GALLAGHER, Agnes Theresa “Duff” (nee Duffy), age 86, of Glen Rock, on Monday August 31, 2020. Agnes was born to Luke and Mary Duffy in New York City on March 3, 1934, accompanied, as she often was in life, by her best friend and twin, Joan Duffy McKee. They were greeted by three loving and beloved brothers, Jack, Peter, and Jim Duffy, who looked out for their little sisters like only young Irishmen can.
It was a wonderful childhood spent on Amsterdam Avenue, living above the family business, Duffy Brothers, attending St. Gregory the Great, the parish grammar school, and eventually attending Katharine Gibbs secretarial school. While the efforts of brothers Jack, Peter and Jim to protect the girls sent more than a few boyfriends packing, they were not completely successful in protecting the girls from the risks of growing up in the Big Apple, and Agnes and Joan ran with the neighborhood rabble-rousers known as the Ramblers. And when the city heat got to be too much, the Duffy ladies escaped to the sun and fun of the Jersey Shore in Long Branch, foreshadowing Agnes’s eventual move to New Jersey.
In 1956, she met a handsome young man named John Gallagher, who made her laugh, and acquired the nickname he gave her on the very day they met—Duff—a name that stuck to the point where some people had no idea her real name was Agnes. They married on June 21, 1957, and before she knew it Agnes was expecting her son John, followed soon thereafter by Maura, Marykate, Colleen and Erin. While touting this motley crew, Duff criss-crossed the country in a station wagon, living in Virginia, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, and eventually settling in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where she lived for 25 years, and later returned for the last years of her life, after losing John in 2012.
All the while, she was working hard. At home she was making school costumes, typing term papers, wallpapering the kitchen, fixing random appliances and everyone’s favorite meals. Out in the world, she was the right hand to many executives, ultimately working at the Bergen County Courthouse as the gatekeeper in chief for a number of judges and the informal therapist, evangelist and friend to hundreds of people who passed by her desk and were rewarded with a tootsie roll. When she finally retired after she turned 80, Agnes was so beloved, they had to shut the courthouse down because no one in that building was going to miss her send-off.
Through it all, Agnes was a true lamb of God, devoted to His service and strong in her faith.
Agnes is survived by her loving children, son John Duffy Gallagher of Ferrisburgh, VT, and his wife Elizabeth Skypeck, and beloved daughters Maura Callanan and her husband Michael of Daniel Island, South Carolina, Kate Gallagher of Williston, Vermont, Colleen Ritter and her husband Scott of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey and Erin Campbell and her husband Kevin of North Haledon, New Jersey. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren Cara Gallagher of South Royalton, Vermont, Luke Gallagher of Burlington, Vermont, her adored great-grandchildren Liam and Riley, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Agnes was preceded in death by siblings Jack, Peter, Margaret and Jim Duffy and Joan Duffy McKee as well as her son Terrence.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, September 3rd at 10:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, 700 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, New Jersey. The Funeral Mass will be live streamed through St. Elizabeth’s website, www.saintelizabeths.org. Due to Covid-19, the family will not be holding a wake prior to the funeral. Agnes’s life will also be celebrated with a memorial when it is safer for all to travel and be together in person, as we are now in our hearts.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Eva’s Village, 393 Main Street, Paterson, New Jersey 07501.