David Michael Duffey passed away on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Wisconsin.
He was born on May 7, 1927, in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Henry (Harry) Duffey and Emily (Honey) Dedolph. His mother was a school teacher and raised Dave with his grandparents after Harry died in 1931. Dave grew up in Marion, Wisconsin and attended Marion High School where he played football, basketball and baseball, and graduated in 1945. He dreamed of being a baseball player. Instead, after high school, he served in the United States Army in the 47th Infantry as part of the occupation forces and was a catcher for his Infantry baseball team. He also enjoyed boxing and playing tennis. After his military service in Germany, Dave had an opportunity to play baseball with a major league farm team, but opted instead to further his education and begin family life. He married Angeline Fenn on November 27, 1947. Dave and Angie settled in Appleton, Wisconsin where he attended Lawrence University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in English. Dave and Angie were married for 23 years.
During his college years, Dave worked as a reporter for the Appleton Post-Crescent. After graduation, he was hired as the Outdoor Writer for the Milwaukee Sentinel and spent his time traveling throughout the state reporting on hunting, fishing, and conservation issues. In 1960, Dave became the Dog Editor for Outdoor Life Magazine and wrote a monthly column and periodic feature articles for this magazine for 23 years. Dave was well-known for his work as a judge and reporter for numerous field trials, the biggest being the National Bird Dog Trials held annually at the Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee. He was also a founding member of the National Bird Dog Museum there. Dave also strongly promoted NAVHDA and the National Shoot-to-Retrieve Field Trial Association, among others. His passion for hunting and bird dogs started as a young boy in rural Wisconsin and continued to grow over the years. At the height of his career, he was recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on hunting dogs. Dave also owned, rode, and enjoyed his own horses most of his life, which helped him stay in “condition” for covering horseback field trials in the South. Over the years, Dave authored nine books on hunting dogs and contributed to a large number of anthologies. He wrote for many publications including the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gun Dog Magazine, American Field, Peterson’s Hunting, Wing & Shot, Wildfowl, and many others.
Dave worked tirelessly in promoting conservation efforts in the state of Wisconsin, was a stickler for obeying the law, and often assisted local wardens as a “special” during busy hunting seasons. He developed close knit relationships with the wardens and shared many lifelong friendships. He also worked closely with Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer of New London, Wisconsin who developed and saved the American Water Spaniel breed. Dave was instrumental in convincing Wisconsin legislators to make this small spaniel the Wisconsin state dog, which they did in 1985. Dave also spent a good deal of his life working as a hunting club manager and professional dog trainer at various locations from Wisconsin to North Carolina and Mississippi. He believed in knowing what he wrote about, so he always owned and trained a large variety of dogs, including most of the breeds of pointers, setters, spaniels, and retrievers, along with a few hounds and terriers.
Dave is survived by Susan Young, his long-time friend who has been his loving partner for the past eight years; his children, Michael (Marcie), Maeve, and Kathleen; his grandchildren, Kevin, Becky (Matthew) Gorton, Kalyssa and Zackary Watters; his great-grandchildren, Conner, Caitlyn, and Ellyse; step-children, Tonia and Chris Lutzewitz; many nieces, nephews and other relatives; and, his devoted Kerry Blue Terrier, Reilly. Dave was preceded in death by his father, Harry; his mother, Honey; first wife, Angeline Duffey; wife, Jane Foley; partner, Julia Lutzewitz; and a granddaughter, Carey Ann.
A celebration of Dave’s wonderful life will take place at T-Dubs Irish Pub, 111 Cooper St, Waupaca, WI 54981 (715-942-0499) on Saturday, February 8 beginning at 1pm. Military honors will be given, and the family will be greeting friends and sharing food and drink, music, and storytelling about Dave. His love for story-telling is legendary, as is his sense of humor and laughter at the end of his long-winded tales. No one ever heard him tell a “one-liner!” Dave was proud to the end of being blessed to earn a living doing what he loved. In the Spring, his ashes will be sprinkled on his cherished land in Waupaca County, where he enjoyed hunting, training dogs, riding his horses, and spending time with family over the years.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Bird Dog Foundation, Inc. at 505 Hwy 57, Grand Junction, TN 38039 Phone: (731) 764-2058, in memory of Dave Duffey. Condolences may be left on David Michael Duffey’s online guest book at: www.newcomergreenbay.com. More pictures and information are at: www.facebook.com/davidmduffey