Evelyn Marie (Smith) Duff, 92, beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, June 22, 2018,
at the Sussman House after a brief illness with cancer.
Born in the Aroostook County town of East Hodgdon, she was the youngest of five children born to Miles and Dora Smith. She graduated from Ricker Classical Institute in 1942 and Bob Jones University in 1947 with a B.A. in Biblical studies, a minor in English, and certification in history.
She married Harold C. Duff on June 26, 1947. After Harold completed his studies at Bob Jones University, they moved to New Brunswick Bible Institute in New Brunswick, Canada. Harold taught for six years at the institute and Evelyn directed the school choir.
In 1958, Harold and Evelyn moved to Pittsfield, Maine to start a private Christian High School. The following year, the school moved to the newly acquired property in Glen Cove, Maine, and the Duff family made Thomaston their “home town.”
The school grew to include Glen Cove Christian Academy and Glen Cove Bible College. Evelyn taught various classes in both schools, but perhaps was best known as director of the school choirs which traveled throughout New England ministering to countless churches while representing the schools through music.
She also wrote and directed numerous Christmas, Easter, and Patriotic programs through those years-- the last one being an Easter program produced at Rockland First Baptist Church in 2014, at the age of 88.
Evelyn loved to study and teach God’s Word – not only to her children, but also to the ladies McDonald Sunday School Class and women’s Bible studies, both of which she faithfully taught for many years. She also traveled from time to time speaking at family life conferences with her husband Harold. Throughout her life, Evelyn devotedly supported her husband in his preaching ministry by keeping the “home fires burning” and raising their six children.
In 1978, Evelyn and Harold moved to East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where Harold served as headmaster of what is now Pioneer Valley Christian Academy. Together, they expanded the academy to include grades 9-12. After serving there for three years, they returned to their home in Thomaston for the remainder of their years together, leaving the school under the leadership of their son, Timothy Duff.
Evelyn will be remembered for her love of the Lord, her family, and for the many lives she touched. In her “free time” she loved to tend her flowers, quilt, sew, and cook. In her later years, she found more time to read extensively as well as assemble jigsaw puzzles by the hour! Until the very end of her days, she maintained a keen interest in both national and international news. But above all, we will remember how much she just “LOVED TO WORK!”
She will be forever missed on this earth but we rejoice that we will see her again and that she is at peace with the One who brought ‘peace to her soul’ when, as a little girl, she accepted Christ by faith. In her last days, she found great comfort in these words from Scripture: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Mrs. Duff was pre-deceased by one son, James Owen Duff in 1950, her husband, Harold Cameron Duff in 2013, as well as two siblings, Weldon Smith and Ruby Sjoberg. She is survived by her six children and their spouses: Ruth and Robert Clements of Dayton, OH; Timothy and Laura Duff of Springfield, MA; Rebecca and William Leonard of Thomaston, ME; Lois and Richard Chaffee of Marietta, NY; Eunice and Robert Bragg of East Longmeadow, MA; John and Desiree Duff of Grand Rapids, MI; 24 grandchildren and their spouses, Cameron & Stacy Clements, Alexandra & Ryan Turner, Alanna & Jeremy Walker, Alyshia & Timothy Velozo, Jonathan & Jennifer Duff, James & Miranda Duff, Jared & Julie Duff, Timothy & Rebecca Couch, Joslyn Couch, Steven & Casey Couch, Jennifer & Jared Burns, Erin Leonard, Jeremiah & Jennifer Chaffee, Rachel Chaffee & Christian Schimke, Joel Chaffee, Sarah & Joseph Rosney, Rebecca Bragg, Katherine Bragg, Laura & Phillip Nace, Ashley & Kyle Hiestand, Victoria & Grant Hansen, Justin & Alexa Duff, Hayley Duff, Josiah Duff; 34 great-grandchildren, Jeremiah Clements, Elijah Clements, Isaac Clements; Cooper Turner, Kyson Turner, Calvin Turner; Alexa Walker, Ava Walker; Logan Duff, Jace Duff, Nora Duff; Britta Duff, Gideon Duff, Della Duff, Ezra Duff; Aiden Duff, Natalie Duff, Samantha Duff, Landon Duff; Luisa Couch; Katelyn Couch, Christian Couch; Aubrey Couch; Gavin Burns, Samuel Moody, Lucas Moody; Nathaniel Chaffee, Juliet Chaffee; Christian Rosney, Luke Rosney, Adella Rosney; Judah Hiestand; August Hiestand, Mae Hiestand; one sister, Flora Duff of East Hodgdon, one brother, Floyd Smith and his wife Louise of Limerick, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M., Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland. A Memorial Service for Mrs. Duff will be held at 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at First Baptist Church, 215 Limerock Street, Rockland. Dr. John Harold Duff will officiate. Private interment will be in Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to, Pioneer Valley Christian Academy, Harold Duff Scholarship Fund, 965 Plumtree Rd., Springfield, MA 01119; The Hill Church, Pastor James Duff, 28 Washington St., P.O. Box 586, Mt. Holly, New Jersey, 08060; New Brunswick Bible Institute, 2335 Route 103 Victoria Corner, NB E7P 1C7, CN; or First Baptist Church, 215 Limerock St, Rockland, ME 04841-2221.
The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at the Sussman House, Rockport, ME, for their loving care and support for our mother and our family during her final days on this earth.