Francis (Frank) Duffy

Duffy, Dr. Francis (Frank)

Born Jan. 20, 1939 in Cleland, Scotland, Frank Duffy passed away suddenly June 6th at Foothills Hospital in Calgary surrounded by his family.

He was predeceased by his father Joseph and mother Helen, his brother Cyril and sister Barbara (Brian). He is survived by his loving wife of 39 years Martha, his sons Andrew and Martin, his sisters Joan and May (Jim) and brother Charlie (Evelyn).

Frank Duffy was one of the last of a breed, the small – town doctor who often selflessly and without payment tended to those sick and dying in his adopted home of Quesnel. His commitment to that small city and the surrounding communities of Williams Lake, Vanderhoof and Red Stone where he held regular clinics until recent years when his health precluded the drive, was the stuff of another time and place. With his wife by his side, he’d pack his bags for early morning drives to these towns often braving blinding snowstorms and horrific conditions, thinking all the while of the people who were waiting for him at the other end.

Apart from his unquenchable thirst for novels, love of clothes and his constant, all consuming search for a decent pair of shoes, he would have considered himself a man of simple tastes, preferring the company of good friends and his family at home to nights on the town. He loved nothing more than his regular visits with Martha to Vancouver Island to visit Andrew and the trips to Calgary to visit Martin, each drive or flight an adventure and each stay memorable. He relished the time he spent with his family, loving nothing more than being in their company as the evenings gave way to hours of laughter, debate and plenty of silliness.

He came to Canada in 1975, and had grown more and more Canadian and more attached to the maple leaf over the years – he could and often would rail against the latest Canucks mistake with the passion of a born and bred B.C. boy – and though he held a fondness for Scotland, in his heart Quesnel was definitely his home. He was a man of rare and wry humour, whose wit and intellect entertained and inspired all those who had the pleasure to meet him. Despite the often harsh Scottish burr he just couldn’t shake – and created all kinds of problems for him at drive-thru windows – he had a gift for putting his patients at ease and entertaining his friends and family with his not-so-under-the breath mutterings and easy smile.

He was a tireless worker and loved his job, particularly relishing his work in the operating theatre. But he balanced his life with a love of gardening, music which he dabbled in with a banjo, balalaika and flute, and delighted in with the rest of his family, his Catholic faith and a joie de vivre that illness could not extinguish.

Frank Duffy was a gentle giant of a man in his home and community and his passing will leave a huge hole in the lives of those who knew him. He will be sorely missed but remembered fondly with immeasurable love and respect.

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