Joseph F. Duffy

August 31st, 2021

Joseph F. Duffy, “Joe”, Ret. Sgt. Wilmington Police Department, age 86, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on August 29, 2021.

Joe was born in Newton, MA, on July 20, 1935; he was the dear son of the late Charles and Mary Duffy. As a young boy, Joe, moved to Wilmington with his family when they bought their family farm on Aldrich Road. Joe along with his brothers worked on the farm, played sports and attended Wilmington Schools; Joe graduated Wilmington High School with the Class of 1954.

Joe enlisted in the United States Air Force on October 8, 1954, during the Korean Conflict; he was assigned to the 4238th Field Maintenance Squadron. Joe actively served for the next four years earning his way up the ranks from Private to Sergeant, in October of 1958, Joe was honorably discharged from active duty and immediately was assigned to the Air Force Reserves. While serving in the Reserves, Joe was again assigned to active duty during the Vietnam War for a period of time before being honorably discharged to his Reserve obligation. Joe continued serving our country for many years in the Reserves when in 1990 he was again called to active duty during Operation Desert Shied/Storm; once again putting the needs of our Country before his own. During his time in the Air Force, Joe, amassed many commendations, medals and ribbons for his fine service. He worked his way up the ranks and when he retired from his reserve duty in 1992, following 38 years of service to our Country. Joe earned the title of Chief Master Sergeant; something his whole family was proud of. Joe always showed his courage and Patriotism whenever and wherever he was called to duty.

While home on leave during one tour, Joe married the “love of his life” Margaret “Peggy” DeFelice; the couple settled in their home town of Wilmington and raised three wonderful children; Donna, Diane and Joe Jr. or “J” as he was nicknamed. Joe and Peggy loved their children unconditionally and looked forward to the times they spent together. They loved to spend summers in Wolfeboro, NH or at the Tree Tops Campground in Alton Bay with extended family and always looked forward to their annual vacations to Cape Cod or Canada or wherever the kids wanted to go; these were some memorable times with their family and friends. Joe was always involved in whatever his kids were doing; he attended countless school and sporting events and was a Wilmington Youth Hockey Coach for many years. In his later years, Joe was known as the “Best Grampie or Pop Pop” anyone could ask for. Joe looked forward to the times he spent with his grandchildren, he was their biggest fan and had a unique and special relationship with each one of them.

Joe worked hard to provide for his family and had an incredible work ethic. On November 1, 1960, Joe was appointed as a special Police Officer with the Town of Wilmington; this appointment led to a long and successful career with the Wilmington Police Department. Joe earned a permanent position and was sworn in on April 23, 1965; he earned his Sergeant stripes on December 13, 1985 and retired from the Police Force on August 18, 1995 following 35 years of dedicated service to the Town of Wilmington. Joe went above and beyond during his tenure as a Police Office; he not only provided safety throughout the community but got involved in community activities. For many years, Joe, was seen at Silver Lake cooking for the annual Police Beach Day Cookout for the kids in town; this was a yearly event that so many kids looked forward to and a great time was had by all. Joe also got involved with the Law Enforcement Task Force that provided security for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 and then again at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. Throughout the years, Joe, received commendations and letters for his fine service to the Wilmington Police Department, the community and the Task Forces that he was part of; he again put the needs of others before his own.

In his spare time, Joe, enjoyed playing softball in the Town Park League for Charlies Auto Body or the Knights of Columbus. He loved following Boston Sports and was an avid fan of the Sox, Bruins and Patriots. Joe looked forward to his trips to Las Vegas to visit his daughter and her family and always found the time to head to a casino or two just to “try his luck”.

Joe was a member of the Knights of Columbus Fr. Croke Council in Wilmington, the V.F.W. and the Tewksbury/Wilmington Lodge of Elks; Joe enjoyed the camaraderie, he volunteered his time for community events and fund raisers and made countless friends throughout the years. Joe looked forward to spending time with his fellow retired Air Force Chiefs for their monthly luncheons or their trips to Alaska or the Finger Lakes in New York; these guys had a great time no matter what they were doing.

Joe will be fondly remembered as a “good guy” with an endearing personality and a warm smile. Joe always went out of his way to help others and was well loved by his family and friends who will forever miss him.

