“He had a good life. There were splendid stories, splendid relationships,” was how John Campbell Duffy was remembered by his son Christopher Sean Duffy in a conversation last week.
Mr. Duffy died at the age of 84 on Dec. 2 in Connecticut, where he had spent his last days, living with family. For many years he had a house on Newtown Lane in East Hampton Village, later moving to Springs for a time.
He was born in 1927 in Dundalk, Ireland, to Daniel and Susan Duffy. His childhood and younger years were marked by some family difficulties, his son said, explaining that a grandfather was shot and killed by British soldiers when Mr. Duffy was 14. His family said he was nevertheless a person who found the humor and beauty in life.
Known as Jackie when he was growing up in Ireland, he was a member with his brothers of the St. Patrick’s Pipe Band, which his father led. He left Ireland for the United States when he was in his 30s. He worked in Nebraska first, then in Oakland, Calif., and then for a time in Asia before settling down in Queens on Long Island. Throughout his life, he remained in close contact with his many nieces and nephews in Ireland.
Though he never went to college, Mr. Duffy rose to become a comptroller for White Weld and Company, an investment firm, and later had his own real estate business.
A vacation house in East Hampton became his year-round residence after he retired. His later years were spent reading the classics and debating world affairs and ideas with friends and family. A serious golfer, he played at Montauk Downs and was known for an exceptional short game, his family said. He was also regarded as an ace at snooker.
His wife, the former Patricia Acevedo, died only six weeks before him. His sister, Maureen Duffy, and his brothers, Donal and Liam Duffy, also died before him.
Though not a particularly religious man when he was younger, while living with his son Chris, his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Conor, Eamon, and Julia in Branford, Conn., Mr. Duffy began to attend church with his grandsons. “The boys helped him rediscover his faith. He bonded with them,” Chris Duffy said.
He is also survived by two other sons, Kevin Duffy of Brooklyn and Terence Duffy of Union City, N.J., and by 10 grandchildren.
A Mass for him was said at St. Rose Catholic Church in New Haven on Dec. 10.