Ellen K. Duffy

            Ellen Kay Duffy, daughter of James M. and Kathleen A. Kelly Duffy, was born February 2, 1964, at Sumner, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sumner. She graduated from Sumner High School in 1982, and then attended Northeast Iowa Technical Institute and became a registered nurse.

            Ellen worked in various positions during her twenty-five year nursing career in Sumner, Cedar Falls, and Waterloo. Ellen was active in the Breast Cancer Awareness Association and made trips to Washington, D.C. with the group lobbying for breast cancer research.

            Following a lengthy illness, Ellen’s death occurred on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo. She was forty-seven years old and was a member of St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Waterloo. Ellen had an immense love for her niece and nephews, and very much loved her dog.

            Ellen is survived by her parents, Jim and Kathleen Duffy of Sumner; two brothers, Patrick (Lisa) Duffy, also of Sumner, and Michael (Laura) Duffy of Eagan, Minnesota; four nephews; and one niece.

             Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Sumner, Iowa with Rev. Jim Brokman officiating. Interment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Sumner. Friends may call from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 2, 2011, at Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Sumner where there will be a Rosary recited at 4:00 p.m. and Scripture Service held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Friends may also call for one hour preceding Mass at the church on Wednesday. 


Carol Corcoran Healy on August 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM said:

I am so sorry to hear this news about Ellen. We all know she is in God's loving care. My prayers will continue for Ellen and all of you.
David Harkins quote:
“You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
Anonymous on August 5, 2011 at 9:29 AM said:

Cathy (Toussaint) Coleman on August 4, 2011 at 6:30 AM said:

I am so sorry to hear of Ellen's passing. Seems like just yesterday we were in Junior High together, and were at your house laughing and talking. I ran into her a few months ago when I was home visiting my mother. She never let on how sick she was. She was still the same kind, sweet person I had known all through our school days together. You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Cathy (Toussaint) Coleman
Annie Volker on August 3, 2011 at 7:44 AM said:

Mr.and Mrs. Duffy, Pat, Mike (and families): I was in the class of 1982 with Ellen and want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to you. What I know for certain is that nothing beautiful in this world is ever lost. And nothing can separate us from those we love-- not even death. We keep our loved ones present each time we live and love each other well. Ellen's gentle ways, deep compassion, generosity, and kindness have given us countless examples of how to live-- how to keep her spirit with us. I am both mourning with you and celebrating a life well-lived.
Jerry and Boni Bishop on August 2, 2011 at 9:21 PM said:

Wow! What a tribute to Ellen. All that has been written here by so many. I knew Ellen through work at Covenant. We were also good friends of Mary and Leroy. There are many great memories we have of Ellen. She was always doing something thoughtful for others. Needlework, baking, sending cards, giving gifts, visiting people in the hospital, the list goes on. We are all better for having known her.
David and Reenie Baier on August 2, 2011 at 7:54 PM said:

We are so sorry to hear about Ellen. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless and comfort you.
Jane Tucker on August 2, 2011 at 2:58 PM said:

My sympathy to Ellen's family. Not only was Ellen one of my students many years ago, but just a few years ago she was very helpful to me when we had a chance happening of being at the Cancer center the same day. Even though she was probably not feeling the best herself, she took time to talk to me and answer some questions I had. I will always remember her kindness.
Carolyn Weichers on August 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM said:

I knew Ellen through our orgaization... Iows Breast Cancer Edu-Action. But I really knew Ellen after her diagnosis. I was her Reach to Recovery contact. We had many phone calls and became good friends. I admired her courage and strength. We had moments on the phone of hope and despair but always smiled through it all. I visited her several times and know how she loved both of her dogs. I also know she loved her family. Please know that we all mourn with you in the passing of Ellen. She was a good person and touched many lives. You are in my prayers.
Peggy & Jeff on August 2, 2011 at 10:02 AM said:

My husband and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of your beloved Ellen. We would like to share with you something that has brought us much comfort at a similar time in our lives. John 11:14-44 shares with us the experience of Jesus resurrecting Lazarus here on earth before the very eyes of those he loved. We can only imagine the tears of joy when we too are reunited with our dear loved ones. (John 5:28,29) Ellen will surely be missed by many of those who's lives she shared, remember the experiences you shared together and learn from them, hold them close to your heart and cherish them. May you find comfort from those who surround you at this very difficult time. Our sincere condolences to all of you.
Cindy Harris on August 2, 2011 at 8:09 AM said:

I am so sorry for the loss of Ellen. She is one of the most couragous people I know. I met Ellen at the Iowa Breast Cancer EduAction group and we traeled to Washington DC together. In the past few years she was not able to attend I reminded our congressmen that she was at home but still fighting our fight. She is the only person I know who had Hilary Clinton call her in the hospital after breaking her leg. Ellen was kind, thoughtful and so very brave. She wasn't a complainer and had every right to be. Her smile was wonderful and the love of her niece and nephews was always up front. I will miss her so. She is definitely a daughter to be proud of. My prayers are with her family but she is now a very bright light in heaven and if there is something up there needing done I am sure Ellen is right on it.
Marcia Dixon on August 2, 2011 at 7:30 AM said:

My heart hurts for the lose of Ellen. She fought the good fight. I worked with Ellen at Nurse on Call (Ask-A-Nurse) and loved having her as a friend. I think of her now surrounded by loved ones that have gone before and especially her dogs. I hope they had a special party in heaven for her she deserved it. Sorry I can't be there in person my heart goes out to the family she adored.
Maxine Kehret, Registered Dietitian on August 2, 2011 at 7:19 AM said:

I was saddened to read of the news about Ellen in the paper. I worked with her in a nursing home or hospital in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area for a short time. I really enjoyed working with her. She was a really dedicated and loving nurse with her patients. She will be missed by many.. Maxine
Rich & Peggy Carlson on August 2, 2011 at 7:05 AM said:

