Edward Duffy, 90 of Ft. Pierre, died Saturday, May 11, at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 17 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Ft. Pierre. Prayer service is at 7:00 p.m. Friday at the Church. The funeral service is at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 18 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Ft. Pierre with Fr. Mark McCormick officiating. Burial will be at the Scotty Philip Cemetery.
Arrangements have been placed in care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at isbergfuneralchapels.com.
Edward Francis Duffy was born to Edward Vincent and Elizabeth (Kingston) Duffy on October 4, 1922, in Pierre, SD. His parents were Irish immigrants and homesteaders. Ed was raised on the Fort Bennett Flat and attended school there for six years, riding horseback every day to and from school. A sister, Evangeline, and brother, Bernard, were also raised on the family homestead. When he was 12 years old the family moved to Fort Pierre, where they lived on the Stanley County Fairgrounds. Although they moved to town, Ed still spent several summers working on the John and Florence Tibbs ranch. He participated in football at Fort Pierre High School and graduated in 1941.
Following graduation, Ed worked constructing the Pierre Post 8 Legion Building and Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, before going to work for Coughlin’s Dairy in Pierre. He married Doris Glessner in 1942. To this union four children were born. He worked as a dairyman until enlisting in the United States Navy in 1943. Ed served in the Western Pacific Theater as a gyro compass technician aboard the submarine tender U.S.S. Fulton until 1945.
After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Ed returned to Fort Pierre. He purchased Rex’s Confectionary in 1946 and eventually renamed it Duffy’s Tavern. In 1952, he opened Duffy’s Café in downtown Fort Pierre. He married Patricia Blegen in 1962. To this union a daughter, Dana, was born. They operated the Chateau Lounge, Silver Spur Bar and Fort Pierre Liquors, and were tireless advocates of the Fort Pierre community. They played active roles in the construction of the Fort Pierre Swimming Pool, Stanley County Fairgrounds, Community & Youth Involved Center, Fort Pierre Senior Center, the South Dakota Rodeo Center as well as numerous other projects.
Ed was the commander of American Legion Post 20, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2038, Elks Lodge #1953, Moose Lodge #1813 and the Fort Pierre Chamber of Commerce. He helped create the South Dakota Rodeo Association in 1955 and was an ardent supporter of South Dakota horse racing. Ed was inducted into the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center Hall of Fame in 1996 as a rodeo promoter.
Ed spent several years lobbying in the South Dakota State Legislature and twice ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. For years, the Chateau Lounge was a place where politicians were able to meet and eat and drink and come to terms with one another in a way that seems elusive now. Edward Duffy was a gentle western man, a child of the Depression whose good heart never left him and whose daily acts of kindness will be remembered by many.
Edward is survived by his wife, Patricia; his brother, Bernard (Peggy); two sons: Michael and Steven Edward (Helene) Duffy; one daughter, Dana (Dan) Costner; one step-son, Terry (Wendy) Blegen; two step-daughters: Barbara (Dan) Downs and Darci (Scott) Deal; numerous grandchildren, great-grand children, nephews, nieces and relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Lizzie; his sister, Vangie; a son, Dan; a daughter Mary Diane Ehnes; a son-in-law Ron Ehnes and a grandson, Dan Duffy.