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Thelma Duffee

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Thelma Margurite (Long) Duffee, recently residing at Oakwood Village in Springfield, died on Feb. 20, at Mercy Medical Center. She was 84.

She was born in Detroit, Mich., on Jan. 21, 1924, daughter of Harry Harrison and Elizabeth Shaw (Collins) Long, and spent her youth in Port Huron, Mich., Steubenville, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, Pa.

She married James Harvey Duffee in Columbus on March 20, 1947, and they were chosen as one of Columbus’s Families of the Year in 1952. During her long married life, due to her husband’s severe illness, Thelma was forced to not only pursue a career but also act as head of her family. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Ohio State University and spent most of her career as a professor of nursing, most at OSU, but also at Clemson University in South Carolina and James Madison University in Virginia.

She was director of nursing at Springfield’s Community Hospital during a turbulent period of change in the early 1970s. She continued to work in nursing in her later years, including at Mental Health Services of Clark county. Thelma was devoted to advancing nursing as a profession and was always the nurse, whether on or off duty.

She believed in finding joy in life, whether sledding with her children as a young mother, camping in mid-life, or playing bridge at Elderly United in her later years.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1991; her oldest brother and his spouse, John and I.G. Long; by her only sister and her spouse, Helen and Robert Williams; and by her closest brother and his spouse, Harry and Evie Long.

She is survived by her son, James Duffee, M.D., and his wife, Jill Campbell Duffee of Springfield; son, Daniel Duffee of Yellow Springs; son, David Duffee and wife Donna Eder of Bloomington, Ind.; son, Tom Duffee and wife Linda Scutt of Springfield; six grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and a host of nephews, nieces and friends.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, March 1, at the Oakwood Village community room. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Thelma’s name to the Elizabeth Shaw Long Scholarship Fund at Ohio State University, 2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, OH 43210 or to the Rocking Horse Center, 651 S. Limestone St., Springfield, OH 45505.


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