James Duff

Obituary
  • "James "Jim" Henry Duff was our cousin. First cousin to my..."
    - Marcia Griggs
  • "My thoughts to James, Laura, Phillip and Emme today. I will..."
    - Mary McDonnell
  • "My heart goes out to James, Laura, Phillip, and Emme. ..."
    - Linda Fulgham
  • "Uncle Jim was a class act. He and my Aunt Blanche were..."
    - Bridget Reemes
  • "Jim was my first cousin and we were very sorry to read of..."
    - Dale Griggs

Duff, James Henry Longtime Arlington, Texas resident, Mr. James Henry Duff, passed away on Friday, March 7th at 2:30 pm from complications related to a twenty-two year battle with prostate cancer. Mr. Duff, or Jim, as he was known to friends and family, managed to survive so long by staying on the cutting edge of treatment, being one of the first patients to try several new therapy regimes. He was eighty-eight-years-old. Born in Alvarado, Texas on March 24th, 1925, Mr. Duff moved to Dallas with his mother, Irene, and his aunt, Celia Griggs, in 1929. He followed his sister, Valerie, and his older brother, David, in attending Woodrow Wilson High School where he lettered in football and served as vice-president of his class, graduating in 1944. He immediately enlisted in the Army and, among many other duties, trained rigorously for what was expected to be the final assault on Japan. While stationed in Mississippi, he met his wife, Blanche Ainsworth. They eloped when Mr. Duff was transferred, and began a marriage that lasted sixty-seven years, ending with her death August 12th, 2012. After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Duff moved back to Dallas, where he briefly attended college at SMU before dropping out to work at the now defunct department store, Titches, as a salesperson. Unsatisfied with his opportunities for promotion, Mr. Duff left Titches for a job in the toy department at Sears and Roebuck, where his native charm and ability brought him to the attention of executive recruitment officers. After excelling in his management training, Mr. Duff was posted around Texas, moving with his family through a series of promotions to Beaumont, San Angelo and Wichita Falls, returning to Dallas in the late sixties to serve as the executive responsible for what was then called "sale's promotions" for all the stores in Texas. Struck by a lung illness in his mid-forties, Mr. Duff accepted an appointment as the Operating Superintendent of the Sears store in Lubbock, Texas, where he worked for three-and-a-half years while the extremely dry climate aided his recovery. After regaining his physical stamina, Mr. Duff turned down a transfer to Chicago (and an opportunity to resume his climb up the Sears corporate ladder), in favor of returning to the Metroplex. Buying a house in the north of Arlington, he proceeded to juggle several different assignments inside the network of local Sears stores, working as an Operating Superintendent at Seminary South in Ft. Worth and Valley View in Dallas, and managing the Webb Chapel outlet by Bachman Lake, before taking early retirement, after thirty years, in 1979. Plans to launch a career as a consultant were interrupted by a series of heart attacks, and Mr. Duff instead devoted the following thirty-three years of his life administering to a large network of friends and relatives and traveling the United States. He enjoyed attending the opera with his daughter, visiting his son in New York and California, or his in-laws in Mississippi and Tennessee, and playing cards with his wife, who was, despite of being a devout Southern Baptist, an avid fixture in the local bridge community. Mr. Duff is survived by his son, James Alan Duff and his son-in-law, Phillip Patrick Keene, of Los Angeles, his daughter, Laura Ann Duff, and her partner, Merilee Michaud of Irving, Texas, and several nieces and nephews, including Deanna Duff of Dawson, Georgia, Andy Barnes of Phoenix, Arizona, David Barnes of Austin and Janice Grissom Wehring of Burton, TX. Services for Mr. Duff will be held at Moore Funeral Home, 1219 N Davis Dr, Arlington, TX, on Saturday, March 15th, with a viewing at 2 pm, followed by a memorial at 3 pm. Mr. Duff will be interred with his wife, Blanche, at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, with full military honors, on March the 17th at 9:30 am.

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Mar. 13, 2014
James Henry Duff
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www.moore-funeralhome.com.
Arrangements under the direction of:
Moore Funeral Home
1219 North Davis Drive | Arlington, TX 76012 | (817) 275-2711
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