Ed Duffee Jr., 83 years old, passed at Capital Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in Tallahassee, Florida. Ed was born to the late Beatrice Nelson Duffee and Ed Duffee Sr., in the Macon Community of Tallahassee, Florida. He was one of seven children.
He was a lifetime member of St. Mary Primitive Baptist Church on Call Street, where he presently served as Chairman of the Deacon Board. Mr. Duffee has also served as parliamentarian for the Florida State Primitive Baptist Church Convention.
Mr. Duffee graduated from Old Lincoln High School in 1955. He completed his undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. Following this, he enlisted in the United State Army, where he served domestically and abroad. While on tour in Germany, Mr. Duffee decided that he wanted to become a lawyer. Returning home, he furthered his studies receiving his Juris Doctorate. He graduated first in his class in 1965 from Florida A&M University Law School. Mr. Duffee then went on to pass the Florida Bar in 1966.
He was joined in Holy Matrimony to Alberta Diggs on March 2, 1962 and to this union two children were born, Ed III and Donna.
Following graduation, Ed worked as a legal assistant for then Secretary of State, Tom Adams. Mr. Ed Duffee became the first African American attorney to construct a law office and practice law in Leon County; the first administrative law judge appointed by Governor Rueben Askew in 1977, and the first African American to hold an instructor position at the Florida State University College of Law. He was later recognized by the Florida Legislature in 2002, as being the first African American since Reconstruction to work in an executive position in the Old Capitol. After many years of serving in the area of law, Ed Duffee Jr. retired in 2004, as a statewide unemployment fraud prosecutor.
He served as a champion for civil rights in the 60s. He received the SCLC award for outstanding work in the black community for fighting racism. He filed a lawsuit in the early 1970s over the use of confederate symbols in Florida’s public schools. He often said that the struggle for race equality wasn’t over, that it continues even today. He once said, “There is still a lot of work to be done.”
Mr. Duffee was a founding member of the Tallahassee Urban League, a member of a Judicial Nominating Commission, a member of the Board of Directors at Miracle Hill Nursing Home, and has also served on the Board of Directors at the Mount Olive Housing and Community Development Corporation. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and other fraternal and civic organizations (NAACP and SCLC), and he recently served as the president Senior Citizen’s Foundation Board for two years.
Leaving to cherish his memory, a loving and devoted wife of 58 years, Alberta Diggs Duffee; son, Ed Duffee III (JoAnn); daughter, Donna Duffee-Kojo (Atiba); special daughter, Tymerial B. McKenzie; siblings, Herman Major Amos and Hodges Lee Duffee; grandchildren, Stephen Visnage, Ian Duffee (Sara), Patrick Diffee, Ashley Duffee (Wes), Uchefuna Kojo, Uzabakiliho Kojo, Ukurugenzi Kojo; great grandson, Liam Duffee; goddaughter, Paula Roberts; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, fraternal brothers and friends.
Preceding him in death are his mother, Beatrice Nelson Duffee; father, Ed Duffee, Sr. and siblings, Ervin Duffee, Laura Jean Johnson, Minnie B. Crump and Annie Ruth Jones.
Due to COVID-19, a private service will be held. Viewing will be Monday, February 22, 2021 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Service may viewed via YouTube at www.TallahasseeVirtualMemorials.com.
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