Daniel "Duff" Plunkett

1965 - 2019

  • 53 years old
  • Year of birth:  1965
  • Place of birth:  Croton-on-Hudson, New York
  • Year of passing:  2019
  • Place of passing:  Portland, Maine, United States
This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Daniel "Duff" Plunkett, 53, born in 1965 and passed away in 2019. We will remember him forever.
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Candle lit  by Conor Plunkett on July 10th, 2019

Love you bro! I hope you are "schoolin'" someone already up in Hoops Heaven, and haven't picked up your 5th foul yet. - Con

Candle lit  by Brian Plunkett on July 10th, 2019

We’ll miss you Duffman.  No one could make worse  puns, inappropriate jokes and “gestures”, cook worse food, make you feel abused and weak on the basketball court and get away with it and still be so beloved.  A true Plunkett to the core.  The Duffer will be missed but never forgotten.  Helps to know you’re hanging with Dad now.  Your bro forever, Bri

Candle lit  by Marita ONeill on July 10th, 2019

Dear Duff,  I will miss you! Thank you for being my true love and for so many happy years together. You were my dear companion and friend.  I will always cherish our adventures in Marblehead, Istanbul, and Portland.  Thank you for loving me as well as you did and for all the love you so readily gave to those of us who were lucky to know you. You will always be in my heart. Marita

Candle lit  by Cheryl O'Hare on July 10th, 2019

I only met Duff once, but I will always remember his warm greeting and tales of African adventures, peppered with insight as well as humor. I enjoyed his company! There are no words to express my most heartfelt condolences to everyone suffering from this tremendous loss. Love you Anne! Many hugs!

Candle lit  by Robert Ferro on July 10th, 2019

I was holding my own with Duffy. We were toe to toe making jokes and ridiculous observtions and soon I would succumb to his verbal tootalege. He could read through any situation and the characters playing. One of the most insightful individuals I have ever known. I will miss his visits.

Candle lit  by Julie Anderson on July 10th, 2019

The last time I saw Duff, he was dancing so vigorously at Jess and Conor’s wedding that he had to change his shirt midway through the reception. He never did anything halfway and every encounter was a vivid memory from my very first 35 years ago. Duff was so like Terry in that way and it’s easy to imagine them reunited and waxing poetic together. Deepest condolences to family and friends.

Candle lit  by Jim OHare on July 10th, 2019

Duff entered a room like Kramer. He danced like Michael Jackson. So he thought. Mainly tho, he marched to his own drummer bringing and spreading much happiness and joy as he rolled through life. A walking encyclopedia, he loved giving details about battles , for example, between warring Irish Kings 700 years ago. A much loved human being, he will be missed by all.

Candle lit  by Louise Campbell-Blair on July 11th, 2019

Thinking of Duffy can’t help but bring a smile to my face. He was witty, irreverent, clever, silly, charming and oh so warm. I will treasure my copy of his Butter Poems and think of the crazy door prizes at his parties every time I see a box of Lucky Charms.  Much love to all his family and dear friends at this tragic time.

Candle lit  by Alex Dephoure on July 11th, 2019

Duff, so sad to have to say goodbye so suddenly and unexpectedly, not to mention hearing all our beloved family/friends feel the pain as well. I have always cherished and boasted about your poetry and publishings-left brain right brain is genius-as well as your academic acomplishments and global anecdotes galore-so hard to believe a Plunkett boy is gone, you were not great at the trombone.

Candle lit  by Ethan Lewis on July 11th, 2019


I knew you not, yet wish I had.  As your brother's brother, you were doubtless a marvelous man.

Looking forward to our meeting on the other side, and celebrating with you countless championship banners.

Candle lit  by Christine Poitras on July 11th, 2019

Duff, I am deeply saddened to learn of your passing. I was fortunate to have your father as a professor during my student days at the University of Maine at Augusta, and how I'll miss your exuberant enthusiasm & insightful comments every April during UMA's Terry Plunkett Poetry Festival. My deepest condolences to your family & friends; such an immeasurable life which ended far too soon.

