Lawrence Robert (Bob) Duffy (85), born December 29, 1936, to Lawrence Robert Duffy and
Miriam O'Hare Duffy, passed peacefully in the loving presence of family and friends on August
19, 2022, after a courageous battle with dementia.
Elegant, driven, able to argue hard, but always with a grin on his face, Bob never met a hat he
didn’t like. Born to work, born to rise, Bob had meteoric success in the Catholic church, his first
career and Wall Street, his second. He had a laser sharp intellect, an open, kind and
compassionate heart, and listened as if with his whole being. “Organized” was one of his
favorite words. Bob was both silly and serious, a unique combination that made him
Bob had a ruthlessly gentle work ethic and was motivated by the core belief that the status quo
must be challenged and that “it doesn’t have to be this way.” It was in this spirit that he
married the love of his life Virginia (Snelson) Duffy, when he was 43 years old.
Despite being an avowed lifelong bachelor, it all changed in an instant when she introduced
herself at a singles mixer at the Hasbrouck Heights, Hilton in 1979. She wowed him with her
beauty, smarts and emotional intelligence (she guessed he had been a Priest just moments into
their conversation), and so began a partnership of love, devotion, silliness, and the joy of
finding each other and great love late in life. Bob always said that loving Ginny, made him feel
closer to God.
Bob was fascinated by Ginny’s work as a counselor with the psychological healing tools of the
day (EST, DMA, TA…). Always the seeker of truth, and change for the better, this became a new
land of study and inspiration for Bob. In fact, they embarked on years of collaboration,
conducting small group sessions in their Manhattan living room, among likeminded people who
were committed to changing their lives for the better. They were even featured in the Berkshire
Eagle on July 8, 1985 with headline “N.Y. couple offer self-help course.”
He was the eldest of his siblings. greatly loved and was devoted to his family, as he built his own life with zeal,
integrity and commitment. There is no doubt that Frank Sinatra was thinking of Bob when he
wrote “My Way.”
Bob was predeceased by his brothers, George of Titusville FL; and Christopher of Pennington,
NJ; as well as his nephew, Terry Matthew of FL. He is survived by his wife, Virginia of Jenkinton,
PA; their daughter Lee Polychron (Nino McCoubrey) and their daughters, Cassandra Coale and
Penelope McCoubrey of Philadelphia; his brother, Terrence J. Duffy (Tara) of West Milford, NJ;
their children: Sean Cormick (Aimee) of Wayne, NJ, Ryan Patrick (Francesca) of Paterson NJ, and
Erin Gabriel of Brick, NJ. Survivors also include his sister, Mary-Therese Duffy, (Gary Wittner),
their son, Evan (Neisha) of Raymond, ME; his nephew Mark (Jennifer) of Pennington; Sisters -
in Law, Laura Duffy of Titusville and Yoshia Duffy of Pennington; and cousins Rosemary Oleskin
(Tom) of DE, and Miriam O'Hare (Pam Neef) of Highland Park, NJ, as well as several grand
nephews and a grand niece.
Bob began his journey at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Ramsey, NJ, (1959) and was a
highly esteemed and sought R.C. Priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, before taking a leave
of absence in 1970. In this capacity, Bob organized the New Jersey Association of Priests,
writing the constitution that would direct this county wide interfaith network in collaboration
and leadership for the surrounding communities. He also attained his Bachelor's Degree (Seton
Hall University, 1959), and two Master"s Degrees in Theology and Sociology (University of San
Francisco, 1966 and New School for Social Research (1969), respectively).
Bob entered the Wall St. market after graduating from the NY Institute of Finance in 1970 and
enjoyed enormous success in this new career that also enabled him to generously support his
community minded passions. His adopted home of NYC also allowed this High School
Basketball All Star to continue his avid pursuit of neighborhood pickup games, to the great
surprise and delight and sometimes consternation of the younger generations who unwittingly
took him on.
A man of keen perception, high minded inspiration and strong leadership he was instrumental
in transforming everything he touched to its best expression, from creating a youth center in
NJ, to founding L’Orchestra, an orchestra in the Berkshires that provided Julliard students the
chance to perform for live audiences, to his welcoming warmth and humor to all he met. He
will be sorely missed.