James Delton Duffield, Jr. | Robinson Daily News
Robinson Daily News

James Delton Duffield, Jr.

Posted on November 17, 2022


Flat Rock, Aug. 18, 1948 - Ill. — Nov. 16, 2022James Delton Duffield, Jr., 74, of Flat Rock, IL, passed away on November 16, 2022, in the comfort of his home. He was born August 18, 1948, in Murphysboro, IL, the son of James "Duffy" Duffield, Sr. & G. Imogene (Baseden) Duffield. He grew up in Murphysboro and would go on to serve his country in the U.S. Army at the height of the Vietnam War. After bravely serving two tours in Vietnam, Jim was honorably discharged, only to re-enlist shortly thereafter, beginning a career in the military that found him and his young family stationed in Missouri, Germany (twice), Louisiana, and California before he finally retired in 1989.

Wanting to move back to the Midwest to be close to family, Jim and his wife, Jean, took a ruler to a map and found an area roughly half the distance between his father and her parents. So, in October of 1990, they moved east of Flat Rock, where Jim soon established his hobby farm. Over the years, this "animal whisperer" owned and raised everything from doves, chickens, and geese to pot belly pigs, hair sheep, and pygmy goats (the latter of which were soon let go, as they had taught the sheep how to jump the fence!) He not only had a gift with animals but with plants as well. He had such a green thumb that he once found a tomato plant growing out of a crack in the asphalt behind a Motel 6 and was able to keep it going for eight bountiful years before a neighbor mowed it down! Needless to say, his farm brought forth delicious produce that he was then able to incorporate into many delicious dishes. He was one of those rare souls who could create something tasty, nay, mouth-watering, without the guidance of a recipe.

Though he stayed busy on the farm, Jim also maintained a full-time job at Leaf/Hershey, where he worked on the Heath line from 1991 until retiring in 2013. The many friends he made there could attest to the fact that the guy was a hard-headed, ornery cuss! But oh, was he funny. Jim owned a very droll sense of humor that brought joy and laughter into our lives. These happy moments were like seeds that were sowed into our hearts. We are thankful that they have now borne fruit in our memories of this dear man, who will never be forgotten.

He married Jean Eppley on April 22, 1972, and she survives. He is also survived by his sons & daughters-in-law, Steven & Katie Duffield and Timothy & Tammy Duffield; his grandchildren, Gia & Mak Sullivan, Ernest Duffield, Lauren Duffield, Liliana Duffield, Destiny & Devin Dunham, Faith Bennett, and Dustin Bennett; his great-grandchildren, Katterina Bennett, Josephine Bennett, and Mateo Sullivan; his nephews, Nathan Duffield, Anthony Eppley, and Christopher Eppley; as well as a host of extended family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Gary Duffield; his parents-in-law, Paul & Ruth Eppley; and his brothers-in-law, Wayne Eppley and Lee Eppley.

A time of visitation will be held from 12:30-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 26th, at the Goodwine Funeral Home in Flat Rock. A celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, with Celebrant Curt Goodwine officiating. During the service, there will be a time for family and friends to reflect on memories shared with this one-of-a-kind soul. For those unable to attend, a recording of the service will eventually be available on Goodwine Funeral Homes' Facebook page or at www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com/live-stream/live-stream.

Memorials may be made to either the "American Heart Association" or the "American Lung Association", with envelopes available at the funeral home. For more information, or to share a memory or condolence online, please visit www.goodwinefuneralhomes.com.

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