Roma Joyce Duffy, née York
December 29, 1937—February 22, 2019
Born in Crescent, Oklahoma on December 29, 1937, her early years were often uncertain and stressful with the family living paycheck to paycheck. While times were tough, Roma still had fond memories of time spent with her grandparents and being "sissy" to her father. As the third child of seven, Roma remained close to her family and did her best to make sure they had every opportunity to overcome the challenges the early years had thrown at them.
After high school, Roma joined the Marines with basic training at Paris Island and a stint at Camp Pendleton. She was then stationed at Camp Smith in Hawaiˈi and it was there Roma met the love of her life, Gordon Duffy, with whom she would spend the next sixty-years. Married August 23, 1959, in the chapel at Camp Smith, they began their life in earnest in Louisiana where their five boys were born over the next five years. The years to come brought challenges and triumphs, heartache and celebrations, highs and lows but through it all Roma was a rock, the foundation upon which many others built their lives. Solid foundations need solid support this was Roma.
Throughout her life she was a role model and inspiration to many, but none more than her children.
James celebrated Roma's sense of adventure. During a mother/son trip to Guatemala, James was amazed Roma did not shy away from any experience. Traveling to remote villages on run down buses with chickens and produce piled everywhere just energized Roma. "Mom was fearless; she would drag me into run down cantinas for dinner--local flavor she would say." Traveling to Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America Roma gained inspiration immersing herself in the local cultures.
Craig remembers mom’s unfailing support and confidence in her sons. Shortly after Craig received his private pilot’s license, she once again showed her support by allowing him to fly her in a single engine plane to Oklahoma to visit her family. Running into some unexpected weather, the one-day flight turned into three. “Not once during the trip did she question my judgement or wisdom of taking her on such a trip with very limited experience.”
Bryon has been inspired by Roma's commitment to community. He remembers mom as someone who "will be known as a person who enjoyed volunteering her time, compassion, and abilities as a paramedic with Adams 50 Rescue, as a support for families with Mended Hearts at Presbyterian St. Luke's, and her office skills with ARMS of Arvada helping those in the local community in need."
For Cliff, it was mom's ability to make each son feel special. "She seemed to understand the importance of one on one time that each child needed of their mother. She also clearly knew that this was pretty much impossible with five children and a husband all competing for her time." Somehow, she made this work. Sometimes “just her simple affection, her gentle kind and loving hugs, and hearing the words she loved me," was all I needed.
Quint attributes Roma with making us who we are today. “Mom was an exceptional listener, one who showed empathy and compassion—but never one to solve our problems for us.” She taught us to stand on our own.
Roma was a selfless person, supportive, adventurous, and inspiring.
Her husband, Gordon Duffy; her sons James, Craig, Bryon, Clifton and Quinton; their spouses John, Karen, Linda, Elizabeth, and Colette; and, her grandchildren Rachel, Andres, Gabriela, Isabella, and Elizabeth all salute a wonderful woman.
Let us not grieve for what we have lost, let us celebrate a life well lived.