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DUFFY, Geraldine Elizabeth "Gerry" 1929-2017


Posted By: Sharon R Becker (email)
Date: 12/20/2018 at 20:28:22

Obituary ~ Geraldine Elizabeth "Gerry" Duffy
October 21, 1929 ~ July 22, 2017

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
July 28, 2017

Former Mason City teacher remembered for influence she had on teachers, students

From the North Iowa neighbors we've lost in 2017 series
by John Skipper

MASON CITY --- Geraldine Duffy is being remembered by former students and teachers today as a caring individual whose influence helped shape their lives. Duffy, 87, a Mason City teacher for 40 years, died Saturday, July 22, at Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg.
Duffy grew up in Emmetsburg and taught in Mason City from 1954 until her retirement in 1994. While in Mason City, she was active in St. Joseph Catholic Church and was a member of the Mason City Education Association. She taught for many years at Jefferson Elementary School.

"She was everybody's friend, mentor and supporter," said Tim Walrod, who taught with her at Jefferson. "The minute you met her, you knew she was on your side. That meant so much to me as a young teacher.

"She was always so enthusiastic, the kind of person who would wake up in the morning, thank the good Lord and be ready to help somebody that day."

Former students also recalled her enthusiasm.

"She was the kind of teacher who made you believe you could do anything," said Andrea Mujica of Mason City. "I never realized this until I became an adult, but she was one of the most influential people in my life.

"I grew up in the era when women were only supposed to have certain jobs, definitely not careers in what we now call STEM. Miss Duffy lit a fire under me and I never looked back."

Scott Sandage, who grew up in Mason City and now lives in Pennsylvania, remembers the encouragement he received from Duffy when he was a student of hers at Jefferson.

"We all loved her and considered her our favorite teacher," he said. "I am a college professor now (at Carnegie Mellon University), so I've had a lot of education since leaving Mason City, but no schooling has been as fundamental and influential in my life as I learned from Miss Duffy."

Sandage also mentioned the limitations on women in the era in which she taught. "Today, Miss Duffy could be a doctor, lawyer or executive although somehow I feel that she would still choose to be a teacher.

"I'm sure there are still Miss Duffys in Mason City schools and every child deserves to have at least one in their life."

A funeral mass was held for her Friday in Algona.

~ ~ ~ ~

Kossuth County Advance
Algona, Kossuth County, Iowa
July 28, 2017

ALGONA — A funeral Mass for Geraldine E. Duffy will be held on Friday at 10 a.m., at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Algona with the Rev. Edward M. Girres officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Algona. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., on Thursday, at Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona, with a Rosary beginning at 5 p.m.

Geraldine Elizabeth Duffy was born October 21, 1929, in Whittemore, daughter of William Patrick and Kathleen Ruth (Deneen) Duffy. She grew up in Emmetsburg graduating from St. Mary’s High School in 1947. She then attended Briar Cliff College for 2 years and then began her teaching career.

Geraldine taught beginning in Rock Rapids and then in 1951 in Jefferson. She moved to Mason City in 1954 teaching until her retirement in 1994. Throughout those years, she obtained her Bachelor Degree in education from Drake University in 1956 and her Master’s Degree from Mankato State University in 1973.

Gerry very much loved teaching. She was a lifetime member of the Iowa Retired Personnel Association, the Phi Delta Kappa international sorority of teachers, the Mason City Education Association, the Iowa State Education Association, and the National Education Association. She was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mason City and later in St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. She was also in many prayer and rosary groups, was a member of the Kossuth County Right to Life, and the Marian Group.

Geraldine E. Duffy died Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Palo Alto County Hospital, Emmetsburg at the age of 87. She had been a resident of the West Bend Care Center for the past 3 years.

She is survived by a brother, Patrick Duffy and his wife Linda of California; and 12 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Mary Kay Jameson; and brothers, Joseph, William, and Michael Duffy.

Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona in charge of arrangements.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, December of 2018


Kossuth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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