Joe was the beloved husband of the late Margaret M. “Peggy” (DeFelice) Duffy, devoted father of Donna Luce & her husband David of Las Vegas, NV, Diane Martin & her companion Tim Robarge of Wakefield, and Joseph F. Duffy, Jr. “J” & his wife Kristin of Wilmington. Loving “Grampie & Pop Pop” to Ashlee & her husband Clint, Brandon & his wife Kim, Ronni & her husband Craig, Randee, Kevin & his wife Vanessa, Brett, Joanna and his great-grandchildren Willow, Caleb, Brooklynn, Nick, Alex, Lilly, Stephane, Dante, Gianna and Natalia. Dear son of the late Charles and Mary (Canney) Duffy, brother of the late James Duffy and the late Charles “Sonny” Duffy, Jr. Joe is also survived by his sister-in-law Shirley DeFelice as well as his many nieces, nephews and their families.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, September 2nd from 4:00-7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial for Joe will be held on Friday, September 3rd at 10:00 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA. Family is requesting that Masks be worn while in the Funeral Home and in Church please.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joe’s memory to the Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887 or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.


19 Entries in Guest Book for “Joseph F. Duffy”

  1. Kristin Duffy says:

    I couldn’t ask for a better father-in-law or a better Grampie for my children. You will always be in our hearts. I know you didn’t want to leave us, but your beautiful wife was calling, and you had to answer. Rest easy in her arms. We will take care of each other. Don’t worry. Love you Always and Forever, Your Favorite daughter in-law.

  2. Beverly Berrigan says:

    Donna,Diane and “J”,
    So sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. He fought a good fight for many years. Always upbeat with all his health problems. He’s with your Mom now. Rest in peace and God Bless.
    Love and prayers,
    Bev Berrigan

  3. Leslie E McLaughlin jr says:

    Deepest and sincerest condolences from the McLaughlin family

  4. joseph bradley says:

    so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing my condolences to all of the family he was such a great guy rest in peace my friend

  5. McCue Familu says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this very difficult time. I have very fond memories of Joe as a young child when our families got together for family events at the Knights of Columbus. Rest In Peace and give Peggy a hug for us.

  6. Lisa DeFelice says:

    To all my cousins, I am so sorry for your loss. I know Uncle Joe is now flying high with Auntie Peggy. I am thankful to have had such a great uncle. I’m so sorry I can’t be there but please know I am hugging you all tight and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you all very much.

  7. Pat King says:

    So sorry for your loss. Joe was a great guy. We had some great times working together. Joe will be missed.

  8. Linda (Morgan) Fleming says:

    Sorry for your loss, Mr. Duffy was a wonderful man.
    My dad , Officer Joe Morgan spent alot of hours working with Mr. Duffy. Our family was proud to have Joe as a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral. Two Respected and Loved police officers are together now.

  9. Bob & Pat Kelly says:

    So very sorry to hear about the loss of your dad.
    Joe was a good guy. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. Janet Burke says:

    Donna, Diane and J,
    So sorry for the loss of your dear Dad. He was a great long time friend of the Cain and Burke families. His presence has been life long for me and he holds a special place in my heart. I have many fond memories of him; camping, Lake Winni, 2002 Olympics, driving from Utah to Vegas to visit Donna. He was generous of heart to me and my children. I will miss the always present twinkle of his eyes, his quick smile, and his many stories. There is comfort knowing that he is now with your Mom. My sincerest sympathy, Janet Burke

  11. Thomas Dzwonkus says:

    Joe was a wonderful man and a true gentleman. Sorry for your loss.

  12. Runnals Family says:

    Condolences to you all. “ Papa Joe” had a very special place in our hearts. May he Rest In Peace. Nancy (Burke), Chris, Tyler and Patrick Runnals

  13. Jan Mcalindon says:

    My love to you all on the loss of such a loved man. Thank you for sharing him with our family.
    An absolute gem. He will always be remembered for the kindness he always showed to us all. .

  14. Tim Donnelly says:

    Sorry to hear about Joe’s passing. When I joined the reserves at Westover in AGE in 1979 he was my first supervisor. He told me I would have a long career in the reserves. He was right. I became an ART than moved to Az. I retired from the reserves after 28 years than worked for the Af another 5 years. He was a great mentor. A salute to you Joe. RIP.

  15. Kevin P Doherty says:

    To Joe’s family,
    I was saddened to hear of his passing. Joe was the definition of a “Gentleman”.
    He served his country, community, loved his God and his family unconditionally.
    I am a better person for knowing Joe.
    May he rest in peace.
    Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands.

  16. Tom Kelly says:

    To Joe’s family. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He was our AGE shop chief and a great Air Force member. Hand Salute. Rest In Peace Joe.

  17. Cindy Costa says:

    Dear Donna, Diane, J and family,
    My sincere condolences on the passing of your dear father. I fondly remember your parents since moving to Wilmington in the 70’s. Your dad was one of the “best” of Wilmington’s Police Department and of our community.

  18. Michael Buckley says:

    Donna,Diane and J, I am so sorry for your loss.He was a great neighbor. And a lifelong friend of our family. Deepest sympathy.

  19. Chris DiCecca says:

    Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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