McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 8, 2012

Kenneth Thomas Duff


Submitted report

McALESTER — Kenneth Thomas Duff, 79, of McAlester, died Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, at the McAlester Regional Health Center.

The family will receive friends at Brumley-Mills Funeral Home today from 6 to 8 p.m.

Funeral Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church of McAlester, officiated by the Rev. Steve Dennis. Interment will follow at the Oak Hill Cemetery.

Services are under the direction of the Brumley-Mills Funeral Home of McAlester.

Born on Dec. 12, 1932, in McNalley Flat, near Canadian and Quinton, he was the son of T.A. (Aaron) and Florence (Moody) Duff. He was raised in McNalley Flat and graduated from Quinton High School in 1950. He attended Eastern Oklahoma State College, then East Central University in Ada, and went on to receive his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Northeastern State University. His work on his master’s was done at NSU and Oklahoma State University, where he also worked on a doctorate degree.

He began his teaching career in Derby, Kan., where he taught high school math for seven years. He came to McAlester and was hired as a high school math teacher. After seven years at MHS he went to EOSC where he helped start the Computer Science Department. He retired after 23 years. He enjoyed his retirement, spending most of his time overseeing his ranch and fishing.

After five years of retirement, he returned to work at Arkansas Tech University as a college professor in the Computer Science Department. He later did the same at the University of Arkansas, finally retiring after 43 years of teaching.

He was voted Teacher of the Year many times during his career. He and his wife, Hueanna, traveled the country on weekends teaching and holding motivational seminars for different companies until he retired.

He was active in the Evening Optimist Club in the 60’s and had served a term as president. He served on many committees and wrote several articles that were published in professional journals. He was president of the Teechum Toy Company where he invented a baseball game that was played by doing math problems, a game that was endorsed by Norm Cash of the Boston Red Sox.

He and his wife operated the Circle K Dude Ranch during the summer months where children came from a five-state area. The camp was later leased to coaches from OU and the OU cheerleaders used it as a summer training camp. During his teaching career, he taught more than 10,000 students and attended 53 graduations and tutored many McAlester students.

He is survived by his wife, Hueanna, of the home; two sons and one daughter-in-law, Jeff and Laura Duff, of McAlester, Joey Duff, of McAlester; three grandchildren, Josh Duff and wife, Morgana, Ashley Duff, Chelse Duff; sister-in-law, Judy Carter and husband, Bill, of Tulsa, brother-in-law, Clarence Baker and wife, Millie, of Okmulgee; nieces and nephews, Zondra Clunn, Michelle Campbell, Marcia Campbell, Tony Baker and wife, Conley, Barry Carter and wife, Marie, Zane Robinson and wife, Tonya, and Mark Campbell.

He was preceded in death by his parents, T.A. (Aaron) Duff, and his father and mother-in-law, Hugh and Jewell Baker.

Pallbearers will be Dr. Kenneth Miller, Bill Murdaugh, Ben Murdaugh, Bud Murdaugh, Joe Mack Guess and David George.

Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Dee Guess, Oliver Davis, Dennis Mayo, James Thomas, the Adult 3 Class from the First Baptist Church of McAlester and former students.