Bessie Edna Duffy, 100, of Buhl, passed away at her home, surrounded by her family, on April 14, 2014.
On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1914 in Perkins, Oklahoma, a beautiful, brown eyed and brown haired baby girl made her entrance at the home of William Riley and Sarah Perrigo. She arrived to join her older sister, Bertha and two brothers, Carl and Delbert.
Shortly after Mother’s first birthday, her father, William Riley passed away from cancer. This left her Mother with four children to finish raising. Needless to say, Grandma Perrigo and her children did not have an easy life. Grandma Perrigo and her children followed her work where ever they could find it. While working in Idaho, Grandma and daughter Bessie, spent lots of time living in sheep wagons where Grandma cooked for the shearing crews. Grandma was a wonderful cook, learning to fix meals with what ever was available, her youngest daughter learned this trait well.
As Mother grew up, she had seen quite a bit of the country. She particularly liked the Buhl area where she had made friends of several girls about her age. At some point in her late teens, a girlfriend introduced her to a handsome blond young man around town. Paul Duffy took a shine to Mother and on April 1, 1933, Mother and Dad were married.
Following their wedding, Grandma Perrigo’s extended family, including the newlyweds left for Northern Idaho. They settled in Orofino and at some point moved to Clarkston, Washington for a little while. During this sojourn, their oldest child arrived. Of course this was during the depression and they returned to Buhl, where Dad worked during harvest topping beets to make a living. Within a year of moving North, they returned to live in Buhl. They spent many years residing in the McCollum addition, where three more children were added to and raised by the family.
Mother was a stay at home Mom and was proficient at everything she did. What wonderful meals she would make with practically nothing. Mother was an excellent seamstress, making most of the clothes the girls wore. As her grandchildren began to arrive, she also made clothes for them.
The older granddaughters have such wonderful memories of their grandmother. Tea parties that were served on an old quilt, on the grass under the shade of the willow tree in the front yard. Koolaid and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were never so good, especially because Grandma always cut the crust off the bread before presenting the treats for at least two or three young ladies. That didn’t happen at home, her kids had to eat crusts and all.
As mother got older, she had to put up with a number of medical problems, including cancer and bone replacement. On March 17, 2014 she reached the milestone of turning 100 years of age and her health started to rapidly decline. She did reside in a nursing home for a short period of time and wanted to be at home.
Her youngest granddaughter proposed that we bring her home and Jennifer and her husband Scott moved into her house so that she would never have to go to the nursing home again. Jennifer’s word was good as gold and she was Mother’s main care giver until the very end. The family appreciates Jennifer’s loving care of her Grandmother.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul J. Duffy and son, Paul L. “Bud” Duffy.
Bessie is survived by her daughters, Peggy (Kenneth) Fawcett of Twin Falls, Sally (Dennis) Eggleston of Nampa, son, Pat Duffy of Buhl; many, grandchildren, great and great-great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Friday, April 18, 2014 at Farmer Funeral Chapel in Buhl.
In Lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the West End Senior Citizens Center or Visions Hospice.