Blondena Duffy, 93, of Chillicothe, Ohio, left this earth on Saturday, March 20 surrounded by four generations of family who will miss her spunk, stubborn tenacity, and fresh cherry pies.
Born May 20, 1927 to Mary Nina Cleek and Oak Thomas on Thomas Ridge in Leon, West Virginia, Dena grew up in rugged terrain surrounded by her seven siblings: Emmons, Edwin, Edgbert, Harold, Frederick, Norma Dale, and William.
Being born during the depression shaped Dena’s formative years resulting in a lifetime of frugality, which only enabled her generosity, and the clarity that comes with knowing what is really important in life: your family.
As a young woman she worked as a call switch operator in Point Pleasant, WV. After moving to Akron, Ohio in 1952, she worked in the office of a real estate office. On Sweetest Day October 15, 1977, Dena married Keith Duffy of Chillicothe and together their families combined to form a family of three daughters and one son: Sharon (Fred) Rose, Brenda (Tim) Sheridan, Linda (Rod) Siddons, and Bruce Duffy, which eventually swelled to include 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with another on the way.
Over the years, Dena’s grandchildren’s favorite topic of conversation was to try to figure out “who’s the favorite?” -- the most compelling evidence coming from the family room wall covered in framed family photos. The formula was simple: more photos equal more love; special points could also be awarded for size of the picture or the quality of the frame. It was a tight race, but in recent years it has become clear to all of them that the true favorites are the great-grandchildren, whose pictures Dena displayed everywhere with pride and whose voices and giggles brought a grin to her face even in the last days of her life.
Throughout their more than 40 years of marriage, Dena and Keith were always avid travelers visiting Australia, Europe, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and many trips exploring the United States gathering hundreds of trinkets and souvenirs along the way. In later years they became snowbirds, opting to spend the winter months in Phoenix, Arizona. But some of Dena’s most favorite trips were the many beach vacations spent with family, resulting in several vases filled with seashells lining shelves and dressers throughout their home.
Dena will be remembered often by her family as they attempt to recreate some of her most famous recipes such as fresh cherry and pecan pie, sweet corn, slow-cooked green beans, chicken and biscuits, and countless Christmas cookies. And while those recreations will be delicious, they’ll never be quite as good as the original.
Dena Duffy was certainly an original woman -- a woman who loved deeply and gave her love (and sass) freely. She is survived by her husband Keith Duffy; her children: Sharon (Fred) Rose, Brenda (Tim) Sheridan, Linda (Rod) Siddons, and Bruce Duffy; her grandchildren: Aaron (Angella) Rose, Heather (Danny) Peterson, Vanessa (Ben) Borkowski, Bryan (Jessica) Strong, Brianne Duffy, Sarah (Evan) Cox, Kyle (Darrian) Duffy, and Colin Duffy; and her great-grandchildren: Taylor Peterson, Sydney Peterson, Alexis Rose, Austin Rose, Hailey Borkowski, Brooke Borkowski, Scarlett Strong, Kallen Strong, Forrest Duffy and Avalyn Cox.
A private funeral service for family and close friends will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 in the FAWCETT OLIVER GLASS AND PALMER FUNERAL HOME with Rev. Cameron Caseman officiating. Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Adena Hospice.
The Fawcett Oliver Glass and Palmer Funeral Home is honored to serve the family.
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