Sandra K. Duffy


Sandra Kay Duffy (McKibbon), passed away unexpectedly on February 13th, 2022. Beloved and devoted wife, mom, grandma, sister, aunt, nurse, caregiver, outdoorsperson, quilter, traveler, photographer, puzzle-solver, Santa -- these and so many more words only begin to describe her life’s impact on her loved ones.

Sandy was born in Cloquet on March 25th, 1948 and was the eldest of three sisters. She met the love of her life, Mike Duffy, in Carlton during the 1st grade. When Mike went off to graduate school in the fall of 1970, she remained in Duluth to finish her nursing education. They married that December, but returned to their studies before reuniting for their 51 years of adventure together..

She was a servant-leader as a nurse for over 40 years, most of which she spent as an RN at Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet. She wore many hats during her time there, including as nurse supervisor until she retired in 2013. Sandy’s gentle manner combined with her peerless nursing skills and ability to anticipate what was needed brought compassionate care to lives she felt fortunate to have served. She passed these on to her coworkers who always appreciated being on duty with such a knowledgeable caregiver they were proud to call friend.

She and Mike raised three talented children, hosted foreign exchange students, traveled frequently, but always made sure ‘home’ was open, available, and steady. She was ‘mom’ to many beyond Nathan, Kara, and Jacob -- their friends were always welcome in the Duffy house.

She had a contagious curiosity for technology and gadgets that she shared with her children, from tinkering on the computer to passing time with games; she was the first ‘gamer’ in the household, and the first programmer, too!

She loved the State Parks of Minnesota -- particularly Scenic and its excellent fishing, hiking and vistas. Her family will always treasure the time spent there together and elsewhere amongst the pines.

She was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Mary McKibbon, and parents-in-law, John and Bertha Duffy.

She is survived by husband Mike, children Nathan, Kara (Philip), and Jacob (Eugene), foreign-exchange son Olaf Herbst, sisters Sharon Schneider (Jim), Carolyn McKibbon, and grandsons Henry and Malcolm Brown.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, February 19th at 1pm at Nelson Funeral Home in Cloquet, MN. We know that Sandra would appreciate all in attendance to follow current health protocols.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the MN Future Forest Fund, MPR, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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