Lillian Durfee

Obituary of Lillian M. Durfee

Lillian M. Durfee, age 91, residing in Duluth, MN, died at home on Thursday March 23, 2020 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

She was born June 21, 1928 in Utica, N.Y. to Anthony and Frances Pitera.

Lillian graduated from Proctor High School in Utica, NY and earned her Registered Nursing degree from Plattsburg College in upstate New York. She joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1950 and served in the Korean War 1950-53.

Lillian was passionate about making a difference in the world. She loved to travel, and in Washington, DC, 1958, she met her husband, the late Richard Allen Durfee. They were married for 21 years when he died suddenly and left her the single mother of four children in 1980. After 10 more years of nursing, she retired in 1990. A woman of many talents and interests, she joined the Peace Corps in 1991 and worked as a nursing instructor in Nepal. Lillian was a devoted grandmother and great grandmother.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Mrs. Betty Pitera of Falls Church, VA; four nieces and nephews, all with children and families of their own; and her children, Lorraine (Phelps Johnson) Durfee, Joanne Durfee, Steven (Monica) Durfee and Thomas Durfee. Lillian had eight grandchildren, Miles (Nanda) Guruswamy, Curtis (Teague) GoodSky, Reese Johnson, Aaron (Kayleigh) Johnson, Jack Durfee, Amelia Durfee, Alison Durfee and Tess Durfee. She had three great grandchildren, Poemaut and Arabella GoodSky and Brantley Johnson, as well as many more family and friends.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Atlantic Ocean with family and friends when conditions are safe and travel is permitted.

We are grateful for the overwhelming condolences and support of our family and friends, and the family and friends that she brought together in her life.