy, his in-laws Frank and Rita (Ehret) Law, John and Nancy (Toole) Law and Thomas Law. Jim is survived by a number of cousins.
Lastly, we the children send heartfelt thanks to the caregivers at Barclay Friends in West Chester, the hospice care givers and Dr. AnaMaria Cobo and staff from A Trusted Family Companion who cared lovingly for our father in his final months.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, March 7, 2022 at 11 AM at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church at 1327 Boot Road in West Chester, PA. Visitation begins prior to Mass from 9:30 to 10:45 A.M. on Monday.
Contributions in Jim’s name can be mailed to either CCV SCHOLARS PROGRAM, Community Center at Visitation, 2646 Kensington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125; or Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, 88 Pennsylvania Avenue, Oreland, PA 19075.
Community Center at Visitation (CCV), a non-profit organization located in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, provides support and access to educational, social, and wellness resources for the residents of Kensington. Your contributions will support the CCV Scholars Program, a scholarship program for Kensington children to attend Visitation BVM school. Contributions can also be remitted online at www.communitycenteratvis.org. The Cenacle Program, a partnership between Catholic Social Services and the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, provides support and resources for women facing crisis pregnancy.
Monday, March 7, 2022
9:30 - 10:45am
Monday, March 7, 2022
Starts at 11:00am
Monday, March 7, 2022
Starts at 12:30pm (Eastern time)
SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery
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