We were saddened to hear of Ellen's passing. I worked with Ellen for several years at Nurse on Call. Not only was she a dedicated nurse but a dear friend. She was always interested in the lives of others & proud to share stories about her family, especially her nephews & niece. I admired her courage & strength in dealing with her health problems. She made an impact on many lives & was a source of inspiration to us all. My heart aches for the pain your family is going through. Ellen is at peace. Our thoughts & prayers are with your entire family.
Kathy Boeckmann on August 1, 2011 at 11:56 PM said:

My deepest sympathy to Ellen's family.I met Ellen at an Edu-Action Breast Cancer meeting. She was always up beat and never a complainer but a doer. I meet her before she was diagnosised with her breast cancer. It is a terrible cancer and Ellen worked hard at being an advocate to find a cure. She will be missed by so many people she touched in her short life. I pray it comforts you in knowing she touched so many lives and helped many in such a short time. I will not forget her and will remember her smile and positive attitude during even the toughest challenges in her life.
Gretchen (Gitch) Warkentin on August 1, 2011 at 6:57 PM said:

Mr. and Mrs. Duffey, Pat and Mike,
Please accept my sympathy in the loss of your daughter and sister. From what I have heard and read, although her days on this earth were short, she made those days full and worthwhile. God's Blessings to you all.
Pat and Mark McCright on August 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM said:

We were saddened to hear of Ellen’s passing. We extend our deepest condolences to your family. I worked with Ellen for several years at Covenant. She was a wonderful nurse and good friend. The last five years when we would come home for a few weeks from overseas, it was always a joy to visit with Ellen. Her positive attitude served as an inspiration to all of us. Ellen will be greatly missed.
Patty Dennis on August 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM said:

To Ellen's family, I wanted to express my sorrow for your loss of Ellen. I knew Ellen when she worked at Sartori. Many years later we worked together at Ask-A-Nurse. She was always caring and a hard worker. When my son Billy was ill, we use to see each other every couple weeks at the hospital or the Dr office. She was a comfort to me when I ran into her at the UIHC lobby in Iowa City. It was always nice to see a friendly face in spite of the circumstances. I know she will be missed. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Betty Beck on August 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM said:

To the Duffy family, Ellen was a good friend to me and my family. She supported us and helped us to cope when we lost our daughter Linda to cancer. They had become friends and a comfort to each other in the short year they knew each other. I worked with Ellen at Ask A Nurse and know her as a remarkable woman and a very good nurse. Even when her own burdens were overwhelming she still reached out to others with compassion. She was a fighter and determined to make a difference in this world by advocating for Breast Cancer Awareness. I will miss her. My prayers are with you.
Sally Walker on August 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM said:

To Mom, Dad and everyone; My thoughts and prayers are with you. What a difference Ellen made in this world. All of us at Ask A Nurse became better nurses and better human beings because of the example that Ellen gave us in living life to its' fullest and living life with dignity and courage, while showing compassion for others. I am so thankful I hired Ellen to become part of our team. There is a void now and that only happens when you lose a true treasure. Ellen lived the love that Christ taught us.
Joe Marr on August 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM said:

Jim & Kathlyn
I just wanted to let you know how sorry we are for you for the passing of Ellen. My wife and I had a chance to visit with Ellen last Wed at the hospital. It just so happened that I was in a room down the hall from her with a blood clot in my leg. We both said a prayer for each other after a 10 min chat, it's amazing that she never complained about her illness the entire time we chatted only to say she knew she would be going to Hospice the following day.
What a great fighter she was an so sincere! She'll be missed by all, and I'm sure you two will miss her the most.
Plan on seeing you on Wed

Take Care

Joe Marr
Julie Fedeler on July 31, 2011 at 7:52 PM said:

My deepest sympathies to the Duffy family. Ellen was a very special woman and will be greatly missed. "A flower blooms for a moment - and we remember the beauty always." Praying that God will comfort you during these days.
Linda (Minkel) Gansen on July 31, 2011 at 6:58 PM said:

I am so very sorry to hear of Ellen's passing. I have many fond memories of time spent with Ellen. She is one of the strongest women I know in her fight against her cancer. She will be greatly missed. Peace, prayers and blessings to her family.
Daryl, Laure, Bridget and Lindsey Bouska on July 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM said:

Duffy family, we have gotten to know you thru our church family and know that you are a very kind and faith filled family. We know what reward waits for us at the end of our lives and Ellen is enjoying that fully now. With deepest sympathy from our family. Bouskas
JoAnn Blaalid on July 31, 2011 at 5:08 PM said:

I am very sorry to hear of Ellen's passing. She was always nice to me even though I was a couple of years younger and Deb Fedeler's kid sister. She always made me laugh and I will always remember her fondly. My deepest sympathies to all of her family and friends.
Robin Elliott on July 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM said:

I was a classmate of Ellen's. She was such a kind person. I have had the opportunities to catch up with Ellen every once in awhile, when she was home in Sumner. Sorry to hear she lost her battle with cancer, she gave it a good fight. God has received a good soul, and now she is at peace.
Steve Loshman on July 31, 2011 at 3:14 PM said:

Oh my goodness I am so sorry to hear of your families loss. Ellen was a year behind be. I can remember once when my family came to your house when we were small kids. I remember from school that Ellen was a very nice person. She will be missed. Evidently Ellen has been battling this for some time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I will be sure to tell my parents Dean and Carol.
Jolene Ball on July 31, 2011 at 1:49 PM said:

Dear Family,
So sorry to hear of Ellen's passing. I enjoyed working with her in the past and came to realize what a kind, giving person she was. Thinking of you.

Becker-Milnes Funeral Home

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