MEMORIAL and LIFE OF ALBERT DUFF - written by Susan Farrow Farrar
Albert Edward Duff
Pensacola, FL & Nashua, NH
July 26, 1919 - May 17, 1993
Born in Tyngsboro, Mass. The son of George A. and Bertha (Richardson) Duff.
Albert served in the South Pacific during WW II for the Navy Seabees.
He was a member of:
Elks Lodge #2108
The American Legion
The American Rifle Assoc.
President of the Bayou Grande Villa Assoc.
He was predeceased by 2 wives.
Grace Nickerson Duff & Edna Guarino.
He had a special brother, Robert, and his wife June of Pensacola, FL.
Albert & Grace lovingly raised eight children together.
Also several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Albert's memory to:
Hospice of Northwest Florida
2001 N. Palafox
Pensacola, Florida 32507
As a young man, Albert developed a love for cars and motorcycles that stayed with him all his life.
When he left school in Tyngsboro, he joined the Navy Seabees and served in the Marianna Islands in the Pacific during WW II.
After he was discharged, he pursued a career involving his early interest in cars, as an auto mechanic. He also began racing stock cars. When his health forced him to quit driving the later years, he continued to enjoy the sport as a spectator. Up until the week before he died, you could find him in front of the TV on Sunday afternoon reliving, once again, the memories of his youth.
Albert also loved country music, ball games and books. It wasn't unusual to see him enjoying all three at once with the TV on, the earphone in and a book in his lap.
After an earlier marriage failed, Albert married Grace in 1951. He'd had four children, she'd had three and together they had one. It was quite a clan. They spent many Wednesdays at Baboosic Lake with the Bruns family. On weekends all the kids could usually be found playing amongst the bleachers at the stock car races.
Around 1970, Albert became sick with cancer. He came very close to dying. Up until that point in his life, although Albert had many good qualities, he had concentrated more on his own needs than the needs of others.
Near death, Albert made a promise to God that he would really try to be a better person if only God would make him well. At that moment, Albert experienced a wonderful sense of peace and from that day, his health began to improve. He recovered from the operation and lived "cancer free" for over twenty years.
During those twenty years, Albert did try and succeeded at turning his life around. although his infamous "Shoot the _____" did still surface on occasion, we who knew and loved him knew there was a velvet lining inside the rough exterior.
Albert lovingly watched over and cared for Grace until she died of cancer in 1980. The years that followed were sad and lonely as he lost another loved one and life as he once knew it seemed to be ebbing away. After the passing of his close friend, Dick Bruns, Al wrote this poem in Dick's memory:
Life is like a flickering candle flame.
A sudden breeze, a pinch of the fingers
Lo - it is gone into darkness for ever.
But wait! Around the bend a brighter light is shining.
Tis the entrance to God's Kingdom in Heaven!
Albert started spending winters in Florida around 1983. During the summers he sought out the tranquility of the New England woods where he had spent much time during his younger days. He had always enjoyed hunting, snow shoeing, mountain climbing and camping.
It was during one of his camping summers in Canaan, NH that he met a very special lady named Edna. They were married in 1985 and brought great joy to one another.
As God weaves great joy and sorrow into our lives, however, Edna became ill and their time together was very short. Again, Albert found himself lovingly caring for the needs of a wife until she died in 1988.
After her death, Albert went back to Florida to his newly purchased mobile home. This was located nearby his only only brother, Bob. It enabled them to enjoy a closeness in their relationship that had not known before. When Bob became ill, Albert was able to be there to help out until Bob's recovery.
Albert's culinary expertise surfaced at the neighborhood pot-luck suppers where his Chili was a big hit. His kids and "grands" used to tease him to cook up a big batch when he came north in the summer.
Albert enjoyed social times and made many friends in the mobile home park. People soon learned that they could depend on Al to lend a helping hand as he did what he could to help those who were not as healthy as he. He was proud and very flattered when he was elected president of the park association.
Albert did not get to enjoy that office for very long as he became ill soon after he elected and had to have cancer surgery once again.
History was not repeating itself, however, as Al knew this time that he had made his peace with God so no matter which way the operation went, it would be okay.
It seemed that God was finally saying:
"Well done Albert. You've kept your promise to Me and now it's time for you to come home and rest.