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Carmen Duffy

January 20, 1945 - September 11, 2017

Maria Del Carmen Duffy, of Salem, Oregon was called to return to the Lord on Monday, September 11, 2017, due to age-related complications associated with immune-suppression.

She is survived by her husband, Bruce Duffy, her brother Manuel Pinion, daughters Cristina (Joel) Hopkin, Jennifer (A.J.) Nava, her son Trevor (Marissa) Yates, her nieces, Sylvia Hendrickson, Lara Pinion, and nephews, Jaime Martinez, and Greg Kitson Pinion.  A Beloved wife, mother, and grandmother of 9, (Alec, Grant, Natalie, Shelby, Riley, Reese, Curtis, Garrett, and Madeline).

Carmen had a way of getting everyone around her to like her with her pleasantness and genuine concern for the well-being of those in her presence.

Carmen was born in Avalos, Chihuahua, Mexico on January 20, 1945, to parents Eutimio and Juana Velasco Pinion.  The youngest of three, her father emigrated the family to the United States the year she was born and settled in El Paso, Texas.  Carmen grew up in central El Paso where she would later graduate from Jefferson High School in 1963.

Soon after High School she worked at the El Paso Natural Gas Company and would then attend college, at the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Women’s University and later at Southern Methodist University for her Masters of Education degree.  Carmen spent the entirety of her career as an elementary school teacher, putting in long hours after work, dedicated to taking the extra mile to educate her students, many of whom were learning English as a second language.  Much of her early working career was done while going to school for her Masters and single-handedly raising her daughter, Cristina.  After completing school, Carmen continued to work as an elementary school teacher in Dallas, Texas.  In 1976, her son, Trevor was born.  In 1985, Carmen returned to El Paso with her daughter Cristina and son Trevor, where she again taught bilingual education to 4th graders at Lancaster Elementary.

In March of 1988, she married her true love and soul-mate, Bruce Duffy.  They’ve been happily married ever since.  In May of 1992, after years of courageously battling against auto-immune illnesses, Carmen was blessed with a liver transplant at the Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Carmen was a dedicated wife and mother.  She was always putting others before herself, even when she was not feeling her best.  Carmen had an amazing sense of intellectual curiosity, constantly challenging her children to always be learning.  Carmen’s default mode was to be kind to everyone she met.  She was always warm, affectionate, and always giving of her time.  As one of the world’s longest living transplant patients, Carmen was the quintessential essence of what it means to be a survivor.    Battling health issues for most of her adult life, Carmen faced death at many points, always persevering in her faith.  Although she wasn’t always at 100% physically, Carmen always made it a point to stay positive and make others around her feel encouraged and comfortable.  Carmen’s courage and genuineness became apparent to anyone who spent more than 5 minutes with her.  She could make friends anywhere.  Carmen’s interests included taking care of her family in need, cooking everyone’s favorite dishes, and catching up with her children and grandchildren.

When Carmen was not dedicating herself to the others around her, she enjoyed painting, movie going, reading, yoga, and line-dancing.  To our dear Carmen, you will be missed dearly by your friends and family on this Earth.  We know that you are in a place of peace with the Lord.  For those of us left behind, we will carry on.  The days and world will be dimmer with your absence, but we will always have the memories of your love, concern, and warmth in our hearts, and the sound of your beautiful voice in our minds.  “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God’s strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26”.

A memorial service in celebration of Carmen’s life has been organized by her husband, Bruce and will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 1:00 P.M.  It will be officiated by Pastors Tim Hux, Sue Hubbard, and Don Brandt.  There will be a reception held in Carmen’s honor immediately following the memorial service. 

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Guest Book Entries

Bruce, you know how much you and Carmen mean to me and my family.  We will all miss her, especially her kind heart and her love for life.

love you my friend ..God Bless you and your family.

Renard & Family

Remembering you from way back in the day you were a teenager and you and your friends would comb my hair and put cigarettes on my eyelashes. Hahahaha many other memories come to mind but certainly will miss you a beautiful person inside and out. Say hello to your parents and mine until we meet again. Love you. Patricia