ShareThis Page

Franklin Regional scholarship established to honor Bob, Rita Duffy

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Robert Duffy and Rita Abdel of West View were killed in were kileld in a traffic pile up along Route I-80 on Feb. 25, 2012. A scholarship in their honor is being introduced this year at Franklin Regional.
submitted photo
Robert Duffy and Rita Abdel of West View were killed in were kileld in a traffic pile up along Route I-80 on Feb. 25, 2012. A scholarship in their honor is being introduced this year at Franklin Regional.

Bob Duffy dedicated his life to helping students grow academically and personally. A year after he and his wife, Rita, died tragically in a chain-reaction traffic accident, the Duffy family wants to honor the educator by helping the students he worked with.

The Bob and Rita Duffy Memorial Scholarship will be given this spring to a Franklin Regional senior who best reflects academic, social or personal growth during their four years of high school.

It's a fitting tribute, said Joan Mellon, assistant principal at the high school.

“The family felt that Bob and Rita would have wanted to support a student from the high school who had shown a great deal of personal or academic growth over their high school years,” Mellon said. “Bob was always an advocate of students and their personal development. Creating a scholarship that would recognize those attributes he would help students develop really is fitting.”

Bob Duffy was a teacher and administrator at Franklin Regional for nearly 20 years. A former assistant principal at the high school, he was the assistant principal at the middle school at the time of his death. He and his wife were travelling on Route 80 in February 2012 when a tractor trailer crushed their car during a series of accidents caused by whiteout conditions over a 9-mile stretch.

The scholarship is funded by donations from coworkers of the Duffys, their family and by students and families at Franklin Regional. The family wants to celebrate the Duffys, their daughter, Alex, said. At their services, friends and family were asked to wear bright colors to celebrate their happy lives, she said.

“Although losing (my parents) is indescribably saddening and difficult, I feel that it is important to focus on the happy memories we shared and on the many wonderful life lessons they taught me through their example,” Alex Duffy said. “My parents helped me to see that achievement is a process that is different for everyone.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.