Refuge in the Mountains
When Thomas Duffy and Ray Cower were in ninth grade, they won third prize for a model they made, a coffee can attached to a drill that flung moisture from a wet rag inside. Was it centripetal or centrifugal force? Mr. Cower has forgotten. But both forces worked on the friends, who met in first or second grade, played school sports together in Oneonta, N.Y., and were transferred numerous places through their jobs, often not far from each other.
Mr. Duffy, 52, lived in Pittsford, N.Y., and was a senior vice president at Marsh & McLennan. He found special solace at the family's camp on Little Long Lake in the Adirondacks, said Cyndy Duffy, his wife of 30 years. "With our moving so much, and not really being able to settle down and say this is home for good, camp was always there," she said. "It was always the one place that never changed."
They had two sons, Jason, 26, and Ryan, 19, whom he coached in a variety of sports. "He always had his own way of letting you know if he was proud of you," Ryan Duffy said, "just by being there." Jason has a son, Dylan, who is almost 2. Mr. Duffy was teaching him how to shoot baskets. "He was really looking forward to taking him up to camp in the summer, and teaching him how to swim," Mrs. Duffy said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 24, 2002.