Mary F. McDuff died on July 22, 2020 in Fairhope, AL. After a recent hospitalization, Mary reluctantly left her friends at The Brennity Senior Living Center. She quietly slipped away from this world, surrounded by family members who were blessed to spend recent weeks visiting with and caring for her. The family is grateful for the love, stories, and memories, shared with them in recent days.
Born on February 18, 1928 and raised in Bogalusa, LA, Mary attended high school at St. Scholastica in Covington, LA and earned her nursing degree at Hotel Dieu in New Orleans, LA. Mary worked as a nurse and hospital administrator in Collins, MS. Future husband, Grover “Buddy” McDuff, noticed Mary while performing his auditing duties at the hospital and made it his mission to meet the lovely young nurse after also observing her during mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in nearby Hattiesburg, MS. Their friendship grew into romance and led to marriage in 1953, followed by the birth of five children and the eventual settling of the family in Pascagoula, MS.
Mary was known for her gentle nature, her devotion as a wife and mother, and her service to her church and community. Her message to love God and serve others is reflected in the words “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace” from The Prayer of St. Francis. She developed life-long friendships as a dedicated member and leader in organizations such as Junior Auxiliary, Alter Society, Scouts, and Anti-Drug programs at the local high school. She enjoyed social time playing bridge, having coffee chats and luncheons, and enjoying shenanigans with the 20th Century Club.
Every year, Mary and Buddy returned to their honeymoon destination, the Smoky Mountains, to enjoy autumn’s changing colors. Mary and her six siblings, known as the Silver Seven, were stars of the yearly Krebs family reunion, a weekend adventure featuring Cajun food and music, swimming, games, fireworks, and fun. The family celebrated Buddy’s birthday at the annual McDuff-A-Thon beach trip, where Mary and Buddy enjoyed watching pelicans and dolphins, the building of great sand castles, and sharing time with their children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Emile and Elizabeth Krebs; husband, Grover Bernard McDuff; siblings, William Emile Krebs, Juanita Marie Fralick, Richard Glen Krebs; and son, Mark Bernard McDuff.
She is survived by her children, Jeffrey (Pam) McDuff, Ann (Gilbert) Perez, Kevin (Lisa) McDuff, Jean (Dennis) Putthoff; daughter-in-law, Candis McDuff; grandchildren, Lela (James) Reyes, Dana (Rich) Wilson, Daniel (Helen) Ramsay, Patrick (Joanna) Ramsay, Roxanna Perez, Gilbert Perez, Ryan (Madison) McDuff, Marcos (Brittani) Perez, Reid McDuff, Derek Putthoff, Madeline McDuff, William Putthoff, Anna Lee McDuff, Jonathan Putthoff; great-grandchildren, Noelani Reyes, Jude Reyes, Chase Wilson, Caden Wilson, Amalia Reyes, Hugo Ramsay, Coley Wilson, Emile Garcia-Perez, Rory McDuff, and Walter Ramsay.
Since we cannot be together at this time, comments and memories posted to https://www.facebook.com/mary.mcduff.16 will be most appreciated. A private memorial mass will be streamed from Christ The King Catholic Church in Daphne, AL at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Interment at Machpelah Cemetery in Pascagoula, MS will take place at a later date.
Memorials may be mailed to Christ The King Catholic School at P.O. Drawer 1890, Daphne, AL 36526 or made online to Little Sisters Of The Poor, who serve the elderly poor, at https://littlesistersofthepoormobile.weshareonline.org
Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at www.hughesfh.com. Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.