Duffus, James C.
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Pittsford: June 28, 2014. Born in Rochester, NY on April 22, 1927. Jim Duffus, a graduate of West High School and Yale University ('49), was the starting pitcher for Yale in the inaugural and second NCAA Collegiate World Series with friend and teammate Poppy (GHW) Bush. After serving in the US Navy at the tail end of WWII as an Electronic Technician's Mate, Jim signed with the Cardinals franchise. He worked his way up to the AAA Allentown Cardinals after stints with the Durham Bulls and Rochester Red Wings and a "look" by the Boston Red Sox.
Jim returned to Rochester after marrying the love of his life, Ada Frances (Dancy) Risley of Waterville, Maine. He joined his father's insurance brokerage firm, James Johnston Agency, which he grew with his partners to become Johnston Paviour Sibley and Fred. S. James, Inc.; it ultimately merged with Marsh & McLennan and Transamerica. He was the youngest member ever appointed to the Board of the Rochester Savings Bank and assumed the seat occupied previously by George Eastman. Jim had an exceptional grasp of complex business issues, especially those that hinged on personalities, as he had a gift for understanding and appreciating people of all perspectives and walks of life.
Jim served as Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Greater Rochester in the 1970's and continued his service and devotion to the Y up to and beyond his passing. He also served as President of RIT's Institute of Fellows. Jim was a passionate fly fisherman, though not always as successful as his fishing buddies. He enjoyed alpine skiing with his friends and family into his 80's, giving even his youngest grandchildren the gift of skiing with him. His favorite place was Karonoko, his family camp in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, where he taught two generations the love of nature and the love of family. He loved golf, especially with his fishing pal Tom Hargrave, and he left a legacy of beautiful cherry Shaker furniture crafted in his workshop.
He travelled extensively across North America, Europe, and especially Scotland with his favorite adventure companion, wife Dancy, usually on back roads. Together, they wrote a book on the Appalachian Trail, followed by numerous other books including one on the Rochester Savings Bank.
Jim witnessed the college graduation of all of his grandchildren, proudly watching each launch into successful careers or graduate schools.
Jim was predeceased by his brother, Roy A. Duffus, Jr., and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Dancy, daughters, Adair Mulligan and Sarah Massey (Dan Breen), son, Tom (Nell) Duffus and eight grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held Tuesday, July 8th, 11 AM at Christ Episcopal Church, 36 South Main St., Pittsford. Gifts may be made in his memory to YMCA of Greater Rochester, 444 Main Street Rochester, NY 14604. To share a memory of Jim or send a condolence to the family visit www.anthonychapels.com.
Anthony Funeral & Cremation Chapels
2305 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14618
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on July 1, 2014