Harold C. Duff
Thomaston — Harold C. Duff, 90, itinerate preacher and teacher; with absolute confidence and blessed assurance, went to be with his Lord, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, following a brief hospitalization.
Born in the Aroostook County town of Hodgdon, May 21, 1922, he was one of 10 children of Maurice C. and Ruth I. Barton Duff. He was a 1939 graduate of Hodgdon High School.
He worked several years in “The County’s” potato farming community, until entering the U.S. Army Air Force, in January of 1943. Mr. Duff served in the European Theater throughout World War II, having attained the rank of Technical Sergeant at the time of his honorable discharge in September 1945.
After returning to civilian life, on June 26, 1947, he married Evelyn M. Smith in Hodgdon, and shortly thereafter the newlyweds moved to Greenville, S.C., where Mr. Duff began studies at Bob Jones University.
Inspired by his Bible teachers and having seen the positive results of a Christian High School connected to that college, Mr. Duff caught the vision and was inspired to start a Christian school in Maine. After graduating in 1952 from BJU, he accepted a teaching position at New Brunswick Bible Institute in Victoria Corner, New Brunswick, Canada.
During his six years at NBBI, Mr. Duff also had a weekend and summer preaching ministry in Maine, New Hampshire and the Maritime Provinces. Through those speaking engagements he met others who shared in his vision of a Christian school in Maine. After several months of strategic planning, the Duffs, with their family of six children, in 1958 moved to Pittsfield, where Glen Cove Christian Academy operated for its first year. That next year, the school moved to newly-acquired property in Glen Cove. Under Mr. Duff’s leadership, that school grew to include Glen Cove Christian Academy and Bible College, where he served as Ppresident until 1976. During that same period, he established Dublin Christian Academy in New Hampshire.
In 1978, with his wife, he moved to East Longmeadow, Mass., where they both taught in a Christian K-8 school. During their first year, they added a high school and Mr. Duff served as headmaster. He assisted that school in its relocation to new property and was pleased to see his son named as headmaster. In 2008, Mr. Duff was honored during the graduation ceremony of what is now known as Pioneer Valley Christian School, Springfield, Mass., for having founded that high school 35 years ago.
More recently, he has continued preaching and teaching in churches throughout Maine and New England. He has also been an Elder and served on the pastoral staff at the First Baptist Church in Rockland.
Mr. Duff was predeceased by one son, James Owen Duff in 1950, as well as three siblings, Raymond, Louise and Glenn. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Evelyn; his children and their spouses, Ruth and Robert Clements of Dayton, Ohio, Timothy and Laura Duff of Springfield, Mass., Rebecca and William Leonard of Thomaston, Lois and Richard Chaffee of Marietta, N.Y., Eunice and Robert Bragg of East Longmeadow, Mass., John and Desiree Duff of Grand Rapids, Mich.; 24 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; four brothers and their wives, Guy and Sandra Duff of East Waterboro, Rev. George and Mary Duff of Lancaster, Pa., Oland and Alice Duff of Waldoboro, Leon and Barbara Duff of Vassalboro; two sisters and their husbands, Norma and Richard Benoit of Watertown, N.Y., Margaret and Robert Smith of East Hodgdon; two sisters-in-law, Joyce Duff of Colfax, N.C., and Flora Duff of Hodgdon, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. A celebration of Mr. Duff’s life will be held Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 215 Limerock St., Rockland. Rev. Robert Manning will officiate. Private interment will be in Maine Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to, New Brunswick Bible Institute, 2335 Route 103 Victoria Corner, NB E7P 1C7, CN; Pioneer Valley Christian School, 965 Plumtree Rd., Springfield, MA 01119; First Baptist Church, 215 Limerock St, Rockland, ME 04841-2221; or New England Bible College, 879 Sawyer St., South Portland, ME 04106.
To share a memory or story with Mr. Duff’s family, please visit his online Book of Memories at bchfh.com.