Jane Simpson Duffield, admired teacher, volunteer

September 16, 2020

Jane Simpson Duffield, 84, of Milton died peacefully of natural causes unrelated to COVID-19 Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, living at Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe in Rehoboth Beach the last two years of her life because of declining health due to Alzheimer's. There, she was known as a cheerful member of the community, along with her devoted dog, Buddy.

Jane was a third-generation Washingtonian who grew up on Hoban Road NW and raised her two daughters at Carolina Place in the Palisades NW. She attended the old Holton-Arms School in D.C., Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., and later The American University in D.C. Her parents were Dr. George Victor Simpson, a prominent and widely respected ophthalmologic surgeon, and Helen Probey Simpson, the loveliest of ladies. 

Jane was married to Hugh Kirkwood Duffield Jr. from 1956-61. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s she raised two daughters as a single, working mom - a role she said was her most favorite. Her daughters, Vicki and Karen, attended Stone Ridge School in Bethesda, Md., and many of their friends grew close to "Mrs. D." She returned to her alma mater, Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, to teach fifth grade for more than a decade. Many of her former students remember her fondly to this day.  After moving to the mountains of West Virginia in 1985, Jane devoted more and more time to community work, her true vocation.  She founded and directed Loaves and Fishes Outreach Center in Hinton, W.Va.  In 1989, her most notable recognition for this work was as a recipient of the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award for sharing of self.

From Washington, D.C., to West Virginia, and finally to Milton in 2005, Jane remained a passionate advocate for justice and basic human dignity. She was well known for her involvement in a diversity of volunteer, nonprofit, mentorship and community action programs. She was an active member of her church wherever she lived. Jane felt strongly, on a personal and social level, that every individual should be taken seriously. All persons were interesting to her. She made people feel they had a right to be seen, to be heard, to be understood. She was a very good listener.

Jane is survived by her beloved sister, Helen-Louise Simpson Hunter; her daughters Victoria Robertson (Mark Robertson) and Karen Simpson Duffield, who respected and loved her dearly, and five grandchildren whom she adored. 

Her daughters invite you to participate in a Memorial Zoom Service to be held at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27. Meeting ID 845-3293-7004. Password: jane

Online condolences are welcome for the family at

Arrangements in the care of Short Funeral Services, Milton.


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