- 82 years old
- Date of birth: Jul 1, 1931
- Place of birth:
South Orange, New Jersey, United States
- Date of passing: Oct 1, 2013
- Place of passing:
Palm Desert, California, United States
|A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. James Joyce|
This memorial is a tribute to our father, John B. Duff, 82, who was born on July 1, 1931 and passed away on October 1, 2013. We will remember him fondly as the great JBD, a large-hearted man of letters, who touched so many lives with his formidable mind and generous spirit.
"Emily's right, Dad. You wouldn't believe this election.
I think of you so often Dad and miss you every day. You would be so thrilled to see three of your grandchildren soaking up your legacy at Columbia College Chicago. I know that you are watching over them. They feel you and love you for what you have given them. Keep them safe, Dad. I know you will. Enjoy that book. Love you, Patty."
"It has been three years since we lost you. More if you count the years that Alzheimer's slowly took you away from reality. I wish I could tell you about my life. You would be happy about my travels. I think of you whenever I visit a new place. Three of your grandchildren are at Columbia College thanks to you. They are doing well and enjoying Chicago. I miss you. Love, Emily Anne
PS You wouldn't believe this Presidential election..."
"Thinking of you Dad on what would have been your 85th birthday. We all miss you and talk about you often....citing your larger-than-life personality and your penchant for flashy duds. I am grateful for the opportunity you have given to your grandkids to attend Columbia College in Chicago. You would be proud to know that Madelaine and Henry will join Claudia there in a few months. Madelaine is very excited and appreciative as well. You are/were the ultimate negotiator, Dad. With love....Reen."
"Happy Birthday, Dad. Thinking of you, as always. We miss you. xx pjd
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Joy Harjo, 1951"
"Dad....i have been thinking about you alot of late...in anticipation of this 2 year anniversary of your passing. i am still sad that i didn't get to say goodbye. you were a warm and bright light in my life...throughout my life....i don't know that you ever really understood how much i loved you. i remember that day when i was visiting you and i had to say goodbye to you in the middle of the art institute of chicago....when you took me to the magritte exhibit and there were hundreds of people trying to see the art....and i was standing in the middle of all that chaos and you had to leave and i was just standing there crying because i missed you and didn't want you to leave. there were so many instances in my life when i was moved to tears in connection to something regarding you. i didn't want to disappoint you and i always wanted to spend more time with you. thank you for all that you did to make a great life for me and our family.....your gifts keep on giving. love reen"
"Dear Dad, It's been two years and I still miss you like it was yesterday. We all love you, Dad, and keep you with us when we're together. xxoop
“Time drops in decay
Like a candle burnt out.
And the mountains and woods
Have their day, have their day;
But, kindly old rout
Of the fire-born moods,
You pass not away.”
― W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore"
"We all miss and think about you often Dad. I especially miss being able to ask you a question about anything and you would invariably have an answer. If not you might say, "the next he tells you that - you tell em".
I love and miss you Dad.
"His soul had approached that region where dwell the vast hosts of the dead. He was conscious of, but could not apprehend, their wayward and flickering existence. His own identity was fading out into a grey impalpable world: the solid world itself, which these dead had one time reared and lived in, was dissolving and dwindling.
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
James Joyce, "The Dead"
Missing you so much, Dad. Happy Birthday. Love, PJD"
"Thinking of you today Dad as it would have been your 84 Birthday. You were taken from us too early and I wish you were still here with your facilities intact so that you could enjoy the family that you helped to create. We all think of you fondly and miss what you brought to the party. Loving you always and thinking of you more than you know. x reen"
A year has gone by since you left this world but I feel your presence every day. I am constantly reminded of all the progress you made throughout your career. You had a positive effect on so many lives and that keeps you present on this earth. I miss you, Dad. We all do.
"Thinking of you Dad. I find I talk to you out loud a lot…hoping that you will help me figure things out. I wish you were still here with us. I love you Big Guy…..you showed me the way. x reen"
"Still thinking of you, Dad, wherever you are. This is the first anniversary of your death, but even after a year I still feel your absence from the world like a fresh wound. Thinking of you. Love you, Dad."
"Happy Birthday, Dad. We miss you. Love from all of us."
"Full of Life Now
Full of life, now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the Eighty-third Year of The States,
To one a century hence, or any number of centuries hence,
To you, yet unborn, these, seeking you.
When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible;
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me;
Fancying how happy you were, if I could be with you, and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)
"This Tribute to Our Father, John B. Duff follows more than my 50 years of being the recipient of a kind, generous, funny and brilliant father. We all loved him enormously and what he leaves behind is his legacy of great accomplishment in the field of higher education, the Harold Washington Library in Chicago and a slew of people who admired his generous spirit. Rest in Peace, JBD."
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