Obituary

6th February 2009 at 00:00

Rose Josephine Duffy, who has died aged 82, was a popular primary headteacher, club champion golfer and school football team coach.

She was also a gifted musician, who trained and conducted a number of church choirs in the Archdiocese of Glasgow. An outstanding church organist in St Kessog's Church in Balloch, Miss Duffy also played the organ occasionally at St Patrick's Church, Dumbarton, where she was a parishioner from childhood.

Her secondary education was at Notre Dame Convent School, in Dumbarton. From there, she went on to teacher-training at the former Notre Dame College of Education in Glasgow's west end.

She taught in West Dunbartonshire primary schools for 40 years. Her first post was at her alma mater of St Patrick's in Dumbarton, after which she was promoted to a senior post at St Mary's in Alexandria, and thence as headteacher to St Kessog's in Balloch.

Tall, fit, healthy and with an outgoing personality - as well as immaculately and appropriately dressed - Miss Duffy was a dedicated sportswoman, who played golf at Dumbarton Golf Club on the town's Broadmeadow, where she won the title of Ladies Champion in the 1960s.

When she took over as headteacher in Balloch, Scottish schools soccer was exclusively a man's world, and teams were coached by male teachers and school janitors. Miss Duffy raised not a few eyebrows when she took on the role of school team manager and coach, but she confounded the sceptics when her St Kessog's team became extremely successful under her leadership. She helped to produce some fine footballers who went on to play the game at a higher level.

Miss Duffy was an enthusiastic motorist and motorcyclist who used her summer holidays to go touring in Scotland and in Europe, mainly to Ireland. She never married, and a number of Catholic priests were among the many friends who shared her generous hospitality at her home on the banks of the River Leven in Balloch.

Rose Josephine Duffy was the seventh of eight children of John Duffy and Marjorie Armstrong. The family owned a successful painting and decorating business in Castle Street, Dumbarton. Five of the Duffy children, of whom only two survive - Marjorie Ferrie and Marie Bell, both still living in Dumbarton - became school teachers.

TES Scotland invites obituaries and appreciations from contributors, or suggestions for obituaries.

Please email scoted@tes.co.uk, or write to TES Scotland,Thistle House, 21-23 Thistle Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DF.

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