Joan Elaine (Cox) (Sumner) Duffy
Joan Elaine Duffy departed this life on Friday morning, November 29, 2019 at Heritage of Red Cloud at the age of 76 years old. She battled Alzheimer’s for 7 years.
Born July 10, 1943, to Harold (1902-1945) and Irene Cox (1921- ) in Sherman Mills, Maine. She had three brothers from that union; Robert Cox (1940-2017), Clifford Sumner (1941- ) and Herbert Perkins (1942- )
At the age of nine years, she was adopted by Arthur “Merrill” Sumner (1905-1975) and Eva E. (Perkins)(1903-1973). Raised by the farmer and English teacher as their only child. She shared the home with her new parents and Eva’s father Earl H. Perkins (1877-1965); affectionally known as “Gramps”.
Joan received her formal education at Sherman Mills schools in Maine. She attended college and earned her Registered Nursing degree and license from Canada and would retake the Nursing Boards in the United States to work her first job at St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach, California. In California, she met and fell in love with a Navy Sailor, Harold LeRoy Duffy (1936-1998) and they were united in marriage. This union was blessed with two children, Lynnette Elizabeth (1967) and Sean LeRoy (1969).
In 1976, the family left California and moved to Nebraska to be close to the large Duffy family. She resided in Nebraska the rest of her life. One of the first things she desired to do after leaving the city, was to learn to drive. At age 33, she accomplished her goal. Local law enforcement was familiar with her lead foot and green Buick Riviera. Surprisingly, her sweet smile and fun, strong New England accent didn’t benefit her when it came to keeping her points on her driver’s license.
As a Registered Nurse for more than 45 years, she worked at several of the surrounding community hospitals and nursing homes. These include Superior, Hastings, Red Cloud and Sutton. Mid-career, she would serve as the Director of Nursing at Good Samaritan in Superior. Most times, she would fulfill positions at two different facilities during the same time period. Joan was known for working more than not. She dedicated many hours and nights throughout her career to take care of others.
Joan wasn’t a member of any organized groups, unless QVC or the Jewelry Channel is recognized as such. She was clear on who she was; a straightforward, trustworthy woman who gave her whole heart and soul caring for the suffering. Joan was the epitome of a dedicated, compassionate and professional nurse. She was generous in gifting her co-workers, the National Wildlife Federation, US Veteran’s and the Humane Society. Her greatest devotion was to God, her family and her pets.
Joan touched so many lives in our surrounding communities with her selflessness, generosity and humor. She retired from her career at the age of 69. In April 2018, Joan would make her home at Heritage of Red Cloud, a place where she was once a charge nurse. Even suffering from Alzheimer’s, she never lost her nursing instinct or desire to care for others. She could be found sitting behind the desk with her pen and paper in hand barking orders to whomever would listen. If another resident was calling out, she would approach them, touch their shoulder to console by talking quietly to them. She didn’t forget where the snack refrigerator was either. It was rumored management needed to put a lock on it in order to keep enough snacks for everyone.
Joan will be remembered as a classy, kind and intelligent woman that displayed compassion for people and animals, her genuine compliments, contagious smile, and goofiness with an incredible sense of humor. Joan’s unconditional love for her husband, children and grandchildren was commendable. She loved Hershey’s with almonds, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and shopping; as she couldn’t pass up a great bargain. Joan will always be remembered for that New England accent that never outgrew the brown-eyed girl from Sherman Mills, ME.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband, Harold Duffy, her brother Bobby Cox and a half-brother Charlie Hayes deceased as an infant.
Left to treasure her memory is her biological mother, Irene (97), her daughter, Lynnette (52) & Scott Vogler; their children and grandchild, Levi (24), Whitney & Rachel (1) Vogler of Thayer, MO, Garrett Vogler (23), Austin (23) & Alexandra (22) Tuckwood, her son, Sean (50) & Jackie Duffy; their children Brealynn Lockhart (23), Octavious (15) & Mannix (14) Duffy
Brothers, Clifford Sumner, Herbert Perkins, Half brother Clancy Hayes and Half sisters; Helen (Hayes) Lane & Mary (Hayes) Annis of Searsport, Maine and Gagie (Doliber) Raven of Freedom ME; nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Services were Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 10:30am at the Revival Tabernacle Church in Red Cloud with the Rev. Darrell Sutton officiating.
Memorials are suggested to the Revival Tabernacle Church
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
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