Daniel Michael Duffy
October 15, 1932 – October 24, 2021
Dan Duffy was born in Portland, OR and aside from his years of service in the military, spent his life in the Portland Metro area. He attended parochial grade schools in SE Portland, primarily St. Stephens, before attending Central Catholic High School. He then went on to the University of Portland where he majored in Psychology. He participated in the campus ROTC program, was a member of the Upsilon Omega Pi fraternity and was on the Pep Squad. It was at a Pep Rally that he first encountered a frosh by the name of Boots Murphy. She had forgotten her beanie and Dan required her to push a peanut across the gym floor, with her nose, as punishment. He would reconnect with Boots a few years later, after he entered the Air Force and served a tour of duty at Thule Air Base in Greenland. He was home on leave and attended a UP basketball game where he was re-introduced to Boots. They started a long distance courtship that ended with them being married at St. Thomas More on June 14, 1958,
Their marriage started with a honeymoon across the country as they prepared for Dan's next assignment, Pepperrell AFB in St. John's, Newfoundland. Their first born son, Michael, would arrive in July, 1959. A new station (Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado) would see the birth of three more kids – Daniel, Shannon and Erin – in the span of four years. Sean was then born two years later while Dan was stationed at Whiteman AFB in Missouri. His final assignment, while stationed at Whiteman, was working in the Minuteman missile silos. While not taking his turn in the capsule or taking classes to earn his Master's Degree, Dan was a devoted father, taking charge of the kids' bath time and offering them their choice of piggyback or horsey ride to their bed. It was a nice life for the Duffy Family, but a career in the military wasn't in the cards. After 12 years of active duty, Dan put in for his discharge and moved the family back to his hometown, Portland.
They were originally planning on relocating to Denver, where they had purchased property. But Dan couldn't find a job to support his large family and decided to stay in Portland when he took over a job at Hyster that his cousin was leaving. He still had a strong desire to serve his country, so he joined the Oregon Air National Guard. A fellow officer in the Guard suggested Dan apply at Pacific Northwest Bell in the hopes of earning more money and having greater career growth potential. He was hired after interviewing at the phone company, but was told that he needed to start immediately or pass on the position. His sense of duty kicked in and he worked both jobs, spending evenings and weekends hiring and training his replacement at Hyster.
In 1971, Dan and Boots welcomed their youngest, a daughter, Kerry. Life flew by raising the three boys and three girls. Dan was heavily involved with his sons and the Boy Scouts and encouraging all of the kids to participate in sports through CYO and the local Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District. Dan continued to move through positions at PNB and raised through the ranks within the Air National Guard. When the government broke up the "Ma Bell" system, Dan had a tough decision. He was designated for assignment with AT&T, which would mean a move to Denver and uprooting his family. If he wanted to stay in Portland, he would need to take a job that was a backward move for his career and would require working the graveyard shift. But he knew that the family wanted to stay in Portland, so that was his choice. He loved his time with the phone company and started monthly "Tuck Lung Lunches" for his colleagues. Albert, the owner of Tuck Lung's, took special care of Dan and his group. After the restaurant shut down, the lunches became less frequent, expanded the guest list and moved to new locations, but the tradition continues on to this day.
Dan and Boots always put their children first in their lives, so Boots didn't work outside of the home until the kids were older and she became heavily involved in officiating. Despite raising a family on one primary income, they always found the money to send any child to private school if he/she wanted. They also always had extra room at the dinner table for guests, who were all considered family. Their hospitality also included annual hosting duties for visiting naval officers, both American and Canadian, during the Rose Festival. While Dan was Air Force through and through, his youth working on tugboats always drew him to the water and a respect for ships of all sizes. Riding with the naval ships on their trip up the Columbia to return to the Pacific was an honor he would share with his kids.
He retired from the Air Guard in 1992, as a Colonel having led the 116th Tactical Air Command. He retired from the phone company a few years later and turned his attention to golf, volunteering, happy hours and more golf. He began as a starter at Progress Downs (now Red Tail) with the intention of spending his golden years hopping the back fence and playing eighteen. But instead he joined the Reserve and played nearly every day until the neuropathy in his feet wouldn't allow him to balance while swinging a golf club. He volunteered at professional golf tournaments in Portland and Palm Springs and has dozens of photographs with celebrities and pro golfers from his years working the Dinah Shore, which became the Kraft Nabisco, then the ANA, and so on. The friendships he made with other volunteers and the people at the motel in Palm Springs meant a lot to him. He also volunteered for OSAA during state championship tournaments and was always around to help Boots with her softball tournaments. Just as she had supported him with his military career, he supported her through her softball activities.
With retirement and the kids all moving out of the house, Dan and Boots decided to remodel their basement to look like a traditional Irish Pub. Boots loved to entertain and Dan was happy to go along. St. Patrick's Day parties grew in size as more of the neighbors in Fairway Park became friends, and eventually family. In time, they decided once a year wasn't enough, so Halfway Parties were created and then Solstice Parties and even Driveway Drinks during the pandemic. Regular exercise classes through Tualatin Hills kept him moving and introduced new friends and rekindled a few old friendships. The Stockpot was his first choice for happy hours with close friends. He connected with his community at church and always followed with breakfast at the Kingston, at least until COVID.
He was preceded in death by his brother (Bill) and his beloved wife (Boots). He is survived by six children, Mike (Laura), Dan (Lori), Shannon (Rhoda), Erin, Sean (Vlasta) and Kerry as well as four grandchildren, Vonnie, Hannah, Sebastian and Brayden. He is also survived by his brother Bob (Karen). His 1956 Mercedes SL, which was like another child to Dan, is also still with us.
Dan smiled with his whole body, lived life to the fullest and loved with all of his heart. He will be greatly missed but our memories of him will be cherished forever.
Services will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Beaverton at 11:00a.m. on November 15th, followed by internment at Willamette National Cemetery at 2:30p.m.