Marian “Mary” Duffee

Marian (Mary) Ida Duffee (Sandback), beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on 4/14/2024 at the age of 88 in New Richmond, WI. Marian was born on 04/01/1936 to Walter and Flora Sandback in Minneapolis where she live in “Finn Town” with her brother and 4 sisters.

Mary was a woman of many talents and passions. She worked in the education field for her entire career, starting at the University of Minnesota, followed by Golden Valley Lutheran College, and Bethel College before retiring from Augsburg College. She held numerous positions throughout her career, but mostly remembered the number of great friends and colleagues she met along the way.

On May 24th, 1958, Mary married the love of her life, Floyd Duffee, Jr. and together they embarked on a journey filled with Christ, love, laughter, and shared dreams. Their union was blessed with 2 boys, who were the light of her life. She was a devoted mother, nurturing her children with unconditional love and unwavering support, instilling in them Christian values and beliefs in addition to strength of will, determination and perseverance or what we Finns call Sisu.

Mary’s warmth and generosity extended beyond her family, touching the lives of all who knew her. A devoted Christian, her faith, kindness and compassion knew no bounds, and she was always ready to help and serve. She was active in her church, often serving as a wonderful host for weekly bible studies. Mary found joy in finding good deals and making sure others were never hungry. Her buttermilk pancakes are legendary.

Mary will be remembered fondly for her gentle spirit, her unwavering faith, and her profound love for her family and friends. Though she may be gone from this earth, her legacy of love and kindness will continue to live on in the hearts of all who knew her.

Mary is survived by her loving husband, Floyd; her children, Douglas (Pam) and David (Cindy) her grandchildren, Kyle, Kayla (Seth), Claire, Celia (Taylor), Adelle and Stella. One day before passing, she was able to meet her first great granddaughter, Lydia. She is also survived by sisters Ruth Ann (Bunny), Karen and Jeanne, adopted family Chad, Guilian, Philip and Lucia Gau, and a host of other relatives and friends who will miss her dearly. She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother (Billy) and sister (Alice).

A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at a later date and details will be forthcoming. She is now at peace with Christ, and may her memory be a blessing to all who knew her until we are all reunited in Heaven.


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