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Martin E. Duffy
February 20, 1919 - August 25, 2019
Peggy Lawrence
Cynthia Hickman Light a candle
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St. Joseph Catholic Church - Marblehead
802 Barclay St.
Lakeside-Marblehead, OH 43440
419-798-4177 | Map
Friday 8/30, 10:00 am

Martin E. Duffy, 100, of Lakeside-Marblehead passed away Sunday, August 25, 2019, at the Jane Baker House at Otterbein North Shore in Lakeside-Marblehead.  He was born on February 20, 1919, in Cleveland, Ohio, to James U. and Margaret (Hellriegel) Duffy.  He married Anita L. Manny in Cleveland, Ohio, and she preceded him in death on …
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Sara Toris left a message on September 12, 2019:
The Ottawa County Veterans Service Office Staff extend our sincere condolences Martin in the recent loss of his father, Martin. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. We know that his passing will not only leave a void in your life, but in the hearts of all those who knew him. May you find comfort in knowing that as a veteran of our country's Armed Forces, Martin gained distinction and earned the respect and gratitude of his fellow Americans through his bravery, heroism, and dedication to our country. With deepest sympathy, Sara Toris, Director Ottawa County Veterans Service Office
Tim Goggin left a message on September 3, 2019:
Carl Frederickson in the movie “Up” said it best: “You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” My siblings, cousins, children, Bea and her family, and all the friends Emmett made over his well lived life have memories that we have come together and to share reflections. Emmett never met a stranger, at least not when I was around him and he seemed to know everyone. He wouldn’t like it that I am up here talking about him, calling attention to him. Emmett had a quiet dignity, and never liked being the center of attention. As he got older, that attention was harder to avoid. The same guy who laughed at how long the City of Cleveland was paying his pension. He had their attention. He told me a few years ago, “your dad would have never believed it.”. My father and Emmett grew up together, getting in trouble on the streets of Cleveland when they were kids. He told me stories of the things they did together and just shook his head. He repeated what he had said many times to my grandmother; “Yes Mrs. Goggin, we’ll stay out of trouble”. He told me he remembered the day my grandfather, a Cleveland Policeman, was shot and killed during a gunfight with 3 would be robbers. My dad and Emmett were great friends separated after Pearl Harbor until the war ended. Many of the moments I had with Emmett were built over my lifetime, from seeing him as a little league baseball coach; taking my brother and I fishing; hunting with him and my father; being my confirmation sponsor, carting me off to a hospital 86 miles away over a logging road, to a town so far north in Quebec that English wasn’t spoken. He toid me I needed a tetanus shot and he wasn’t going to explain to my mother why I got lockjaw while I was with him. As I got older, he showed me how to set up scaffolding to paint my first house and then laughed to the point that I thought he was going to wet himself when one of the ladders failed because of my setup and I spilled a gallon of very expensive oil based paint all over myself. I had tea many times with him in the quiet of his kitchen or when I would stop to see him after he moved to Marblehead. In those moments I learned so many things about life and myself. I came back to Marblehead to spend a weekend with Emmett a few years ago. I was trying to record the memories he had, helping me with my past and the life my dad and mom led before they had children. He was the glue to my past and the future generations. I am so glad I selfishly got to spend those hours with him, talking about his life, about being a fireman, our families, and my parents, who he knew so well. He talked about the war, serving in the Navy with his brothers, and what it was like coming home from the south Pacific. We talked about fishing, being Irish, politics, about old age; he told when my friends start passing, make new ones, stay young in your heart and mind. I learned things about him I never knew. As many of you know, he had a beautiful garden next to his house on Marblehead. He treated that garden as delicately as he did people. The flowers and his friends were well cared for and he gave them the attention they deserved. I always looked to Emmett as a father figure. He was the kindest man I have ever known. He taught me things about myself, how to be a man and how to be a decent, caring human being. We always got a card from him on St Patrick’s Day – a day way more meaningful to him than any birthday. I had the opportunity to visit with him one more time in May for his 100th Birthday party right here in Marblehead. I am so glad my siblings, cousin and her family and my kids got to see him. In my heart I knew that might be the last time I would see him, so it was especially joyful. I want to read a portion of something I wrote for that occasion and is relevant today. In 1986 we bought our first house in Berea. Emmett would come by often. In 1987 we decided to paint the house, and because Emmett had painted on his days off from the fire department, he had many tools, including a few ladders. I borrowed those ladders to paint my house. The ladders never found their way back to him. He would ask me often if I had them with me – even last May. I still have the ladders today. I never could part with them, although now my son and daughter have the step ladders. My son told me that the step ladder he has was more than just a ladder to him. It was a connection to his family and generations in the past and reminded him of his heritage. The ladders will never go to someone else. They will forever remind me of Emmett and of my past. They are paint covered by the paint of a thousand jobs; are slightly imperfect, older and not as impressive as a new ladder. But they show strong character, dignity and provide support when needed. David Starr Jordan once said: “Be a life long or short, its’ completeness depends on what was lived for” Many of us are afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. We can’t deny that. However, it isn’t anything to be ashamed of. There is something beautiful when you strip away walls around you and are honest with those who are important to you. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how, you love. There is courage in that. This is the way Emmett led his life. When Emmett was in the South Pacific as a signalman attached to the Marines during their island-hopping campaign, he was ordered to go ashore after the second signalman was killed. He asked his Captain what his chances were on that island, the Captain said, “Not good Duffy, not good”. He stuck his tongue out to that captain for the next 75 years. Let me leave with this poem, a traditional Irish Blessing May the road rise to meet you, May the winds be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face The rains fall soft upon your fields And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Peggy Lawrence left a message on August 29, 2019:
Emmett Duffy was my godfather and a very special one. I called him Uncle Duffy. He was a kind and generous man. He was my parents, Marge and Ward Porter and my Uncle Rich’s very good and lifetime friend. I will never forget him. Fair winds and followings seas....
Lee left a message on August 29, 2019:
All of us who work at the Marblehead Galley will truly miss you coming in. We enjoyed talking to you and just seeing you come in. God gained a new angel. Thank you for protecting our country and being a first responder. RIP Duffy. We will miss you.
Cynthia Hickman left a message on August 28, 2019:
I remember a lovely man we called Uncle Duff that dated my aunt. We were all invited on vacation and stayed at a huge cabin that was full of bunk beds. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories. I am truly sorry for your loss. Cynthia
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brent collins left a message on August 28, 2019:
On behalf of my family, we would like to offer our sincere condolences on the loss of a great man. Emmett was an individual who touched many lives. I have often said that the greatest tribute a man can give another man is to call him a true gentleman. That’s what Emmett was – a true gentleman. That encompasses so many personality characteristics including loyalty, integrity, hardworking, humbleness, love for your family, love for your country, love for the Lord – I could go on with a list pages long of everything good Emmett represented. I know when he arrived in heaven, the Lord said, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” There have been thousands of firefighters who have walked through the doors of Cleveland fire stations in the last 150+ years. Every so often, someone walks through those doors and makes a special impact during their career that is long felt after they are retired. Emmett was one of those individuals He was truly one of the most admired and respected firefighters that ever wore a Cleveland Fire Department uniform. Brent Collins, Retired Assistant Chief Cleveland Fire Department
Walker Funeral Homes left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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