Thomas Duffy

Thomas Duffy

MELVIN – Thomas E. Duffy, 86, of Melvin died at 3:48 a.m. Monday (Feb. 25, 2013) at Provena Covenant Medical Center, Urbana.

Thomas was born Aug. 13, 1926, at Piper City, the son of James E. Duffy and Maude Anne Karney. He married Mardelle M. Wagner on Nov. 22, 1947, at St. John's Catholic Church, Cullom.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 534 N. Wood St., Gibson City, IL 60936. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. with Father John Phan officiating. Interment will follow the service at the Melvin Cemetery, Melvin, with military graveside rites by the Gibson City American Legion Post 568.

Baier Family Funeral Services, Paxton, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Mardelle; two sons, Thomas Duffy of Melvin and Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Patrick Duffy of Roberts; daughters, Mary (Robert) Gehring of New Berlin, Wis., and Barbara Duffy of Chicago; two grandchildren, Christopher Gehring and Sarah Gehring of Wisconsin; brothers, John Duffy of Normal and Joseph Duffy of Rantoul; a sister, Mary Cothern of Gibson City; and his faithful dog, Blackie.

Thomas was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Michael Anthony; brothers, Francis Duffy (Quincy, Ill.) and James Duffy (Springfield, Mass).

Thomas was a lifelong resident of Melvin until 1998 and he was a recent resident at the Champaign County Nursing Home, Urbana.

Thomas was a graduate of Melvin High School and a veteran of World War II who served in the U.S. Navy.

He was a graduate of FLIR Law Enforcement School at Winston Churchill College, Pontiac; the University of Illinois Police Training Institute; and the Midwest Investigative Hypnosis Training Institute.

His 44-year career in law enforcement began in 1949 as a justice of the peace and continued in different capacities until he was employed in 1969 with the Ford County Sheriff's Department. He served as a patrol officer, investigator, chief deputy sheriff and chief investigator. Thomas retired from the tenured position of chief investigator on March 27, 1993.

Thomas was instrumental in initiating the first village law enforcement contract used in Illinois. The program he devised was subsequently used as a model throughout the state.

During his long career, Thomas received numerous commendations for his exceptional investigative expertise.

He was well-known for his tenacity as an investigator and his impressive case solve rate.

Memorials may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Gibson City.

Condolences may be offered at

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