A Funeral Mass for James Peter Duffy, 83, will be celebrated on Friday, July 31, at the Church of Saint Luke in Belmont, Massachusetts.
James Duffy - Jim to those who knew him - was born in Cambridge, son of the late Peter Damian and Florence (McNally) Duffy, the third of what would be eight children. He grew up in Watertown, in the midst of the Great Depression, and later the Second World War. After graduating from Waltham Trade School and Watertown High, he served in the US Army Air Corps until 1946.
Returning home at the end of Word War II, Jim began building houses in his native Watertown, employing the skills his father, also a builder, had imparted to him years before. Over a period of fifteen years, he constructed over one hundred homes, as well as a nursing facility, also located in Watertown.
In 1961, he went into business with his brothers Norman, Harvey, and Robert, to form Duffy Associates. Together they constructed hundreds of homes in Greater Boston, quickly expanding their company to become owners and operators of nursing homes, apartments, office buildings, commercial R&D, warehouse and retail buildings located throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They founded diverse businesses outside of real estate as well. The Home Center building supplies store, Waverly Oaks Athletic Club, Glenn Realty, and Duffy Brothers Construction, all located in Waltham, are among their achievements.
The brothers at Duffy Associates were early developers of condominiums. The Village in Watertown, was one of their earlier projects, the 308 garden apartment units acquired and remodeled in the early 1970s. Complexes in Hyannis, Belmont, and New Hampshire followed soon after.
Jim loved the challenges of being a builder. He found opportunities for creativity everywhere, in his work and in his personal life, and was a joy to his very extensive family. His wit and humor were legendary; he was a darn good dancer and could tell one hell of a story. His widely regarded social exploits need not be mentioned here. Jim died on Monday evening, July 27, 2008, in the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
He is survived by his wife Pamela, his son Patrick, his daughter Breanne, his brother Norman and his wife Cynthia of Lexington, his brother Robert and his wife Natalie of Weston, and his sister, Marie Barry, wife of the late Hon. John Barry of Pittsfield. He was also a loving brother to the late Harvey Duffy and his surviving wife Joan Duffy of Lexington, the late Kathleen Shirley Burke and her husband the late Edwin Burke and his surviving wife Mary Burke of Acton, the late Mary Elene Shriber and her late husband Emmet "Bill" Shriber, and the late Edmund Duffy and his surviving wife Joan Duffy of Vt.- along with some thirty nieces and nephews, copious grand- and great-grandnieces and nephews, and a vast extended family on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and in Ireland.
The funeral will be from the MacDonald, Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Home at 270 Main Street on Route 20, Watertown, on Friday at 9:30 AM, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:30 AM in the Church of Saint Luke, 132 Lexington Street, Belmont. Internment will be in the Highland Meadow Cemetery, 700 Concord Avenue, Belmont.
Calling hours will be on Wednesday, July 29th from 6-8 PM and on Thursday, July 30th from 4-8 PM in the MacDonald, Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Home on Main Street. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, 24 Clark St., Boston, MA 02109 or to Ulfelder Healing Garden, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114.
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