Kathryn Alice (Quinn) Dufficy

August 26, 1926 - June 19, 2015

  I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree ...


Eulogy for Grandma
by *David D. La Rosa's Eulogy

June 30, 2015


I want to be concise, as I found it nearly impossible to sum up my own lifelong relationship with Grandma. Instead, I wish to speak more of her heart and her legacy.


Grandma was a powerful presence, not in a way that was oppressive or threatening, but one who only loved and whose opinion of you mattered. It was not difficult to impress her, but on the other hand, disappointing her didn’t even seem to be an option. There was nothing worse than making a mistake and disappointing her. We would all be in trouble if it weren’t for that fear of letting her down. It would be very hard to say that any of those close to her would be who they are now, and as successful, if it wasn’t for her.


Grandma was an example. She embraced adult responsibilities since she was a little girl, including hardships far more real than we can imagine, which seemed to come unceasingly throughout her entire life, like tides. Despite her abridged childhood, her vision of the world was always through a child’s eyes. Most of us were able to experience this with her; the song of an unseen bird, a unique cloud passing as the day changed and the grass grew, a clap of thunder, a song, the sizzle of bacon and everything that could be made with the grease; essentially the awe of feeling so small in the universe yet it all being there only for us. Her gratitude toward life was indeed unique. Once, when I was quite young, we were enjoying one of our frequent times together, (which seemed like moments but were in fact hours), sitting, watching the birds and the day go by, talking as if there wasn’t a single year between us. I had fallen in love with birds thanks to her, and I told her that I wanted one. The only thing she then said was, “never cage a bird”. And that was it.


Grandma was very meek. She was totally transparent herself, yet she was a vault of other’s secrets not even worth the energy of trying to crack. She understood everything, even if she did not condone something. The quickening pace of the times never even fazed her, even if they worried her. Her values and expectations were simple, like her life. Faith and family were her cornerstones, and even her expectations on those were simple: go to Mass, work hard in loving God and keeping your faith no matter what, provide for your own loved ones and yourself, always stay close to family, and to enjoy life. Family unity was very important to her, and somehow, despite raising eight children in the time that she did, all still go to Mass. The day before starting hospice care, my fiancée, Michelle, was surprised when she asked her, “were girl’s easier to raise than boys?” Her response was, “no, boy’s were easier, except for Kevin.” Even though this seems inaccurate, she was always up for the challenge. She lived for challenges, and she accomplishing them with grace, precision and class.


Even nearing death, she was selfless. Her concerns were only for those she loved. She simply wanted to be sure that her grandchildren went to Mass and the family grew closer. Indeed, she mostly desired for us courage, faith, and forgiveness of self and each other. She never wanted to see “a caged bird.” We all owe her that.


*David Dufficy La Rosa, eldest son of Clara and Paco





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