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Gregory ‘Greg’ Duffy

December 13, 2023 - 00:00
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  • Gregory ‘Greg’ Duffy

Gregory Dean Duffy, 72, passed peacefully while surrounded by his family on Dec. 8, 2023. Greg was a husband, father, grandfather, conservationist, hunter, fisherman, farmer, leader, friend, Christian, family man and proud Oklahoman.

He was a man of great integrity, a man of his word and a true outdoorsman. He was known to say, “Nothing beats a day outdoors.”

Greg was born in Kingfi sher County on April 9, 1951, to Ronald and Irene (Ladwig) Duffy. He was the middle child with an older brother, Randy, and a younger sister, Ronna (Yost).

He worked the family farm, participated in 4-H camps and the FFA, sang at Tri-State and the local church, and played baseball, basketball and volleyball. He hunted, trapped and fished with his dad, brother, future brothers-in-law, cousins and friends as often as he could.

Greg also spent plenty of time just four miles west of Loyal, where his grade school sweetheart and future wife Jerrie lived.

He graduated from Lomega High School in 1969.

On June 4, 1971, Greg and Jerrie, daughter of Clifton and Pauline (Kadavy) Verhines, were married in Loyal.

He then graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management. He was later honored by the university with a 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Greg and Jerrie raised their three daughters, Lori, Lisa and Lacey, in Piedmont, where Greg was an active member of the community.

He had a strong faith and taught Sunday School and served on the church Board. He donated time to the Piedmont High School booster clubs, served on many early Piedmont Founder’s Day committees and successfully ran for Piedmont school board in 2018, a position he held until his passing.

After a 35-plus year career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Greg retired from his “dream job” in 2009 as one of the longest-tenured wildlife directors in the country.

He had served in various roles – fish hatcheries, waterfowl biologist, wildlife and lands biologist, assistant chief of the Wildlife Division and chief, before becoming the agency’s director in 1993.

The Tulsa World once wrote, “Greg Duffy is to Oklahoma’s fish and wildlife as Barry Switzer is to OU football — only in a quieter way.”

Greg Duffy lived the exact life he wanted, devoting his energies to his family, the outdoors and the communities he loved.

He enjoyed watching Piedmont and Thunder games, traveling, spending time at their Texoma lake house and hunting and fishing with his wife, daughters, sons-in-law Chris Phillips and Chris Ritchie, and grandchildren Connor Phillips, Rhett Ritchie, Landyn Phillips and Reven Ritchie.

He was a dreamer and a planner, but was also always present.

Whoever he was with was the most important person, whether with the governor, his family or the person loading a boat next to him.

He had a way about him that put people at ease; there were no pretenses. And his laugh – when he laughed, you couldn’t help but laugh with him.

To honor Greg, a Celebration of Life will be held at the McGranahan Barn on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023.

The service will begin at 1 p.m., followed by lunch, fellowship and story-sharing. The McGranahan Barn is located at 12310 Northwest Expressway, Yukon, OK 73099.