G. Richard Duffy Jr.

G. Richard Duffy Jr., known in the community as “Duff,” passed away in his home on Sunday surrounded by friends and family at the age of 86. A fighter to the end, he eventually lost his battle with cancer, but he took it into double overtime of his own game seven.

            Born in Medford, MA in 1937, he was the oldest son of the late G. Richard Duffy and the late Helen (Galvin) Duffy who he revered (but selectively listened to.) His Irish home was filled with extended family including five Galvin uncles and his Gram whom he adored.

            He grew up in Cambridge, MA, Newport RI, and Fall River, MA. He dominated the playgrounds and the fields with an intensity that continued through an all-American high school career, three sport college years and continued into his coaching at Tabor Academy.

            A proud patriot, he served his country from 1958 to 1963 as a U.S. Marine Veteran which was one of his greatest honors.

            Dean, Teacher, House Parent, and Coach at Tabor Academy, “Coach Duffy” mentored thousands of students throughout his 48-year career, retiring in 2016. A Babson College graduate, and Tabor Academy Class of 1956, he returned to his beloved Tabor in 1969 where he taught History, introduced an Advanced Placement Economics course, as well as the popular elective America in Vietnam.

            Coach Duffy served as head coach of varsity baseball for 33 years, as well the leader of the JV football team for 18 seasons. He was one of the first Dean of Students and for 18 years was the houseparent in West House. He has been Tabor’s most ardent sports fan and one of the strongest supporters of Tabor’s athletes.

            Duff’s impact on Tabor sports was recognized in 2011 with the naming of the school’s athletic turf field complex in his honor. The G. Richard Duffy Athletic Fields are used today by Tabor students, as well as the Greater Tri-Town Communities. At the field’s dedication, the students wore t-shirts with the quote “grass doesn’t grow on the JV field” to recognize the tough practices he was known for. Former players referred to Duff’s JV football practices as “varsity track.”

            For 25 years during the summers, Duff ran Silvershell Beach in Marion. He was a permanent fixture at the end of the jetty, orange swim trunks, whistle in hand, patrolling the swim lines no boats dared to cross.

            Duff’s impressive life-long collection of rare coins has been donated to Tabor to start a scholarship fund in his name.

            He was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett and known in his community for his quiet acts of generosity and kindness.

            Surviving are his daughter Kate G. Duffy and her husband Jim Carlson of Edmond, Oklahoma, his sisters: Patricia van den Broek and her husband Albertus of Darien, CT and Paula Chase and her husband David of Denver, Colorado; 2 nephews Richard and Patrick van den Broek, niece Amy Semansky, their families as well as thousands of Tabor students over the last 50 years.

            His Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 10am in St. Anthony’s Church, 26 Hammond St., Mattapoisett, MA. Visiting hours Tuesday from 4-7pm in the Waring-Sullivan Home at Fairlawn, 180 Washington St., Fairhaven. Memorial contributions may be sent to the G. Richard Duffy Scholarship Fund, Tabor Academy, 66 Spring St., Marion, MA 02738 or online https://www.givecampus.com/zbwwbn. Burial in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fall River.  Following the burial there will be a celebration of Coach’s life at the Fall River Country Club, where everyone will “Eat, Drink and be Merry” per Duff’s instructions.

            For online tributes, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com

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