Sally T. Duff formerly of Chadds Ford

Sally Tredwell Duff, formerly of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was born on March 28, 1943 in Youngstown, Ohio, and died on January 23, 2021 at home in Belfast, Maine.  The cause was complications of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

With a love of life, of beauty, of humor, and no stranger to passion, she was nonetheless wise, enormously rational, and immensely sensible when decisions were needed – as they so often are in a marriage of 57 years in diverse places and careers, and with a growing family.  Loving that family, her daughters and grandchildren were her great delight.  They had total devotion.  When a sweater was superbly knit by this mistress of needles, as sweaters often were for family members, it was a demonstration of both great skill and love.

Although pride was richly deserved because she did so much so well, vanity never showed.  On the piano, in the kitchen, and in gardens, her skills were wonderful.  She attracted many and diverse friends; she made others happy, and her wit made them laugh.  She constantly expanded her husband’s view of the world and made him better in his career and at living.

Extremely capable in her varied education and occupations, she was a museum director, librarian, hospital administrator, teacher of mathematics and of the natural history of the Northeast, and worked in local government administration.  She improved lives.  She taught English as a second language with dedication to her foreign-born students who – to her delight – fed her from their own recipes.

There was joy in collecting art and decorative arts for homes in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Maine.  Houses reflected her keen interest in these things and in architecture.  Her love of music, classical and jazz, and her own piano playing brought warmth to those houses, and before she became ill she was coming to terms with the Goldberg Variations.  A wonderful cook, she was fearlessly experimental, often to the joy of friends and guests.

Sally was raised in Poland, Ohio.  Years before acquiring her MS degree, she attended Chatham College in Pittsburgh, on which campus one night in 1961 during the second week of her first year, she met Jim Duff.  They married two years later.  They first lived in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.  After two years in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and six in Cornwall, New York, the couple moved to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, in 1973.  They moved to Belfast soon after her retirement in 2015.

She has left behind her husband, daughter Abigail Gilchrist and her husband Geoffrey, daughter Jessica Tolliver, grandchildren Morgan and Miles Tolliver and Claire and Noah Gilchrist, all of Belfast, Maine.  She was always close to her brother Robert F. Tredwell and his wife, Judith, of Orono, Maine; her sister-in-law Suzanne Duff Nowlin and her husband, Jim, of West Chester, Pennsylvania; and she cared about nieces and nephews scattered from coast to coast.  She is – and long will be – greatly missed by the many who cherished her.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Sally T. Duff Art Acquisition Fund at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, P. O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.


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