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Catherine A. "Kay" Duff

October 27, 1929 August 12, 2021
Catherine A. "Kay" Duff
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Obituary for Catherine A. "Kay" Duff

Kay passed away peacefully in her home in Forest Park, Il at age 91, following a bout with cancer that was discovered only months ago. Prior to that, she was sharp as a tack, and as healthy as one could be at her age.

Kay was a remarkable woman. The family matriarch spent her formative years on the west side of Chicago, before moving to Oak Park shortly after marrying her (late) husband of 57 years, John (Jack) Duff. She attended Providence High School, and was an active member of the Presentation Young People’s Club, through which she met her future husband.

She married at age 20, and raised ten children, seven of them born before she turned 30! She was an active member of Ascension Parish, in the Altar & Rosary Society and always involved in the many functions and events her children were part of. Kay was, like many women of the day, a full time mom. And a damn good one. She never took a day off. There were no weekends away with the girls, or vacations without the kids. One of the amazing things, especially compared to our lives as parents, is that she never drove. A blessing in disguise, perhaps? She walked to stores, or sent the children for daily supplies. Can you imagine a mother who doesn’t shuffle her children around these days?

As mentioned, Kay was always sharp as a tack mentally, and remained so until she passed. She knew everyone’s birthday. Not just her kids, but her many grandchildren, great grandchildren and god children. She would send reminders to us about an upcoming sibling’s birthday, etc.

In addition to her own wide circle of friends and her children, she was loved and adored by her children’s friends, who spent countless hours at the Duff household over the years and well into adulthood.

Kay will be missed dearly by all, but the memories of her will be everlasting.

Kay was the beloved wife of the late John M. "Jack"; loving mother of John, Kathleen, Thomas (Pam), James (Wendy), Anne (Robert) Dorneker, Margaret (William) Walsh, Mary (James) Arey, Patricia (Robert) Marino, Robert and the late Susan (the late John) Sbarbaro, cherished grandmother of Ainsly and Benjamin, Amanda, Thomas and Kaitlyn, Kevin, Elizabeth, Kelly and Maggie, Meredith, Joseph and Patrick, Matthew and Nicole, James and John, Marikate, Jack and Samuel; great-grandmother of Colin and Clare, Josephine and Thomas, Cadence and Tenley; dear sister of William (Anita) and Lawrence (Mary) Frankel and the late Margaret (the late Charles) May, Hugo, Robert (Dorothy), Loretta Marren, Howard and Virginia Frankel; fond aunt and great-aunt of many. Visitation Monday, August 16, 3 to 8 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Family and friends will meet Tuesday, August 17 at Ascension Church, 801 S. East Ave., Oak Park for Mass at 10:00 a.m. Interment Mt. Carmel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial to Ascension School (

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Previous Events





3:00 PM 8/16/2021 3:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 8/16/2021 8:00:00 PM
Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home

203 South Marion Street
Oak Park, IL 60302


Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home
203 South Marion Street Oak Park 60302 IL
United States

Funeral Mass




10:00 AM 8/17/2021 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 8/17/2021 11:00:00 AM
Ascension Church

808 S. East Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304

Ascension Church
808 S. East Ave. Oak Park 60304 IL
United States

Cemetery Details


Mt. Carmel Cemetery Final Resting Place

1400 S. Wolf Rd.
Hillside, IL 60162

1400 S. Wolf Rd. Hillside 60162 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Ascension School

Ascension Advancement Office
808 S. East Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60304

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