Candle lit  by Judy Jacobs on July 11th, 2019

Duffy Plunkett was a part of the Jacobs' family, when Anne, Brian and Conor lived in Croton.  Our bonds were sown from love and many years of camping, eating, and laughing. I will treasure those Croton memories, that continued in Newton, Ma.,where they moved. Duffy, you will bet missed.  Judy Jacob

Candle lit  by Alice Persons on July 11th, 2019

Duff was a true original--wacky and talented, with the sense of humor of a middle schooler with a stratospheric IQ.  He had such sweetness at his core. I will never forget his performance in one of my classes where he recited his butter poems while executing break dancing moves on the floor.  My students were enthralled.  I'm proud to have published his brilliant poetry book MUSEUM.

Candle lit  by Linda Aldrich on July 11th, 2019

I will never forget Duff reciting his "Moose" poem (antlers and all) at a Lowry's Lodge reading.
Larger than life, beautifully perceptive and intelligent, he was unlike anyone I had ever met.
I will so miss him.  My heart goes out to his mother and family and to dear Marita.

Candle lit  by Ken Holbert on July 11th, 2019

Nothing more memorable than playing a 2 on 2 basketball game with the 3 Plunkett boys. The word “foul” does not exist and “boxing out” is a respected full court strategy. The Plunkett boys are funny but Duff was always the one willing to cross that line to get a good laugh. And no one laughed harder at Duffy’s jokes than Duffy.  Good-bye my friend. You left us too soon.

Candle lit  by Paul Randolph on July 11th, 2019

Dear Duffy's Inspired Masses,

Alise and I learned of his death while waiting on the beach for sunset over the Gulf of Mexico here in Florida.  The immediate numbing impact of the news led to a wave of emotions and incredible memories of the times together with Duff.   He was a brilliant man, an artist both with words and in voice and one of the best-informed trade economist I have known.  To say he was unique and eccentric, hardly captures his loquacious life style.  We met Duff at American University and I had the pleasure of having him as a neighbor from across the hall in the Graduate Student Apartment on Tunlaw Road near the Russian Embassy.  Each Sunday he would knock on the door and ask if I wanted a Washington Post, for he was going to buy one.  When he returned, he would give me a paper and say “hey, great deal today, two for the price of one.”  He had purchased it at the corner Paper Box and paid for one and grabbed two.  He was always one to find a good deal and save some money!  Speaking of saving money, in Grad School he was on an Assistantship, but they did not pay for his books, so he would buy a book from the school book store, bring it home and read the book in one night, then return it for a refund the next day.  Photographic memory!

The first Summer at AU Duff asked if I could store his Album collection for he was going back to Maine and was not planning to return to the Grad Apartment.  I said sure and discovered that he had one of the most amazing collections of 1960s and 70s albums covering the civil rights and peace movements, which he said his parents had raised him on.  Thank you Duff for introducing me to Pete Seeger!   As some of you may know, Duff was a close friend of both Alise and I in Graduate School, so when it came time for our wedding, we had a hard time deciding if he should be a Groomsman or Bridesmaid?  He ultimately became Alise’s Bridesmaid!  Last night after Alise and I collected our emotions we played “Lean On Me” which was the song he sang at our wedding in tribute to our friends!  In addition, to his musical talents that he shared for all, we also received the most memorable wedding gift from Duff, a poem that he wrote to honor our wedding day.   In the words he so accurately captured both Alise and my life, he showed that he not only embraced the attention of a crowd but cherished the one-on-one interactions and recalled every conversation.   Each year on our anniversary we read that poem and it brings us back to a special time in our lives.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to remain in touch with Duff over the years.  His occasional post cards and witty commentary always brought a smile.  Over the last several years we worked together on several development proposals and met when he passed through DC.    Despite the incredible grief of knowing his bright light of genius has went out here on earth, I am sure one of the many gods he recognized in the form of icons and stickers in his car, are now introducing him around the afterlife.   I know I am a richer person for having had Duff as a friend, I believe we all are.  

Paul and Alise

Candle lit  by Maura Kelly on July 11th, 2019

Your charming smile and contagious humor will never be forgotten, Duff.  You helped us all take life and its challenges a lot less seriously. One unforgettable memory is the adventures of Cap'n Crunch in the cafeteria of Robert College. Even without knowing a word of Turkish, you were able to make friends and laughter happen.
Sending my sincerest condolences.

Candle lit  by Melissa Altintas on July 12th, 2019

I was shocked and saddened to hear this news.
Duff was larger than life and so charismatic that it is hard to believe that he could leave us so soon.
My sincere condolences to Marita, to his entire family and to all his friends.

