James D. Duffey, 83, of Boonville, passed away peacefully at home with his loving family by his side on Nov. 3, 2019, after a relatively short but valiant battle with ALS.
Jim was born in Lyons, Ind., on Oct. 16, 1936 to Earl and Catharyn (Moore). A Lyons High School basketball standout, Jim played for Tony Hinkle at Butler University and then for I.S.U. Jim was married to Carolyn (Ramsey) Duffey for 60 years and was father to Kim and Gregg.
Jim loved teaching business and physical education. Jim first coached basketball (with Joe Cabel) at L&M High School in Lyons, Ind., from 1959-1970, winning sectionals in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, Jim became basketball coach at Boonville High School, winning sectionals in 1976-77 and 1977-78 and the Evansville Regional in 1977-78. In 1979, Jim became vice principal working with principal Larry Riggs; Jim was BHS principal from 1991 until he retired in 1997. His enthusiastic attitude and genuine interest in the well-being of the student body positively impacted the lives of many players and students throughout his career.
After retirement, Jim continued to stay active by riding his bicycle and playing golf. Jim also continued playing basketball well into his 70s and was on the gold medal Senior Games team in 2007. He was also inducted into the Boonville High School Hall of Fame 2016 and received the White River Valley Alumni Award 2016.
Jim loved visiting with friends and family, former students, and especially former players. Jim was a wildlife enthusiast, who loved to feed and watch the deer in the back woods. Jim continued to be an avid Butler Bulldog basketball fan, attending as many games in Hinkle Field House as possible. Being movie aficionados, Jim and Carolyn were often seen at the movies almost every weekend. Jim was also known for his special Chex Mix recipe at Christmas and for his euchre card-playing skills.
Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Carolyn; daughter, Kim of Carmel, Ind.; son, Gregg of Washington, D.C.; sister, Sharlene (Bill) Harrah; niece, Cathi (Carl) Barzilauskas of Bloomington, Ind.; nephew, Patrick (Danna) Harrah of Spring, Texas; brother-in-law, Gary Phipps (Sandy) of Southport, N.C.; nieces, Lisa Karcher of Redbank, N.J. and Debbie Phipps of Providence, R.I.; and many cousins, grand nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m until 8 p.m. CST on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, at Bradley's Colonial Chapel, 1005 E. Main St., Boonville; on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. EST at Jenkins Funeral Home in Lyons, Ind.; and on Saturday from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. EST before the funeral. Per Jim’s request, his funeral will be held in the old L&M Gymnasium (now WRV Middle School gym) in Lyons, officiated by Reverend Phil Mercer, pastor emeritus at First United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas and former Lyons and Butler teammate of Jim. The funeral will begin at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. CST. Interment will be private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Greene County Foundation—Jim Duffey Basketball Fund, which was set up to benefit the White River Valley high school basketball program.
Online condolences may be made at www.bradleyscc.com.