Cover photo for James Duffy, Jr.'s Obituary
James Duffy, Jr. Profile Photo

James Duffy, Jr.

May 7, 1934 — January 15, 2023

Silas Creek Chapel

James Duffy, Jr.

James (“Jim”) P. Duffy, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Clemmons, NC on January 15, 2023.

Born in Brooklyn, NY to James P. Duffy, Sr. and Marie Celeste Duffy ( Wissmann), he attended parochial school at Saint Vincent Ferrer and was a devoted Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He went on to graduate from Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After college, he trained in technology while serving with the U.S. Air Force and began his lifelong career in computer science.

Jim was co-founder of a technology consulting firm in Princeton, NJ in the pioneering days of computer engineering. There he was part of the team that developed the first digital air traffic control system at JFK Airport, designed and implemented numerous banking automation applications, and contracted with RCA to develop systems to support national election coverage. Upon moving to NC in the early 1970s, he consulted with Gravely Tractor until joining R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, from which he retired after a successful tenure of more than 20 years.

Jim’s favorite pastimes included woodworking, hiking in the mountains, travel, folk and country music, chess, and enjoying nature at his beloved Tanglewood Park.

A devoted family man, Jim and his loving wife of over 45 years, Catherine, helped raise six children and then served as foster parents for many years.

An avid and eclectic reader, Jim helped teach three generations of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren how to read. He spent his retirement years scouting library and bookstore sales to collect thousands of secondhand books that he donated to local school systems and nonprofit organizations, earning the nickname of “The Book Man” from the children who benefited from his generosity.

His work in advocating for education and literacy, and his love of travel, are perhaps best illustrated by this quote from Dr. Seuss, his favorite children’s literature author: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

In addition to his wife Catherine, he is survived and will always be loved by his brother Robert Duffy (wife Carol); his daughters Ann Harrington (husband Myron), Karen Duffy (husband Alex Reisberg), Linda Duffy, and Suzanne Simpson-Vogler (husband Fred); grandchildren Heather Bridges (husband Dustin), Lorena Greene (husband Aaron), Jess Simpson, and Claire Reisberg. He is also survived by five great grandchildren; Alexander, Rosemary, Carter, Leo, and Roman.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Janet Robinson (husband Dale); son, Michael Berrier; granddaughter, Cortlyn Dienes, and two great grandchildren (Nori and Dean).

The family would like to thank Karen Parsons (caregiver), David Teer (caregiver), Erin Carr (Trellis nurse), and the entire staff of Trellis for their dedication and support.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Jim’s life and legacy with your donation to the Alzheimer’s Association (​​, Trellis Supportive Care ( or Book Harvest (

A memorial service will take place 12 Noon, Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Hayworth Miller Silas Creek Chapel, 3315 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC. Family will receive friends 1 hour prior. For the safety and well-being of everyone attending, masks will be highly encouraged. Online condolences may be sent to

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Duffy, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, February 4, 2023

11:00 - 11:50 am (Eastern time)

Hayworth Miller Silas Creek Chapel, Silas Creek Parkway, Winston - Salem, NC


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Memorial Service

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel

3315 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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