Candle lit  by David Traynor on July 12th, 2019

Larger than life and larger than death... your joie de vivre, intellect and wit leave big shoes.

Candle lit  by noel zeeb on July 14th, 2019

Duff, my best friend of over forty years, so hard to believe that you are really gone.
I’m grateful to have so many memories of our adventures together, you were larger than
life and I will miss you dearly.
Although we shared many interests, it was basketball that bound us over the years.
I remember when I visited you during Junior year abroad in Paris. I had been off the train for
Less than 10 minutes and you were already hustling me down to a court under the Eiffel Tower to run some games, you taught me how to trash talk in French.
I was still quite Jet lagged upon my arrival in Istanbul, and there we were the first night, playing hoops in the college gym.
I’ll be shoveling off the hoops court at Cabot Park this winter to play some
Polar Ball in your honor, I can’t believe we survived all those games without serious injury! Connor, you in?
Peace be with you my brother, nothing but net.

Candle lit  by Michelle Kosmidis on July 15th, 2019

There are no words to express my sadness for Daniel’s untimely departure. I have known Daniel since grad school and always looked forward to spending time with him. For my friends who met him even briefly, one chat with Daniel was enough to make a lasting impression of his unique personality.  Clever, multi-talented and entertaining he always reminded not to sweat the small stuff.  I cherished his presence in my life and I will miss him.

Candle lit  by Michael Levine on July 15th, 2019

Duffington - it is hard to put into words what you meant to me. Your stories and exploits will forever be a part of me.  Thank you for all the philosophical conversations and understanding.  I have never met someone so capable of making a poem so darn entertaining!  I left a letter for on on the stories tab since 396 characters just ain't enough to sum up a man of your uniqueness. - Mike

Candle lit  by Janice Merrill on July 15th, 2019

Duff- we are so sad to say goodbye far to early. You were a great neighbor and we already miss you so much. You have big shoes to fill for sure. Thank you for all my beautiful flowers from your garden and all of the great conversations we shared. Rest in peace duff, xoxo Janice, Jason, Julian & Jax.

Candle lit  by Trevor Simumba on July 19th, 2019

Plunkett as I used to call you. This is devastating news. You were such a good team leader. Became a friend to me. We travelled around East Africa together eating 'nyama choma with ugali' always smiling and friendly to all. we had so much more to achieve. You encouraged me to register a firm in the US which I did a week ago but alas you are not there. Rest in Eternal Peace. Trevor Simumba

Candle lit  by Anne Serafin on July 22nd, 2019

I am extremely moved by and grateful for all of the tributes you have left on this Memorial site. We never know the ripples that go out from our lives but Duff clearly touched countless people in many areas of work and play and in varied geographical locations across the world.  
Thank you.     Anne Serafin -- Duff's Mother

Candle lit  by Susanne Greenlee on July 27th, 2019

I met Duffy while working at Rowe Camp in the early 1980’s, when he led a writing program for the camp kids. We stayed in touch over the years mostly by the mail--I have a stack of newspaper clippings waiting to send to him. I loved his irreverent take on life, his joy, his force of nature. My thoughts go out to his family and worldwide friends. I am sorry for our loss. SueG

Candle lit  by Anne Serafin on July 28th, 2019

P.S. I have a few more thoughts on the Stories page of this site.

Candle lit  by Maggie Salzberg on July 31st, 2019

Duff. I love you.
Did an angel whisper in your ear
And hold you close and take away your fear
In those long last moments

Candle lit  by Jen Deaderick on August 1st, 2019

Duffy. It’s so strange that you’re gone. I have to keep going over it again in my mind. We first met when you popped into Rowe Camp for spell to teach a one-day bullshitting workshop, and this seems like more trickery. I hope there was some peace and beauty at the end.

Candle lit  by Bruce Spang on August 16th, 2019

Duff. It's not often that someone is called to write poetry. Even rarer for someone to have it as a passion. But you were one of those who loved words and what they could say and what, even with the best of our efforts, fail to say. I loved how your puns delighted us, how your range of knowledge, your inquisitives inspired us, and your love of Marita will endure and will outlast you.

Candle lit  by Karla Berry on November 1st, 2019

Duff Man! Captain Pun! I am heartbroken to hear that there is a Duff-sized hole in the universe. Thank you for a million laughs and great hugs. I will miss you.

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