A Life Worth Remembering: Barb Duffy, Dedicated Educator
Funeral services were packed for Barb Duffy, of Oak Lawn, who passed away Nov. 3 after a lengthy fight with ALS.
Barbara Duffy was a dedicated educator who helped found the Family Teacher Connection at St. Linus School in Oak Lawn.
“Barb always wanted to better the school,” said St. Linus first-grade teacher Marilyn Lechnerer, who called Mrs. Duffy a friend and worked with her for the past nine years. “She always wanted to help any way she could.”
Besides helping found the FTC in 2001, Mrs. Duffy also served a term on the Oak Lawn Catholic school’s board of education.
Friends and neighbors held numerous benefits in her honor. In September, she participated in the Les Turner ALS Walk for Life from her wheelchair, along with dozens of family members, friends and supporters.
“She was the kind of person you would want to be her friend,” said Lechnerer. “Her passing is a loss for the parish.”
“We were lucky to have known her,” said Lechnerer. "She always had a smile on her face and was laughing."
Mrs. Duffy was a graduate of St. John Fisher School, Mother McAuley High School and Illinois State University. She earned a master’s in education administration from St. Xavier University, and was a longtime teacher in the Oak Lawn Public Schools system.
She also worked as learning resource director at Marist High School, where she helped develop with Brother Vito Aresto the Marcellin Program, which helps students who experience academic difficulties.
The high school expressed its thoughts on her passing with this message on its web site along with a photo slide show:
“Late last week, Mrs. Barbara Duffy, Learning Specialist and champion of Marist High School's Marcellin Program along with her dear friend, Brother Vito, passed away after a three year battle with ALS. The heart of the entire Marist community is saddened by Barb's death. Barb's faith, courage, and grace was an inspiration to all of us. The Marist community prays for Barb; her husband, Dan; their children, Luke '09, Hallie '12 and Emily '15; her mom, Delores O'Neil and the entire extended Duffy and O'Neil clan.”
Survivors include her husband, Daniel; son, Luke, and daughters Hallie and Emily; her mother, Dolores; two brothers, Stephen and William Jr., and four sisters, Beth O’Neill, Janet Moss, Sheila and Sharon Gainer; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services from Blake-Lamb Funeral Home were held at St. Linus Church.
Memorials are requested in her name to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, 5550 W. Touhy Ave., Suite 302, Skokie IL 60077.